If I am praying for the Lord to open up opportunities to share the Gospel and guide me to those He is drawing to Himself, I must be prepared.
Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.Romans 2:23-24
Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.1 Timothy 6:1
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.Titus 2:4-5
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.Galatians 6:1
When we speak of being prepared to share the Gospel, most people think about spending time studying apologetics, going to seminary, etc. However, the greatest preparation is your own soul. The devil is far more prone to make you ineffective in sharing the Gospel by causing you to fall into sin than he is to have you be asked hard questions. Most people spend way too much time worrying about hard questions and not preserving a close walk with the Lord. If I am living in sin, I cannot be effective in sharing the Gospel. I cannot share the Gospel with a woman that I am lusting after. I cannot share the Gospel with someone when I am drunk. It will only cause people to despise Christ.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,Ephesians 6:10-19
We must remember that we are constantly in a spiritual war. As such we must ensure that we are constantly prepared to be attacked, and also we must be prepared to share the Gospel of peace. As we looked last week, prayer is a huge part of the battle. Our preparations though is of the whole spiritual man.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.1 Peter 3:15-16
This is not to say that study is not necessary. We must constantly be studying the Word of God and constantly be prepared to share the Gospel. However, once again the preparation also includes a lifestyle void of hypocrisy.
Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.2 Timothy 2:14-16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.Romans 1:16
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.1 Corinthians 2:2-5
In our preparation we must remember to focus on what really matters, the Gospel. We cannot get side tracked into controversies and arguments that lead away from what Christ has done for us. Although it is helpful to have answers to difficult questions, the most important thing is knowing the Gospel and preaching Christ alone.