The Power of the Gospel
Two months ago I wrote a pastoral word about suffering that is grounded in hope. It was in the context of my friend Jim who had brain cancer and how God was being glorified. Jim went to be with the Lord on June 3. On Monday, at his memorial service, the Gospel was given in its entirety to several hundred people, including many non-believers. This was a unique opportunity with a captive audience.
Last week I was challenged by one of our pastors to present the Gospel in 60 seconds. 10 seconds to prepare, 60 seconds to deliver. “Ready, go!” I struggled, missed a critical part and it took me 100 seconds. These two events have challenged me to work on my weak Gospel presentation. Here is what I am working on memorizing:
God is creator and owner of all things. He is perfectly righteous, holy and just. We owe everything we are and have to Him. He created us to glorify Him, yet we have sinned by failing Him and rebelling against Him. We have broken His commandments and lived life to glorify ourselves. We don’t have the ability to work or earn His approval. Because of our sin He has the right to punish us in Hell. Yet God has provided a way for us to not receive this condemnation. He sent His son Jesus to take the punishment and die for the sins of those who believe and put their trust in Him. Jesus died and was raised from the dead on the third day paying the penalty for sins and showing victory over death. Those who place their faith and trust in Jesus’ perfect life and sacrifice, turn from their sin, believe that He arose on the third day and submit to Him as Lord of their life, will be saved. For those who don’t, there is a warning. If you ignore and reject Him, His wrath and condemnation rather than love and salvation are upon you.
Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” If this is to be true about you and I, we must be able to present the Gospel articulately and in its entirety.