the gospel = you’re really messed up…but there’s a way out of your mess.
the nature of the gospel tends to cause one of two reactions in people:
- the hearer becomes offended at being informed, “you’re really messed up.”
- the hearer is drawn and compelled to seek the way out of his/her mess.
there are also the two apathetic responses of (1) the hearer refusing to accept his/her folly, and (2) the hearer knowing very well just how messed up s/he is, but preferring his/her mess instead of the way out. but those two really amount to the same thing as the first response: refusing God’s way out of our mess. i wonder if the people who fall into the first response (and the two just mentioned) really understand that what they are rejecting is LOVE. the gospel reveals to us that the Creator is madly in love with us, but he loves us too much to leave us the way that we are. when we reject his way out, we are automatically rejecting his love.
some people claim that christ’s message is exclusive. that’s so far from true. it’s that ALL of us (everyone in every country, in every religion and culture and gender) have fallen short of what God’s intention for humanity was (and is), but God provided a means to obtain the position he’s always wanted us to have in him. that means is belief in jesus christ, who was God manifested as a man; he walked among us sinlessly (just as God does everything). he did humanity the right way: without sin–just like he wants us to do it. it would be awful if the Creator just left us in the sub-standard state without any hope of reaching him. but the gospel contends that there is a way out of our mess. there is a way to redemption. that’s pretty good news.
the gospel isnt just something that we accept just at the start of our salvation experience, it’s something we accept or reject every day, in the many issues and sins that God delivers and cleanses us from…or at least wants to. how we respond and continue to respond to his offer is up to us.