I have teased people not to waste valuable space on my tombstone with the day of my birth and the day of my earthly death. Instead, simply engrave, “Be clear! Be clear! Be clear!”
Several factors have contributed to my commitment to clarity. First, I’m not only an evangelist but also an expositor. The more I study the Bible, the more I see how concerned God is about His message for unbelievers. As the New Testament emphasizes, we must not tamper with that message: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). Since God is concerned about gospel clarity, then I need to be as well.
Second, my late mentor Dr. Haddon Robinson increased my burden. He once made the comment, “The message beyond the gospel is to be satisfied with what satisfies God.” His teaching and his emphasis on trusting Christ alone for our salvation helped me understand the importance of believers making the gospel message clear.
Lastly, traveling and interacting with people led me to my passion for clarity. My interactions with pastors showed how confusing many people, even evangelists, made the gospel. Some leaders shared testimonies about the damaging effects they had seen as a result of an unclear gospel message.
My desire for clarity did not increase overnight, but the burden did grow week after week. As I learned to speak clearly, God used my giftedness, study, and interaction with others to train more people to present the gospel clearly.
I’m grateful for His hand working in my life. We dare not speak confusingly where God speaks so clearly. So, when you share the gospel, “Be clear! Be clear! Be clear!”