Is anyone else tired of those advertisements that promise one thing, but when you go to the place, or get the product, it’s nothing like it was advertised? I think in many ways, the Church can be like that, or, rather, congregations of people can. The Church is comprised of those who gather for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a remnant in every tribe, tongue and nation who is faithful to God and His mission of Salvation through Jesus Christ. The Church is one hundred percent about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel is this: we’re all sinners who, because of our sin (rebellion against God’s design for us), are destined to die. Yet, in our sin, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live the perfectly obedient life we could not, and who died in our place, sacrificing His body as the once and for all atonement for our sin. On the cross, Jesus conquered sin! He was buried and rose again on the third day, conquering death and showing that we, also, can live the resurrection life now, as well as in Eternity when we will rise again, new and perfected in His presence. Jesus ascended to heaven and is sitting at the right hand of the Father, advocating for believers even now. That’s the Good News! And you can get in on this good news by following Jesus and being born again. That’s important to do NOW because Jesus will some day come back to rule and judge the world. Then it will be too late to receive the Gospel!
Sometimes congregations and ministries lose sight of this. Sometimes they want to fill pews, and gain a following, so they create a positive, uplifting, self-centered message. Sometimes it becomes about the work. In all things, if we lose sight of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we’re missing the point. The Church is one hundred percent about the Gospel. Anything less is not the Church!
1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 50-58
1-11 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy 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 toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
50-58 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.