For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.
Evangelist George Whitefield was asked to preach at the fairgrounds in Marylebone Fields in London, where a Quaker gentleman had built a platform and pulpit for the occasion. Whitefield arrived after dark to find a vast crowd, but some of them had come to see the bare-fisted boxing matches taking place nearby. When George started preaching, the crowds flocked to him, and rough, bare-chested boxers marched in his direction to break up the meeting. To make matters worse, the Quaker’s pulpit tottered every time George moved or even gestured. Just when Whitefield was about to lose his nerve, his wife, Elizabeth, tugged on his clothing and called up to him, “George, play the man for God!” As a riot ensued, Whitefield kept preaching, his text from Romans 1:16.1
From the days of the Acts of the Apostles, opponents have tried to silence our witness. But when we are struck down for sharing the Gospel, we must get back up and speak with more boldness, just as the apostles did. We must be men and women for God.
I have come to you in the name of the Lord God of Hosts and I must and I will be heard.
1John Pollock, George Whitefield and The Great Awakening (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1972), 198-199, 248.
2 Kings 17–18