If you are like me, it is difficult to know who needs to hear about Jesus, because so many around talk about him in some fashion or attend a “church” of some kind. Others, who seem to be great people, linger in our minds as we ask the question, “Who needs to hear about Jesus and the salvation He offers?” Well, that latter is for another lesson, my focus today in on those who are churched, you know, believers. Did you know that people can believe (have faith in) Christ and who He is, and still not be right with God? We know the “demons believed and trembled” (James 2:19). But people are not demons. We know that some, after hearing Jesus Himself, “believed in Him,” yet because of their concern for earthly things, “they did not confess Him” (John 12:42). My point is simple, there is more to salvation then simply believing in who Jesus is. A great story of this truth is found in Acts 18:24-28.
Now a certain Jew named Apollos,
born at Alexandria, an eloquent
man and mighty in the Scriptures,
came to Ephesus.
What an amazing description of this man of God, words I would like to have said about me. It did not stop there, for he was “fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord” (Acts 18:25). These words of acknowledgment caused me to think of Cornelius in Acts 10, who was described as “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2). In each of these settings, the people being talked about love God. So many around us, those in various religious groups, love God, something that should not be questioned.
When Aquila and Priscilla heard him,
they took him aside and explained to
him the way of God more accurately.
I believe one of the obstacles to sharing the accurate hope of Christ with others is to not get caught up in the passion that someone has in their lives. Just the other day I passed a man at an intersection holding a bible in one hand and a sign in the other which said, “Repent and believe in Jesus.” He was passionate about what he believed, like Cornelius and also Apollos. In his passion for God, Apollos was lacking some truth…he was not as accurate as he convincingly spoke, for he knew only the “baptism of John” (Acts 18:25). He, like those spoken of in the very next chapter of Acts, lacked the awareness that Christ had come and thus, was not “baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” and thus, had not yet become a citizen in the Lord’s church, through the work of the Spirit (1st Corinthians 12:13).
As the story of Apollos closes, we find that he “greatly helped those who had believed through grace” (Acts 18:27) and “vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 18:28). Clearly, he acknowledged his lack of understanding, better learning the Word of the Lord, and obeyed that gospel, much like those in Acts 19:5.
So, who needs to hear it? Everyone! Even those passionate about what they already understand to be true, for some have a love for God, but what they believe is not quite accurate. We, as members of the Lord’s church, have the task to try and reveal God’s plan to them more accurately. Do you know someone who needs to hear it?