by Kevin Rutherford


The city of Corinth was a vile and immoral place in Paul’s day.  The Corinthians engaged in all manner of idolatry and its associated wickedness. Fornication of every kind, crime, and alcohol abuse ran rampant in the city. Despite the moral decay of the Corinthians community Paul deemed it wise to preach the Gospel there (Acts 18:1).  While in Corinth Paul met with some success and was able to establish a congregation of the Lord’s church.  The Bible says, “And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed, and were baptized (Acts 18:8).”  God knew the city of Corinth contained those who were ready to hear the truth and change their lives.  He encouraged Paul to remain in Corinth for a while so that others could hear the gospel (Acts 18:9, 10).  Among the words God said to Paul in a vision concerning the work in Corinth are these: “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent (Acts 18:9).”

Perhaps these words need to be applied to Christians today.  We are living in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.  In this region there are over 2.5 million souls who need the gospel of Christ.  Were God to speak to us in visions today (and He does not) perhaps He would say to us, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent.  We have a responsibility to teach the lost (Mark 16:15).  We dare not sit back and keep silent, while the devil preaches his powerful message of sin, rebellion, and debauchery.  Our city contains the same sins of the city of Corinth.  False religion, crime, substance abuse, and fornication are all around us.  We can give up in despair and do nothing.  We can shrink away in fear and do nothing, or we can speak and not keep silent.

Do not be afraid to influence those whom you know by what you do.  We are to live our lives in such a way that we are like a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14-16).  A light stands out in darkness.  Christians stand out among those blinded by the darkness of sin.  By doing what is right and pleasing to God we can influence our society and perhaps even save some souls.

We should not be afraid to speak the truth to those whom we know.  When moral or religious issues come up in conversation always be ready to tell people what the Bible says (1 Peter 3:15).  Invite people to church, and bring up the topic of their souls salvation.  Invite them to take the Bible lessons through the mail or to sit down for a Bible study.  Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent (Acts 18:9).”