The Gospel is not a secret.

I’ve been wrestling with a unique question in my heart. Perhaps it is the ravings of a mad-man, but the question has pressed heavily upon my conscience over the previous months: How much do I really believe the Gospel? I think it’s the word “much” that presses my mind, as if faith can be numerically valued. To be sure, I don’t think you can value faith numerically. However, the sincerity of a person’s faith can be somewhat evaluated. Sometimes I receive these ridiculous pieces of mail informing me that I have hit the jackpot. I have even received some that had a plastic key taped to it. They are really convincing…Yet, I don’t really believe the giant letters about winning a new Camaro so I throw the package (and the plastic key) into the trash. Obviously, if I truly believed the information then my actions would be quite the opposite. I don’t have to say a single word, the evidence that I don’t believe is the simple fact that I trash the message instead of sharing it. What I’m getting at with my previous question is does my beliefextend beyond a mere intellectual agreement to a deep and abiding conviction that continually and radically transforms the way I live this life? The question pressed with even more force as I studied for last week’s sermon from 2 Corinthians 4…

 

“Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” –2 Corinthians 4:13-15, ESV.

 

This follows a vivid list of Paul’s “down, but not out” record. The context makes the point quite clear. Paul faced severe opposition in his effort to share the Gospel with the unreached. Paul faced ‘risk of life’ scenarios frequently in his missionary travels. Paul didn’t have it easy, but he pressed forward enduring the suffering for the sake of making much of Jesus Christ by making Him known among the nations. Why?It’s simple. Paul really believed the Gospel: “we also believe and so we also speak”(Paul actually is quoting Psalm 116 which is a Davidic Psalm expressing David’s supreme confidence in God’s ability to rescue him.) The teaching point is quite clear to me: sharing is a product of ‘really’ believing. The question is not, “Can you articulate a sound systematic theology?” (Although sound theology and doctrine is obviously important—Don’t take me the wrong way) My question is simply as follows: Do you really believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is? Do you really believe that HE accomplished what He claims to have accomplished? I just want to know…Do you truly believe the basic central teaching of the Gospel? –That you have been saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). That you don’t have to pay money to be saved. That you don’t have to perform a certain way for a certain amount of time to be saved. Do you really believe the simple theological central truth that Jesus died, for your sins, and in your place as a substitute and was raised from the dead three days later (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) so that through faith in Jesus and His work and repentance from self and sin you are rescued from God’s wrath and an eternity in hell fire and are freely and graciously and mercifully given by God an eternal life with Him in heavenDo we really believe that? If the answer is yes, then here is the second question: How in the world can we stay silent? Take note of this. If you truly believe The Gospel then you will not be able to keep it to yourself. Let me tell you something that is astounding: Most people have no trouble sharing gossip that they are only half-convinced is true, yet never speak a single word about the Son of God who they say they believe in with all of their heart. It’s as if The Gospel is the only secret they can keep. May the Holy Spirit evaluate the motive and convict you for your silence. The Gospel is not a secret. It’s a message that God has commanded us to take to the nations. It’s a message that we ought to shout from the roof tops. It’s a message that we ought to give our lives to making known. What will you do? Trash it like junk mail or herald it from the roof tops to all who will listen? Let me ask the question once again in a fresh way—Do you believe The Gospel… enough to share it?If I sound like the ravings of a mad-man, so be it. By God’s grace, may I run like a mad-man carrying His Gospel to the end of the world.

 

Grace be multiplied to you,

G         

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