Christianity is well and good, but the core of it centers on the Gospel–the good news of Christ. What is the Gospel? What does it mean to you and the world?
He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
Jesus told his disciples it’s the turning away from the old life and turning towards him for forgiveness. That’s what repentance is, turning away from one direction to go another, saying no to one choice and yes to the other.
Why is the Gospel good news?
Because it’s available to everyone. Think of someone who doesn’t deserve another chance. Got them in mind?
The good news is for them as much as it is for you. It is for the worst of the worst and the best of the best, transforming lives.
The Gospel affects the world at a grass-roots level, by transforming people from inside-out, causing an impact to the world around them. It breaks down social barriers, causing people to care for others.
How, you may ask, I don’t see it?
Because prejudice cannot exist in light of the pure Gospel. Jesus commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves, treating them as we want to be treated.
Like the young lawyer who met Jesus, you may wonder who is your neighbor. To answer, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan which illustrates even those you despise most. Don’t look at the immature and disobedient Christian as the standard, look at Christ who we follow.
The transformation and outworking come from him empowering us through the Holy Spirit, not our strength. It’s easy to tell when we fall back on our own strength. Our love of others fades.
Shooting the Messenger
Despite this news, it’s rejected. You may be rejecting it. Is it because it requires something of you, and it is touching a sore spot? This is what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
It’s not following a list of rules and hoping you’ll make it. It’s surrendering and trusting Jesus because he did it for you. Why is the yoke light? Because he’s carrying it, and you’re just attached to it.
The Gospel just doesn’t make sense…
To a point that is true. It’s completely counter-cultural. Rather than rebel against God, Christians rebel against the wrong ideas of culture.
Only the strong survive!
God became a man, laying aside that strength, allowing himself to be killed, and was buried. Then he rose from the dead.
Can you pull that miracle off?
I think I’m siding with the guy that can’t be killed.
It’s about who you know!
The King of everything sustains everybody and everything. You’re breathing because he allows it. Yet, he came first as a servant, rather than a conqueror.
Consider this, if no one will do anything for you, who has the real influence? Yet, if they help you, how likely are they going to be able to influence you?
Money gets you both power and influence!
It gets you trinkets that you can’t take with you. Jesus offers the kingdom free of charge to you, yet at a brutal cost to himself. It’s invaluable. The Gospel is good news because it’s available to rich and poor, evil and virtuous.
The Pope himself can’t get in by his own merit.
No one is powerful enough to force themselves in.
The most persuasive person in the world cannot talk themselves in.
All the money in the world won’t buy you a ticket.
You simply cannot do it yourself.
The good news is that it’s been done, all you have to do is accept it by trusting in Jesus who did it, and is offering it to you.
Jesus desires everyone to be saved.
That means you.
Yes. You. How do I know? Because you’re reading this, and he’s using this to reach you.
Now I know you see a lot of words every day. Right now, if something is resonating with you, something that hadn’t been there before, that’s God the Holy Spirit adding power to these words. I’m not that persuasive.
God rewards those that seek Him. If you’re not seeking Him, rest assured, He’s pursuing you. That church sign, the cross you see, a Bible verse online, reading anything of mine; He’s making Himself known.
The good news is that He’s after you, no matter where you are at in life, He wants you as you are. No need to clean yourself up first, He’ll handle that in time.
Tomorrow may never come for either of us. So what will you do about the relentless grace of God that’s after you?