The Gospel, the good news, the story of Christ and our salvation. It is the most incredible information every given to mankind. So why do so many people refuse to accept this news? Is it just too simple? Is it just plain unbelievable? Or maybe it’s too old to be considered relevant today.
I’ve personally heard all of these reasons as excuses as to why someone wouldn’t believe the Gospel message. In reality, I think it goes deeper than these. Let’s face it, the Gospel is offensive! It hurts to hear, hurts to read, and really hurts to believe it. Why you ask? Because the Gospel goes against everything we’re taught and think about ourselves.
To accept the Gospel one must first accept that they aren’t good enough and that they need saving. That hurts. As a Christian of 15+ years it’s too easy to simply say that I need a savior. It’s like second nature to me. But for someone who as been on their own for 15 years having to make ends meet, fix the car and water heater, make the money, pay the bills, and has stayed out of prison, the thought of needing someone to save them seems far fetched and even insulting.
It’s insulting, that’s why the Gospel is like a slap in the face. It points out that you are not good enough on your own and that you need someone else to fix it for you. I’m a computer tech, so it would be like someone telling me that I wasn’t good enough to work on their computer and that I needed someone else to fix my lack of skill for me. Big whoop right? Except that I’m the guy the other computer companies in the area call when they get in over their heads. So to me, that hurts, it’s below the belt. Especially since I wasn’t the one saying that I needed help, it’s someone else.
Then you look a little harder at the guidelines that we measured by if we’re outside of the Gospel of Christ Jesus…the Law. The Law is a two fold item, first it shows us that we need saving, second it shows us God’s character. The Law shows us God’s expectations and God’s character all at once. This is how we know that we need saving, and again, it hurts. It hurts even worse when you see the degree Jesus explains it, adultery and murder simply by thought.
The Gospel, while a giant slap in the face, is a slap pointing you in the right direction. Pointing you and I in the direction God has for us, towards Himself. A free gift of grace, of peace, of salvation. More than that, it’s God bringing you personally into his lineage, making you an heir. Meaning that everything God has is also yours. Brothers with Christ Jesus, the Word from the beginning, inheriting eternity in Heaven with the Lord of all. As painful as it is, it’s the only thing that matters; accept it.
As offensive as the Gospel can be, it’s also amazingly beautiful. God approaches us with His love. God, the one who made the universe, the angels, man, animals, the single cell, and keeps His hand on all of it keeping everything in motion – approaches us with His grace. How beautiful is that? That’s why Jesus calls Him Abba (daddy), and why we can too. Abba, not just father – as a sign of respect, but daddy – a sign of desperate love and affection for the one above you. Jesus died for you. The reality of the Gospel is amazing. It starts off sour and painful, but it ends as the most amazingly beautiful offering ever.