I’ve heard enough doom and gloom in the past few months to last a lifetime. When our focus is on the events of the world around us, it is easy to forget that there is good news that never expires.
I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.
You have heard it so many times, does it still resonate in your heart? Jesus was born. Jesus lived an amazing life. Jesus was killed on a cross. He willingly allowed himself to be killed on your behalf because there was no other way for you to be saved from God’s wrath. Jesus arose from the dead after three days. He ascended to heaven and reigns now in His kingdom. It’s so easy to write, to rehearse common teachings … to hear for the 1,359th time. Don’t be jaded by familiarity. This good news never loses it’s shine.
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.
The Gospel is good news for the undeserving. I am to be counted in that number. I can’t imagine God going to the effort to save someone like me. I’m not just saying that. But then again we know this about ourselves. Even the Apostle Paul thought himself unworthy… undeserving … but the good news brought new meaning and definition to his life.
For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…
The Gospel is good news for the hopeless. How many people struggle to believe? How many have tried to build their lives on their own goodness? How many are desiring to be honest and good people, but with no moral basis than their own intuition? How many remain enslaved to passions they can not control because they believe that one day they will grow strong enough to overcome? The Gospel speaks directly to the hopeless who have not believed Christ and His resurrection from the dead. Our hope in Christ is not only for a better life here, but for the promises he has given us for after this life.
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed….then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
The Gospel is good news for the weary. Every day we hear the news that someone we know has passed from this life. The obituary today may contain news of a 2 month old, a 2 year old, a 20 year old, a 40 year old, an 80 year old, or a 105 year old – all on the same page. Death is no respecter of persons. We face our own demise. We suffer through the losses of those we love. When we realize how many are lost in war, crime, disease, and accident … life gets weary. The gospel is the answer to that weariness.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
The Gospel is good news for all. The victory over our greatest enemy belongs to you. So when you hear the gloomy predictions of the naysayers and down-casters remember that there is good news that never gets old. It still resonates in the hearts of men and women. No matter how many times you hear it, always remember that this is your story. And it’s a story that still amazes every open heart.
Thanks for reading. All passages quoted are from 1 Corinthians 15. Below are some free books for your Kindle! Be sure to enter the contest for a giveaway of Francis Chan’s newest book in the previous post!