I read whole books of the Bible looking for anything about how they shared. I was especially interested in where they shared, whether they were at work, and whether equivalent to being on the clock. I left off most passages on generalities, though, since they might just apply when it's permissible to share. I kept a few that got me thinking. Here's some of the verses I read:
On submission to authority: Romans 13 and 1 Pet. 2:13-17Acts 4:13-22 (esp v17-20). They told them not to speak of Jesus’ name. ESV-SB says Peter thought it was impossible to obey an order that contradicts God’s. Cites Acts 5:29 where Peter says we must obey God.
Acts 4:29. “Look upon their
threats and grant that your servants continue to speak your word with all
boldness.” They need boldness because they're ordered not to speak
the name of Jesus Christ.
Acts 5:21. Entered the temple
and began to teach.
Acts 5:25-42 (esp v28-29). They were charged, had told all kinds of people about Jesus, would share Jesus anyway, had to obey God over men, we’re beaten, rejoiced over it, and kept sharing Christ.
Acts 8:25. They were preaching the Gospel to many villages of the Samaritan’s. No details.
Acts 9:3. ESV says a “light
from heaven flashed around him.” That happened to me when I experienced
the prophecy. Paul just wouldn't shut up about Jesus. He testified about
the miracle he saw as part of his justification. I've always felt that
God giving me such an experience means I'll be held to a similar
standard. I have no excuse to fear men.
Acts 9:14. Saul had authority
from the chief priests to bind all who call on Jesus' name. Was it
banned in all places? If so, they were sharing anyway.
Acts 9:20. Saul proclaimed
Jesus in the synagogues. Given the above, was that even allowed?
Acts 9:23-25. The Jews plot to kill Saul, he finds out, and he sneaks out in a basket.
Acts 9:29. Saul spoke and disputed with the Hellenists who were seeking to kill him. Brothers got him out of there.
Acts 11:20. Some preached to
the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus.
Acts 13:2-3. Barnabas and Saul
were set aside for the work God called them to do. What they do might
not apply to everyone.
Acts 13:5. They proclaimed the Word in the synagogues of the Jews. Just synagogues?
Acts 13:6. They had gone through the whole island.
Acts 13:14-15. In the synagogue. Invited to speak. Why? How?
Acts 13:44. The whole city gathered to hear the Word. We see them coming to one place wanting to hear it.
Acts 14:1. Jewish synagogue in Iconium.
Acts 14:6-7. Cities and
surrounding country. They preached the Gospel but where.
Acts 14:21. Preached to that city (Derbe) with many converts. Where? How?
Acts 16:12-15. They talk to women praying outside the city.
Acts 16:16-24. Paul cast a
demon out of the slave girl who practiced divination. This cost her
owners money. They went after Paul and Silas for that. ESV-SB notes
profit motive often works against the Gospel with these examples: Simon
in Acts 8:18-24, Elymas in Acts 13:8-12, and Demetrius on Acts 19:24.
Might be relevant to sharing at work.
Acts 16:25. Paul and Silas were singing hymns to God in the prison with others listening to them.
Acts 16:37. Paul forces them
to publicly acknowledge their wrongful imprisonment. ESV-SB says Paul
was protecting the reputation of the Gospel by making sure he didn’t
look like a lawbreaker and troublemaker. That goal could be relevant to
sharing on the clock.
Acts 17:1-2. Paul went into the synagogue to, “as was his custom.” We see he normally does this.
Acts 17:10. They went into the Jewish synagogue.
Acts 17:15. They keep leaving when the Jews stir up trouble instead of resisting them.
Acts 17:16-17. Paul saw in
Athens tons of idols. He reasoned with them in the synagogue *and in the
marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.* His business
would take him to the marketplace. Was this evangelism during work or
outside of it? Did people socialize while doing business with each
other? That could be relevant.
Acts 18:3. Paul was a tent
maker by trade. Might have made it easier for him to share the Gospel.
Acts 18:4. Paul reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. (Sabbath is a no work day.)
Acts 18:26. Apollos spoke boldly in the synagogues.
Acts 19:9. Paul reasoned daily in the hall of Tyrannus. He did that for two years until all of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
Acts 20:20. Paul taught in public and from house to house. Public probably means synagogues.
