Keep On Speaking God’s Word with Boldness
1 “I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:20) Those words of Jesus provide a great encouragement for Jehovah’s Witnesses to continue speaking God’s word with boldness.
2 In the first century, the apostles of Jesus spoke God’s word with boldness. They had been instructed about God’s kingdom and the role of Jesus in God’s purpose. They knew they had a responsibility before God to bear witness and they did it boldly. They realized that because of the opposition to the message, they would encounter persecution. Jesus had mentioned to them that they should expect it.—John 15:20.
3 Realizing the powerful effect that the message would have upon individuals, the apostles and disciples in the first century risked their lives to get the message preached so that all could hear about Jesus. In Acts chapter four, it is noted that the apostles were very forceful in making their defense before rulers. Realizing the importance of their message, they earnestly prayed to Jehovah to give them strength to continue preaching. Ac 4 Verse 29 states: “And now, Jehovah, give attention to their threats, and grant your slaves to keep speaking your word with all boldness.” What then happened? Ac 4 Verse 31 says: “And when they had made supplication, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were one and all filled with the holy spirit and were speaking the word of God with boldness.” What faith!
4 Their speaking God’s word with boldness did not mean that they became self-reliant, presumptuous or stubborn. Instead, they were motivated by love. They had overcome their fears and had confidence because they knew they were doing God’s will. We need that same boldness today and we can ask ourselves a very important question: Is it characteristic of us?
SPEAKING BOLDLY TODAY
5 What does it mean to speak God’s word with boldness? It means to be confident, wholly assured that what we are doing is backed up by Jehovah. That being the case, there is a threefold reason why we should be bold: (1) We know what we teach is from the Bible and we know it is the truth; (2) we know that we are doing a work that Jehovah wants to have done and we have the backing of his spirit; and (3) genuine love moves us to show our devotion to Jehovah and to extend help to our fellowman in this way.
6 Because of the apathetic attitude of people today, sometimes we meet up with indifference in preaching from house to house and also informally. What should we do? We should continue to boldly preach the good news. We may be tempted to hold back when we encounter indifference, but by doing so, we would not be following the example of Jesus and the apostles to speak God’s word boldly.
7 In Noah’s day, there was indifference and ridicule. We are told to expect similar attitudes today. Noah had a reputation as “a preacher of righteousness.” (2 Pet. 2:5) We need to speak God’s word with boldness. By doing so, we demonstrate our faithfulness to God and love for neighbor.
8 During December we are presenting the New World Translation and the new book released at our “Divine Love” District Convention entitled “Happiness—How to Find It.” By preparing well we can boldly declare God’s name and kingdom to people in our territories.
9 As we get deeper into the time of the end, our determination should be to continue telling out the good news and sounding the divine warning. Jesus started and finished the work Jehovah gave him to do. (John 17:4) May we be like him, the apostles and first-century Christians and ‘keep on speaking God’s word with boldness’!—Acts 4:29.