The Gospel is commonly presented in first convincing an individual that they are guilty of wrongdoing against a Holy God, and goes on to share the solution to that, which is Jesus; his divinity, death, and resurrection. The listener is then encouraged to repent of their wrongdoing, and to affirm a belief in God, including Jesus as Savior. After such, a prayer may be had, and if the presenter of this Gospel is a local person in the community, they may invite them to their Church.
But I feel as though key information in that Good news is missing. And perhaps it is missing not just in the presentation of the Gospel to new believers, but also the presentation of the Gospel to established believers.
It is a common thought that “this world is not our home”, “this is not where we belong”, etc.. But is this true? For if it were to be true, it would imply that we are simply wasting our time here…we have no true purpose other than to attempt to tell others about this great place where we truly belong. If this was the train of thought, it would drastically impact the way that we care about our world, its people, and how there is no true hope in this world.
However, I believe that we are here for a purpose, and that we are right where we are meant to be. The Gospel is transformative in its full application – in a spiritual sense, as well as a physical sense. For if we understood the Gospel as Christ offering salvation to an unworthy people, and then calling us to follow after him and his teachings, then our very families, churches, communities, towns, and even some nations could be transformed by the work of the hands and feet of Jesus; not in a political sense, but in the way people care for one another. Racism, prejudice, poverty, and violence could all lessen or cease because the followers of Jesus would refuse to tolerate them, and they would DO something to address the needs around them. This love that would emanate from these followers of Jesus would not be able to be unseen, and many would flock to this kind of collected and united mission, and thereby being exposed to the truth; that Jesus Saves and Transforms us into His likeness.
The question is, are we, on an individual level, willing to fight our natural human inclinations of selfishness in order to follow after a King who calls us to deny ourselves, and live for Him – even to the point of death. Are we, as individuals, willing to love when we desire to hate, to give when we only want to receive, to speak when we wish to be silent, to be silent when we shouldn’t speak? Are our churches willing to evangelize, not just in word, but in action? To feed the poor, clothe the naked, and care for our local communities? For if we are willing to send our missionaries to other nations (a much needed thing), why is that same passion for the lost and broken seemingly lacking when it comes to our immediate local communities?
To follow Jesus means to fight against our own desires that go against His. Are we willing to let the Gospel transform us?