"And we declare unto you glad tidings" (Acts 13:32).
Dear Friend, in this day of religious change, God has an unchanging message for you. This is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prior to Christ's ascension to Heaven, he commanded his church to "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). How sad that many people never concern themselves with the importance of this message.
The Apostle Paul tells us that this gospel is "how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3-4). Many people in America have heard this wonderful story, but few have grasped the significance of it. Few really comprehend why Christ insisted that every person must hear the gospel. The trials of missionaries, or the death of martyrs for the sake of spreading the gospel, makes little sense to many churchgoers. The reason many see little world-wide importance in the gospel is because they have not seen personal importance in it for their life. Should this be your case, read on with a prayer that God will reveal to you the eternal consequences of this gospel.
The gospel is called the "word of reconciliation" in scripture (II Corinthians 5:19). This implies that although man and God are separated by sin, the gospel contains the truth of how they may be brought back into union. Let us first study this separation by sin, and then see how the death of Christ reconciles God and man.
The Bible states without apology that "All have sinned" (Romans 3:23). Sin is disobedience to the law of God. When Adam sinned in the beginning, a sinful nature resulted which is inherited by all. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so Ephesians 2:8-9 assures us that "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." This faith is not just head knowledge, but God giving us grace to trust our soul, and entire hope of Heaven to Jesus Christ!
This glorious salvation makes a real change in the believer. He becomes a "new creature" in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). Although our sinful flesh remains unchanged a new ruling principle is placed within as our bodies are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. The true sheep (disciples) of Christ, hear and obey the shepherd's voice.
At the return of Christ every Christian receives a sinless, and immortal body. This is the completion of God's work in making us into Christ's likeness (I John 3:2). The saved will then be with God forever in a place where sin, sorrow, and death can molest no longer.
Now that you have heard this marvelous gospel, let me ask you a question. What will your response to it be my friend? What will you do with Jesus? As the Apostle preached in Athens some responded by mocking (Acts 17:32). This is to reject the only way of salvation. Others made no commitment but said "We will hear thee again of this matter" (Acts 17:32). This indifferent attitude is equally dangerous for "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation" (Hebrews 2:3). Thank God, however, that some believed on Christ as Paul preached (Acts 17:34). I pray dear sinner that you will be found among these who believed and were saved. God said "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9). Trust Christ today! Confess him as your Lord and Saviour! I beg you, MEET ME IN HEAVEN!
[Ron Crisp is the retired pastor of First Baptist Church, Independence, KY.]
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