by Paul List:
Here’s a question I hear from time to time…
Is the Gospel message relevant in today’s world?
This spring, we have seen multiple natural disasters in our home state alone. Can the Gospel mean anything in desperate times like these, where houses and farms are washed and ripped away? Tornadoes, floods and storms have a way of humbling the bravest and proudest of souls. These are times when people need help, encouragement, and love. But more importantly; they need to hear the Gospel.
Our modern American lifestyle is so filled with distraction – the white noise of radio, social media, television, and cell phones – that most people never slow down enough to listen to God’s message of redemption. God can and does use the worst times in people’s lives to draw them near to Himself. Some people will only slow down enough to hear the Gospel if something dramatic happens in their lives. God’s way of doing that is by using His obedient children, who make disciples of others.
Some would argue that evangelism in North America is nearly impossible. They say that America is lost! We have missionaries from Africa moving to America to spread the Gospel! Why is this happening? It is because the churches in America have dropped the ball in fulfilling the Great Commission. If you asked the average church member (of any denomination) to explain the Gospel, you are likely to get a vague answer, if any. If you ask the average youth in a church to explain the Gospel, you are likely to get an even more vague response, or more blank stares.
Why is the church, the Bride of Christ, so unfamiliar with the very reason for her existence? The church in America has “assumed the Gospel”. This means that pastors, teachers, deacons, and parents took it for granted in their sermons, lessons, prayers, visitations and daily routines that the people around and under their influence were already saved, and knew why they were saved. It is under this pretense that many people coming to church to hear God’s word and hope of reconciliation with the Creator, instead, hear good talks, shake hands and go home and never come back to church. To them, church was just another fad diet or self-help program that failed. Moreover, the church has inoculated them against future Gospel encounters.
If a person has Jesus, their home and property could be ripped away by an F-5 tornado, and they would still have the unspeakable joy of eternal life. If a person is born again and a flood destroys their home, they will always have the heavenly rooms that Jesus prepared for them in His Father’s house. If a person is walking by the Holy Spirit, and a storm takes their life, they will be raised again in eternal glory by Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
God created the world and everything in it. Sin came into the world through man and corrupted God’s creation. God made a way to reconcile creation back to Himself by coming down as a man and dying for our sins. If we repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can be made right in God’s eyes and He will make in us a new spirit. Then we can live forever with God in Heaven.
This is why we exist as a church. This is our Great Commission. Do not assume everyone already knows this, be the one who brings this truth and hope the people around you today.