Why does God call on Christians to share the gospel message to the world? To answer this question, we must stand on the edge of tomorrow to gain an eternal perspective.
Is it God’s intent to provide a self-improvement program for people to better themselves in this life? Is God trying to create a new heaven and a new earth through the efforts of His people? Is peace and harmony on earth truly possible?
The message God expects His children to deliver will not win a Nobel Peace prize, nor will it win celebrity approval or make the nightly news. Christians are not called upon to conquer evil and the sins of the world, but to proclaim God’s victory over sin through Jesus Christ.
That is the gospel message. And it’s not very nice, nor comfortable. The message is divisive, intolerant, and will not receive warm responses from appreciative crowds. In order to appreciate the gospel message, a person must hear a message that may sound to them like,
“You are a failure and deserving of a horrible punishment.”
No wonder people react negatively. Nobody wants to be a considered a failure. But when people are trying so hard to be good, to promote peace, to live in harmony with one another – to feel like they have earned some type of eternal rewards based on their efforts – then, the gospel message by itself can easily become sterilized. Consider what Santa Claus has done to Christmas or cute bunny rabbits to Easter.
There are consequences attached to the gospel message. John 3:16 says to believe, so that you will not perish. Stated another way – Don’t believe and you will perish. There is a sense of urgency in the gospel message. Eternity is at stake. An eternal danger so grim, that Jesus Christ suffered the consequences of sin our place by dying on the cross.
If God so loved the world, then He desires all people to be saved from the world and its depth of sin rather than save the world itself.
People question how a loving God can send any soul to eternal damnation. How can a loving God send people to hell? We need to remember that the consequences of sin causes separation from God. There is no other choice but to allow a person to be apart from God. That place is referred to as hell. For God so loves the world, He can never send a person to hell, but simply allow a person to decide to be there.
Sometimes the depths of sin causes people to experience hell on earth. Difficult life circumstances will occur outside of a person’s control. God receives the blame. Poor responses leads to a cycle of bad decisions. Life becomes a disaster leaving a trail of tears, broken relationships, and a trail marked by increasing bitterness. People choose their own hell and make others suffer with them. I have observed them gnash their teeth at the world, sincerely believing that they are smarter than everyone else and everybody is an idiot.
I have seen the sad, hollow eyes of a retired man who pursued earthly treasures and an identity apart from Christ — only to find his life to be empty and alone. Nobody remembers him.
Christ ends the revolving cycle of misery caused by sin and people buying into the world’s message that peace can be found outside of God. By trusting in His promises, we are transformed into a new creation and transfused with His presence. We receive a new identity – a new status – and see the world for what it truly is…. a temporary shelter.
We sit on the edge of tomorrow. The Lord reminds us to focus on today, because we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. We live for this day in history with eternity in mind.
When I ponder the call God gives all Christians to share the gospel with others, I understand the dilemma our world faces and the horrible consequences of sin. We live in a broken world. I live in a sinful body. Our solution rests only in Christ for in Him, we have the remedy over sin. It is a message that is contrary to my nature – and to the world – but made certain by faith.
It is a message worth sharing.