– by Jeff Durbin

Laying Everything Down For The Sake Of The Gospel

In Romans 1, we read the story of Paul the apostle giving a message to the church in Rome. After the resurrection, Paul tells the church that their faith is being proclaimed to the whole world; that Jesus, their Messiah, was raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Why is the Church not proclaiming the Gospel to the whole world today?
Paul and the early disciples set the foundation for the whole world to know the Good News of God. Why isn’t the Church doing this today? We aren’t even changing our suburbs and communities. Why can’t 10 committed Christian families, filled with the power and energy of Holy Spirit, change one school?

Jesus didn’t ask, He told
The Gospel is not a suggestion to the world, it’s not good advice, it’s not Jesus asking you to give Him a chance. “Ask of me – I will give you the nations . . . all authority has been given to me therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Jesus didn’t come into the world for social justice, although that is a result of the Gospel, Jesus came to teach us to repent because the Kingdom of God is near. He did not come into the world to ask you to ‘Try Christianity’. 

Don’t ‘give Jesus a chance’
When you tell people to ‘give Jesus a chance’, you make Him irrelevant. Jesus came to tell us to die to self, to reconcile man to God. You can only be reconciled through repentance. Jesus isn’t just something you add to your story. The Gospel is still good news. If we are losing His message at this time in history – it’s our fault.

Read Acts again, does your model of evangelism resemble Acts?
What is the charge of Acts in Jerusalem? “Your faith is firing up this city with your message” – Can this charge be brought against you in your city today? Acts 9 says that, “Immediately Paul argued with the Jews once he got saved.” What is the result of bold proclamation of the faith and Gospel? Some people wanted to kill Paul.

Paul was effective, are you?
Christians today are too scared to get into the face of lukewarm Christians and non-believers. Suggesting that this is not the way to evangelising others – and to rather gently coax them through braais and entertainment gatherings. Well, that is not the example in the book of Acts – and look at the result. Of course there is friendship and braais, but what about the other parts – boldly proclaiming the Gospel. Acts says, “We are all sinners – there is none righteous.” Everyone needs to be saved. The Messiah came to redeem sinners – we are all in need of redemption.

The Gospel is not only for those who are sick in hospital
The Message is the call – a call to repent from sin and then to trust in the Messiah. We need to embrace Jesus. It’s not a Gospel to ‘try out’ – no, it’s a call to repent and believe. Rom 1:16 tells us that the Gospel is the power to salvation. It’s a call to tell them the message of Jesus.

This is what Jesus said to the massive crowds in Luke 14:25-27
“Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate their father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Where is that message today?
When last did you hear this message? Do we even sound like Jesus – or are we just telling them that Jesus loves them – just as they are? Because that’s not true, if He loved them just as they are – He would not have had to die. 

Prepare to die, for the Gospel
If you want to experience God’s love, you need to be united with Jesus. Be reconciled to God and die to self. When you repent, Jesus gives you His true love. You cannot experience God’s love without Jesus. You are experiencing God’s grace, but not His love. You cannot come to Jesus if you are not prepared to die – for the sake of the Gospel.

Spread God’s love
You cannot live with abortion all around you and not proclaim life in Jesus. Are you living a life of missionary sacrifice – to spread the Gospel? Hearts don’t change without the good news. Rise up Church – lift the Cross of Christ high! Be examples of Christ to those around you – share the Gospel, the full Gospel.

JEFF DURBIN is the Pastor of Apologia Church, and has worked for many years as a hospital-chaplain. Visit apologiachurch.com


Article source: JOY! Magazine (May 2019)

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