31 Jul 2010

What is the gospel?

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world…

By nature, God is the giver of life and everything good. God created and designed the world to operate perfectly with Him at the center. God created us to know him and for us to enjoy the world he made. This is what our world was supposed to look like.

But our experience tells us that the world isn’t the way it is supposed to be. Just watch the news for a day and you’ll get depressed.  Watch Jersey Shore and you’ll get even more depressed. But you don’t need to watch TV to know that our world is messed up. Not only is the world around us messed up, but our inner world is also messed up as well. Inasmuch as we want to contain that mess so that no one can see, it doesn’t take much for the mess the spill out. My friend calls us overstuffed Twinkies. All it takes is a little pressure for your guts to ooze out and create a mess.

At the root of it all, our mess is a result of rejecting and rebelling against God’s intentions. God’s intention is for us to live under his good rule and care, but we would rather rule our own lives and care for only ourselves. Consequently, everything and everyone (including God) revolves around us, rather us revolving around God. The world is messed up because it’s full of people who think they know what they are doing.

But the amazing thing is that God doesn’t just love the world when it’s going well, but even when it’s messed up. God doesn’t just love the world in a sentimental kind of way, but God loves the world in a sacrificial kind of way. 

He gave his one and only Son…

God didn’t just love from a distance, but he wrote himself into our story by entering our mess that we created. God sent Jesus to fix the mess we created and couldn’t fix on our own. But how does he do this? The Bible says that when Jesus came, he came to show us what the kingdom of God is like and who the real King is. In other words, Jesus gives us glimpses of what the world would look like if He were in charge. Jesus showed the world that his reign would be one of love and justice. It’s a world that we all want and long for.

But if God’s kingdom requires justice, what is to become of those who have rejected and rebelled against the King? The cost for our rebellion is death, both spiritual and physical. We can’t demand justice for the world and not apply it to ourselves. A renewed world must starts with people willing to be renewed.

God shows his love and justice through the cross where Jesus dies the death we deserved to die. Along with absorbing the cost of our disobedience, the cross of Christ also cleanses us from our mess. Additionally, the estranged relationship between you and God has been reconciled and renewed through Christ.  It’s the cross of Christ that gives us hope for our complete restoration. This is what Jesus came to do for you. What will your response be?

…that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God has taken the initiative to love you and to remove any obstacles that get in the way. God has opened the door for this to happen but a choice must be made. You can to continue to reject God and continue to attempt to live life without God. Or you can stop rejecting God and accept Jesus as your Savior and King. Whoever you are, no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, the invitation is open for you to believe in Jesus and trust in what He did for you. The amazing promise is that those who do believe in Jesus will not perish, but have life eternal. Trust in Him today. Surrender your life to Christ. It’s the beginning of something new and wonderful.

Any questions?

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