Soldiers feel a strong sense of obligation to carry out their duties. They are willing to lay their lives on the line in order to fulfill their calling. Christians also have a sacred task. Paul states “I am under obligation,” which means he felt constrained to carry out his duty. He felt he owed a debt (knowledge of the gospel) to all people. Every Christian has the same obligation and should feel the same way.
Romans 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(1) The obligation itself.
2 Cor. 11:24-28 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.
(2) The extent of the obligation.
(3) The reasons for the obligation.
Reason #1: All people have this one thing in common: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Reason #2: Paul also felt constrained by the sheer beauty of glory of the gospel message itself. It pointed people to the love and glory of God. In other words, the obligation we have to tell others about the gospel is not drudgery. We are giving people soul-saving, life-changing information.
Conclusion: A Lesson on Evangelism by Penn Jillette.