Acts 26:26. The king knows
about these things and so Paul speaks boldly. None of these things escaped
his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. Implies they've
been quite bold in their preaching.
Luke 2:52. Jesus was ordered by parents to leave the synagogue. He was submissive to them.
Luke 3:2-3. John the Baptist went all around the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance.
Luke 3:7-9. John the Baptist warns the crowds about judgment, hell, and bearing good fruit.
Luke 3:12-14. People were coming to him. At least some of them.
Luke 4:15. Jesus taught in their synagogues.
Luke 4:16. “And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and he stood up to read.”
Luke 4:31. Jesus was teaching on the Sabbath in Galilee.
Luke 4:37. Jesus’ teaching, miracle, and authority caused reports of him to go out to all surrounding regions. They were evangelizing.
Luke 4:40. People came to Him because of His reputation.
Luke 4:44. Jesus was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Luke 5:1. Jesus was standing by the Lake of Genneserat teaching. The crowd was pressing in on him.
Luke 5:12. Leper came to Jesus while He was in one of the cities.
Luke 13:10. Jesus was teaching in the synagogues.
Luke 13:22. Jesus went toward Jerusalem. He taught in towns and villages as He did.
Luke 19:47. He was teaching daily in the temple.
Luke 20:1. Jesus was teaching people in the temple.
Luke 21:37. Every day he was teaching in the temple. He lodged at night but they came every morning.
Matt. 3:5. Everyone was going out to John the Baptist from multiple areas.
Matt. 4:23. Jesus went teaching in their synagogues.
Matt. 9:35. Jesus was teaching in their synagogues.
Matt. 10:23. If persecuted
in one town, flee to the next. You will not have gone through all the
towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Matt. 10:26-28. Don’t fear them. Proclaim Jesus’ message on the housetops.
Matt. 10:34-37. We’re expected to disobey parental authority to follow Jesus.
Matt. 10:40. Whoever receives a disciple receives me.
Matt. 11:1. Jesus taught the disciples. Then he went to teach and preach in their cities.
Matt. 12:9. Jesus entered their synagogue.
Matt. 13:54. Jesus taught in the synagogue of their hometown.
Matt. 14:4. John the Baptist
kept telling the king that he couldn’t have Herodias. He puts God's Law
to expose evil and call for repentance ahead of the king's authority.
Matt. 15:29-30. Great crowds brought Jesus sick people. He healed all of them. People are coming to Jesus due to His reputation.
Matt. 17:24-27. Jesus paid
the tax to not give offense at them. This
is worth more study.
Matt. 20:13. We have to honor
our work agreements. What we do within them is what we're exploring,
Matt. 21:23. Teaching in the
Matt. 22:21. Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. One commentator applied this passage to prove sharing on the clock is stealing time. They said every second is the employer's time. One, potential counter: a few moments with every person are God’s, we share then, and everything else is the employer's.
1 Thes. 2:9. We worked day and night to not be a burden to you. While preaching the Gospel. That might have not been preaching while working, though. In v10, righteous and blameless conduct toward believers.
1 Thes. 2:14-16. Imitate the
churches in Judea that suffered a lot at the hands of their countrymen
and the Jews who drove us out. And by hindering us from speaking to the
Gentiles. That implies they were sharing, attacked for it, and kept
doing it until driven out.
1 Thes. 3:3-4. Jesus and Paul keep warning of afflictions that happen if obeying Christ. How popular we are at work in a non-Christian company might be a sign of our obedience.
1 Thes. 4:11-12. Live quietly,
mind your own affairs, work with your hands, so that you walk properly
before outsiders, and be dependent on no one. This fits pretty well with
how several in the NT were working for themselves.
1 Tim. 2:2. Intercessions for
those in power that we may live a peaceful and quiet life, godly and
dignified in every way. We need to pray for those in authority,
including our employers.
James 3:17. But the wisdom
from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full
of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. On our motivations and
how we respond to employers' threats.
James 5:6. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He doesn’t resist you. If the employer is in the wrong, they'll be held accountable for attacking the righteous. They will be judged for it anyway as bad stewardship. There might be multiple sins in a Gospel ban.
(Back to "Should We Share at Work?")