MARCH 26, 2020 BY JOE RODRIGUEZ
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” –John3:16-18
Ever noticed how the most recited evangelistic verse is the Gospel in a nutshell? It begins with asserting God’s love, not His wrath. It’s not about judgment but salvation. Why? because the world is already lost/condemned. That is why Jesus came. People don’t need to be told that they are wicked and damned. They need to know that they are loved and that there IS HOPE and salvation in Christ! But here is the thing, they need to not only hear it but most importantly, SEE it in us!
Remember, unless the Holy Spirit brings conviction to the heart, responding to the Gospel out of fear or emotion is of no avail. So, be careful that your message is not just about repentance and hellfire nor just about love and positive thinking, for neither can save. The Gospel should include the truth about eternal separation from God, yes, but it must FIRST emphasize grace, eternal life, and the assurance that ONLY Christ can provide peace in the midst of chaos.
People are not deaf to the Gospel as many believe, what they are is confused because they HEAR it but seldom WITNESS it. They have trouble identifying real love, peace, hope, and trust because the church is either busy judging them, hiding within the walls of a building, bickering among each other, or simply living religiously and apathetically.
They have enough bad news, biased news, fake news, and hypocritical news. What they need is real GOOD NEWS, the message of the Gospel not only preached to them but lived out. They need assurance, not chastisement. Can you think of ways in which the world can SEE the Gospel, especially in times like these? I’d like to read your answers in the comment section below.
Let’s become effective agents of the Good News of Jesus Christ by creating an environment where faith can be planted, watered and allowed to grow. Faith cannot be forcefully germinated for such an action will only yield dead crops. And the church is already full of those!