Today is Christmas Day. During the month of December, I have eaten too many cookies and candies given to me by Christians. I have seen too many guilt bearing commercials making me feel like I have to buy a ton of merchandise to fulfill my duties of being an American citizen. I live in the heart of America. Our town, Hermann, is Christian to the core, our halls decked, our streets covered with red and green. Shops are loaded with Christmas decorations to sell. But during the whole month of December, not a single Christian told me about the purpose of all the activity. Not a single Christian during this season presented me with the Gospel, the Good News.
Why is that? Well, honestly, I believe it is because their “gospel” is such bad news that they are ashamed of it. Cookies and spiked eggnog is better than their gospel. Those in town who know I believe Jesus is the savior of the whole world, not just part of it, are surprised I do so much evangelizing. Why preach Christ crucified if everyone is going to be saved anyway, they ask. Well, here are a few reasons why I preach the Victorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, whenever I can. My hope is that it will in some way nullify the damage the traditional gospel is bringing to this world. Charlie Slagle said it best in His book (available on this site) “Absolute Assurance in Jesus Christ.” In His book, revealing the four primary views of salvation found in the Christ, writes:
What, then, is the point of sharing this radically Good News about God? The point is, until we have a heart and mind understanding of God’s true character and agenda:
· we will lack the ability to rest consistently in God’s love;
· we will lack the ability to trust Him totally and completely. Why? Because we will find ourselves in a constant struggle trying to trust ourselves;
· we will lack humility born of the realization that our good or bad behavior has nothing to do with God’s love and commitment to us;
· we will lack peace and joy—except on a sporadic basis;
· we will lack a heart of true worship and adoration toward our Savior;
· we will lack the ability to discern the difference between justice and cruelty;
· we will lack the understanding that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom—not the fear of His hopeless rejection. For correction is not rejection.
· we will lack the serenity and hope that comes from the understanding that Love always succeeds and never fails;
· we will lack the ability to understand or appreciate or receive unconditional love;
· we will lack the ability to love others unconditionally;
· we will lack an understanding of God that is worthy of His true nature;
· we will lack the ability to understand Scripture in light of God’s heart, and His clearly revealed purpose and will;
· we will lack as individuals a solid sense of identity. For if any doubt lingers as to Whose we are, we can never know who we are or why we are;
· we will lack a perception—a wholesome perception—of our identity and purpose and ministry to the world as members of Christ’s body. For we are not the only-born—we are the firstborn of all God’s redeemed children. Our commission is to join with Christ in restoring all His cherished creation.
· we will lack the ability to appreciate God’s heart of committed love toward all His creation;
· we will lack the ability to judge NO ONE by the flesh (external criteria);
· we will lack the understanding of God’s good purpose for all His creation and the certainty of its fulfillment;
· we will lack the understanding that Jesus Christ is Who the gospel is all about, and creation’s restoration is what the gospel is all about;
· we will lack the understanding of the magnitude of Calvary’s Victory;
· we will lack the ability to proclaim the Good News of Christ to a hurting world in terms of God’s unconditional, unfailing and committed love.
Creation did not fall into ruin by it’s own choice, according to Romans 8:20-21. God Himself allowed it because of a hope He cherished in His heart.
The Good news is that the same God who willed His creation’s temporary unravelling is re-ravelling it back—by His own loving blood-sacrifice—to reflect greater splendor than it had at its beginning.
This is why the gospel truly is glad tidings of great joy which shall be to ALL people! The Lord takes full responsibility for His creation’s fall, and for its full recovery. Thus, God has shut all in sin’s prison that He may have mercy on all (Romans 11:32). So all will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father (John 5:22-23). For God works all things according to His will.
Read and meditate on the Scriptures for yourself. Ask our Lord and Savior to guide you. The Lord yearns for you to know the height, the depth, the width, and the length of His love which surpasses knowledge! He yearns for your trust. He desires that you be filled with the knowledge of His will. He longs to convince you of His commitment and to ravish you with His love. He longs to remove every mental or theological roadblock that hinders your trust in Him. He longs to smash to smithereens every vain imagination that exalts itself against the pure knowledge of Christ! Hide and watch! You shall (one day) love the Lord your God with all your heart, your body, your soul, your mind—your being. You “shall”. . . This is not just a command; it is a promise. And you shall be like Him, radiant with the light of His life-giving holy love—for—you shall see Him AS HE IS. And that’s what salvation is all about.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is Mine,
Oh what a foretaste of glory Divine,
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising My Savior all the day long,
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my savior all the day long!
Are you praising a Victorious Savior all the day long? Or is your savior a failure unworthy of your praise?
Written by Gary Amirault