Knowing the Gospel

At midnight on January 4, 2017 my wife woke me up from a deep sleep with the one word you never want to wake up to: “FIRE!” Thankfully, the fire was next door at an empty house, but we were not out of danger. As my eyes opened, my bedroom was completely visible. Did I mention it was midnight!?! The house next door was completely engulfed in flames. The heat from the fire could be felt through our window, causing the blinds to eventually melt. The sound of a police officer banging on our front door could be heard as we woke our children. It was a chaotic scene! I could have turned back over and gone back to sleep at Melanie’s warning, but the news of the fire compelled my wife and I to grab our children and run to safety.
As I look back on that night, I am thankful that I was awoken to the news of the fire by my wife and the policeman. Did I enjoy being told to wake up? No. Did I enjoy discovering that I was in danger? No. Did I enjoy leaving everything in the middle of the night to run to safety? No. Did I enjoy being safe? ABSOLUTELY! Not once have I ever regretted my decision to flee our home that night, for I found safety for myself and my family.
As a church, we have been given the responsibility of proclaiming the Gospel so that people may find safety in the salvation of Jesus Christ. The Gospel, or “The Good News” is their only hope of escaping the fires of judgment. Therefore, Knowing the Gospel is the next element in our Healthy Church Series.
What is the Gospel? It is not the news that we are okay. It is not the news that God is love or that Jesus wants to be your friend. It’s not the news that God has a wonderful plan and purpose for our lives. Though these things may be true, they are not the gospel and, therefore, they cannot save us.
Instead, the Gospel is the news that God is the Sovereign Creator of the universe. When He created everything it was perfect. That perfection was marred when Adam and Eve, who were made to love and worship God, disobeyed Him and, in an act of rebellion, broke God’s command. Their actions left them and all of humanity after them broken and sinful. Everyone is guilty before a Holy God and is under judgment because of this, but God, in an act of great love, promised a Redeemer. God would send Jesus, His own Son, to rescue humanity by His life, death, and resurrection. Through faith in Jesus Christ alone, anyone who puts his trust in Christ can have their sins forgiven and be saved from the wrath of God. God promised that those who look to Jesus in repentance and faith will spend eternity with Him where He will make all things new. Heaven and earth will be free from sin!
As you can see, the Gospel is the news that our house is on fire and that our only hope is to run to Jesus for safety. The news that “God has a plan,” or that “Jesus wants to be your friend”, or that “You’re ok just the way you are” isn’t enough. None of this will help our loved ones find safety in Christ! It is our job as the church to know and share the Gospel, for that is what healthy churches do.
By His Grace,
Pastor Brian