Proverbs 29:25; John 12:42-43; 2 Corinthians 12:10



A.whatever our views about the inspiration of the Bible may be, we know that this verse is true enough

1.how many times we have seen this statement of God's Word fulfilled [The fear of man bringeth a snare]

2.how many people have been snared by the fear of man, and ruined for time and eternity

a)how many have started drinking because someone laughed at them, or said they were insulting the host by not drinking, and became a drunkard on the street

b)how many modest, innocent girls, because of peer pressure have permitted a familiarity which no modest girl would allow, and became an outcast on the streets

c)the fear of man causes both temporal and eternal ruin

B.the cowards - John 12:42-43

1.this was written about Jerusalem in Christ's time, but it sounds just as if it were written about today

2.how many leaders are just like these chief rulers of Jerusalem, who believe in Jesus Christ in their hearts, but they do not confess Him with their mouths for fear of what men will say of them

3.they love the praise of men more than the praise of God

4.there are multitude who are fully convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and yet hold back from open, public confession of Christ because of moral cowardice

C.the heroes - 2 Corinthians 12:10

1.this is a very different picture, and it is a picture worth looking at

2.Paul was man who was reproached for the name of God, and persecuted for his loyalty to the truth

a)though they heaped all manner of infamy on him, he looked up with a smiling face and said, "I take pleasure in infirmities … for Christ's sake"

b)Paul went to Lystra, and because of his loyalty to the truth and his outspoken defense of the truth, they stoned him

c)then he went to Derbe, and without doubt some cautious Christian told Paul to be a little more diplomatic, and not so outspoken, or he would be treated the same as in Lystra

d)Paul response would have been, "I take pleasure in infirmities, … and distresses for Christ's sake"

3.what we need today, more than anything else, is a few men like Paul, and a few women with the same spirit

a)men and women who will stand for Christ and stand for God's kingdom without compromise, no matter what people say or do to them

II.why every professed believer should publicly confess Christ before the world

A.it takes courage to be a Christian, to be a real, true, outspoken follower of Jesus Christ

1.we live in a God-hating world

2.we live in a compromising age; an age in which many professed Christians are trying to please the world and carry on the Church, so that there is no difference between the church and the world

3.in a God-hating world like this, and in a compromising age like this, it takes courage to be an out-and-out soldier of Jesus Christ

4.it takes more courage than a great many of us have got

5.many have courage enough to go to war, even to the frontline, and face the enemy's guns; but not enough courage to bow their heads and give thanks for theirs meals in public

B.we should publicly confess Christ before the world because He is such a glorious Lord and Master

1.there is nothing to be ashamed of in Jesus Christ

2.the trouble with some is that they are not ashamed of themselves, though they ought to be; and they are ashamed of the Lord Jesus, though they should not be

3.the noblest thing a man can say, "I am a follower of the perfect Man; I am a follower of the Son of God; I am a follower of the One infinitely glorious, Jesus Christ of Nazareth"

C.every person should confess the Lord Jesus publicly before the world for the sake of their influence

1.every person has an influence; there is no man that does not have an influence

2.every one here has an influence, either for Jesus Christ or against Jesus Christ

3.if we confessed Jesus before the world as our Lord, and lived in accordance with that confession, we would have an influence to bring somebody else to Christ

4.on the other hand, if we do not confess Christ, we will have an influence against Christ, no matter how well we live

a)the better we live, the more our influence is against Christ, if we do not confess Him

b)people will look at us and say, "that man, as far as we can see, lives just as well as those professed Christians, but is not a Christian; therefore we do not see the need to become a Christian"

c)everyone who is not openly, decidedly, constantly confessing Christ before the world, has an influence against Jesus Christ

d)if we took our stand where we ought to take it, on the side of truth, who knows how many others would come to Christ

5.there are some who, if they had the courage of their convictions and came to Christ, not secretly as many want to, it would shake this area for Christ

a)our influence may not be as great as that, but all of us have an influence; will we exert it for Christ

D.every one should publicly confess Christ before the world, because it is the only way to obtain the fullness of the blessing that is in Jesus Christ - Matthew 10:32-33

1.these are the words of the Master himself

a)think of it, having the Lord Jesus confess our name before the Father in Heaven

b)during the Civil War, when a generals won a great victory, it was a custom for their congressman to propose a vote of thanks to him on the floor of Congress

(1)it was the highest ambition of generals to be mentioned upon the floor of Congress

(2)what comparison is there to be mentioned on the floor of any Parliament or Congress down here, to being mentioned in the court of Heaven by the Lord Jesus Himself

c)anyone who confess Christ down here, Jesus Christ will confess them before God in Heaven

2.whenever we confess Christ before men, Christ will confess us before the Father, then we will get the fullness of His blessing

a)anyone who will accept Jesus Christ with all their heart and surrender their whole life to Him, and publicly confesses Him before the world will become the recipient of His blessings

b)God will send the fullness of His Spirit into our heart, filling it with a joy that we never knew before

E.everyone should confess Christ, because it is the only way to be saved - Romans 10:9-10

1.some people do not believe in this standing up and confessing; but it does not matter what we believe; the question is, "What does God say?"

2.God says, "With the mouth confession is made unto salvation"

3.many people say if someone believes in Christ in the secrecy of their own hearts, they need never say anything about it, for God sees the heart

a)He does see our heart, and if we do not confess Christ, He sees us as having no real faith

b)these say, "Is not a man saved by faith?" Yes, but by real faith, and real faith always leads to mouth confession

4.in the very next verse of this chapter, we read: “Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” - Romans 10:11

a)if we are ashamed to confess Him, we do not believe on Him

b)a faith that does not lead to confession will never lead to Heaven

c)there will be no sneaks and cowards in Heaven - Mark 8:38

F.every person should confess Christ for common decency's sake and self-respect's sake

1.when we stop to think what Christ has done for us, how can we keep silent

a)He left Heaven, with all its glory, and came down to earth, with all its shame

b)He was scourged and crowned with thorns; He was spat upon and buffeted and nailed to the Cross for you and me

c)though He was rich, yet for our sake He became poor, so that we might become rich

d)He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities

2.knowing these things, anyone who will not confess Jesus Christ because of the fear of man, or fear of loss of standing in society, then they are a coward, an ingrate of the basest and blackest kind

a)how can any intelligent person bear in mind what Jesus has done for them, and not confess Him, and still retain their self-respect

b)Jesus Christ poured out His life unto death on the Cross of Calvary, and who will be so mean and contemptible and cowardly that they will not stand up and confess Him

3.do you want to be a rascally, ungrateful scoundrel, that is ashamed of the glorious Christ who died for you

4.we owe everything to Jesus Christ, let us stand up and confess Him, and pin all our honors on Jesus Christ