Things Are True
by Pastor Dan Coburn
I have a son who is running pretty hard with the world. We haven’t heard from him for almost two years because there is a great gulf between what I tell him in the form of loving criticism, and what he hears in the form of condemnation.
It is the same with the message of the Gospel in that for those whose life it has transformed, it is the “Good News”; while to the rest of the world, it is “foolishness” – 1st Cor. 1:18. There are basically three camps. The first just thinks Christians are weak minded and harmless, and that we can all get along. (They got one out of three). The second is bitterly against Christianity. They will tell you it is because we are narrow minded and judgmental, but the real problem is this. If there is a God, and there is a heaven and hell, and hell is a consequence of sin, then it calls for a change in their lives, and they don’t like it.
The third have received the preaching of the cross, and have found peace. Even deliverance. Not from hard times, but through hard times.
Lets turn the spiritual switch. I told my son to read 1st Cor. 6:9-11. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” He got this far, and heard nothing but condemnation. After all, everyone of us falls into this litany of charges somewhere. It seemed hopeless to him. What’s the use? And it occurs to me, no matter how loving our intentions, and no matter how much diplomacy we employ, the preaching of the gospel still sounds like condemnation to most of the recipients. He just didn’t make it to verse 11 which says “and such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God”.
You see, every time throughout the bible that God brought judgement, He always left a way out for His people. This particular text is the apostle Paul not bringing railing accusations against the world, but addressing the Church. Christians. And his purpose is not to cause them to feel bad about themselves, but rather to praise Jesus for what He has done on their behalf.
When you read the gospel, or when somebody tries to share Christ with you, do your neck veins pop out and your teeth clench? Or, are you overwhelmed with gratitude over what Christ has accomplished through His redemptive work on the cross? This will give you a pretty good idea of where you stand with Him.
“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved”. (John 3:17)