“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:13,14,17).
The term ‘Marketplace Apostle’ is a popular one. When people mention it, I want to be sure I fully understand what they mean. If they mean that one can preach the gospel to others as they go about their business or career,that is a noble cause. If however, it means that when you succeed in business by ethical standards, you shine a light on the gospel of Christ so much so that your words are not needed, then that is not consistent with God’s word.
No one can know that Jesus Christ died for their sins by watching you succeed in business with good ethics. For one, it is not only Christian businessmen who are ethically sound or morally upright. Secondly, people need information to be saved. They cannot hear the word without a preacher and if they don’t hear, they cannot believe and be saved. By all means, excel in your business and career. You can even teach people excellence if you want. But you must teach Christ better than you teach those things. Teaching success is not teaching Christ.
Of course, Christianity affects your behavior in a noticeable way. But Jesus didn’t think that obvious behavioural change was enough to save people. That’s why he asked you to PREACH the gospel. He knew some people would want to twist it so he said to ‘TEACH them all I have commanded you.” The Apostles put their lives in jeopardy just so that they could teach. They might as well have gone about their business with their mouths shut, hoping that people would notice and ask them about Christ.
I am not gainsaying the fact that you must be a good example, but it doesn’t have to be an ‘either or’ situation. You must be an example, but more importantly, you must PREACH the gospel. You must tell people about Jesus. It is the gospel of Jesus that is the power of God unto salvation. It has to be taught, by you, yes you as long as you are a believer. We can’t effectively evangelise the world by simply doing our thing and expecting them to watch us and ask us questions. If the early Christians had done that, we would probably never had heard the gospel.