THE DESPERATE NEED FOR THE GOSPEL

For about as long as I’ve been an adult I’ve made it a habit to read the newspaper daily and watch the news to try to keep up with what is going on in the world. Often it is discouraging to simply see all the horrible things going on with death, destruction and devastation everywhere. In such times it is easy to begin thinking that everything and everyone is awful and no one can be trusted. While it is certainly true that evil is prevalent in the world, it would be a horrendous mistake to conclude that nothing was beautiful, wonderful, amazing and honest in life. I’m convinced that while we hear most of those who are out to harm and destroy, they do not represent the majority of humanity. I believe most people want to do right and good and be helpful to one another in life.

When we read the Bible and realize that sin has invaded our world in horrible ways and that sin always has a price to be paid it is discouraging. One of the reasons the good news or gospel of Jesus is so wonderful is that it is available to everyone and that it came to us at the highest price imaginable. God longed for our salvation from sin so much that he willingly paid the price for our sins on the cross with the brutal death of Jesus His own Son. No wonder Paul declared he wasn’t ashamed of the gospel because it is God’s power to salvation to all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

But to feel the full power of the gospel we must look a little further in Romans one to see full impact of the gospel message. After he declared in verses 17 “Therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. As it is written the righteous shall live by faith.” Then came these horrible words: “For the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” We love to hear the story of the gospel and God’s amazing love and grace toward us. But it is difficult to hear of his wrath against ALL UNGODLINESS AND ALL UNRIGHTEOSNESS OF MEN. But a view of God that sees only his love and grace and misses his wrath against sin is a false view of God and is an erection of a god of our own liking. The reason the gospel is so powerful is that it saves us from the very wrath of God when we submit to it by faith.
Remember every single one of us is guilty of being ungodly and unrighteous. In Romans 3:23 it says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We have failed to be godly or reverent toward God and we have failed in doing the right things He requires. It is also true that we tend to suppress the very truths that most demonstrate our own guilt or failure. It is very easy for all of us to look around and see the horrible failings of others. They are jealous, envious, cheat, steal and lie. They lust and covet for what another has. Their influence isn’t what it should be. But it is far more difficult to see our own failings. “It isn’t my fault” becomes a favorite expression from very early life and continues with us until death.

If we were innately good and could on our own make our own salvation the gospel wouldn’t be so great after all. But when we realize we are helpless on our own to save ourselves and be right with God, it becomes all the more remarkable that God not only wanted our salvation but would pay for our sins and instead place the very righteousness of Jesus to our account when we through faith submit to him and live by faith in him. The whole world needs the gospel to be saved.

What would you think today of a person who had a cure for cancer but refused to share it with other people? How much more tragic it is when we have the gospel to save the immortal souls of all people and don’t share it with others. Risk it this week to tell a friend about Jesus and the good news of salvation. It may change your life and theirs for eternity.

Leon Barnes

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