Saturday, June 05, 2010

Why Should Seekers Consider the Gospel?

Those seeking God and the truth should consider the gospel and make every effort to understand it because the gospel alone is "the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..." (Romans 1:16). Being good will not save you, going to church will not save you, your parents can not save you, being smart will not save you, nothing in this world can save you, only the gospel can save you.

Realize the problem of belief in the gospel is not an intellectual problem but a heart problem. We are in rebellion against our creator and prefer the darkness to the light. We want to be our own gods so we can seek life, happiness and satisfaction on our own terms rather than find them in God. We suppress the truth because we love sin (Romans 1:18-25). This is true for me and this is true for you.

When Jesus was on the earth He said many amazing things, loved many people and did many miracles, including raising people from the dead. Yet, in spite of everything He said or did, many people who had seen or heard what He had done shouted, "Crucify him!" when Pilot gave the crowd a chance to let Him go. They chose to let a murderer go free rather than Jesus. This just proves that if your heart is hard nothing on this earth will convince you of the gospel.

One time last summer, while sharing the gospel in a park here in Bucharest, I asked a 20 year old guy who had a 14 year old girlfriend, "If God is real, would you want him in your life?" He thought for a while and then finally said, "That is a tough question to answer". I told him it wasn't hard to answer but that he didn't want to admit to himself that he didn't want God in his life because he loved sin more. He looked shocked when I said that but after thinking about it for several seconds he said, "You are right."

If you come to God in arrogance and anger saying, "Prove yourself to me to my satisfaction or I won't believe in you!" you will never find Him. The Bible tells us God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (see James 4:4-10). In order to find God and the truth you need come before Him in humility and ask Him, "If you are real please open my heart up to you and give me understanding of the gospel." Humility is the secret to finding God.

A basic definition of the gospel is that it is the good news of what God has done through His Son Jesus Christ to restore His reign and rule over all creation and bring reconciliation to all those who repent and place their trust in Jesus. But there is a lot more to really understanding the gospel in its fullness. 

I have written a 34 page booklet that you might find helpful as you begin your quest to understand the gospel. It looks at the gospel in detail and includes lots of Bible verses as well. You can download a pdf of it here: Letter Size (US) or A4 (Europe).

I became a follower of Jesus through some friends who showed me Jesus by their love and by giving me a Bible and helping me to understand it. It is in the Bible where you will find the complete message of the gospel. I would suggest getting the New Believer's BibleNew Living Translation as it is a good and very understandable translation. To begin, read the four gospel accounts and then read the book of Romans as it is the book richest in gospel truths. The New Believer's Bible also has lots of notes to help you better understand what you are reading.

If you have doubts or are struggling or have questions about believing in God or believing that the Bible is really God's word you should check out the websites below. They have articles, audio and video explaining every possible question you could ever think of. In addition, some of the sites have audio and video debates between Christians and atheists on a wide variety of subjects. You can even look on YouTube to find them as well.

     Always Be Ready

     Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry

     Ravi Zacharias International Ministries *

     Reasonable Faith

     Stand to Reason

Remember you will never find God on your own. You need Him to reveal Himself to you. So go to Him in humility and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. You have everything to gain if you do and everything to lose if you don't.

Someday you will stand before Jesus and give an account of your life. If there is any sin at all you will be sentenced to hell where you will experience the wrath of God forever. You say you don't believe in hell. Well, Jesus does! He said, "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched…" (Mark 9:43)

If you have turned from sin back to God and placed you faith in Jesus and all that He did for you then you will not have to stand before Him in judgment because He already suffered your punishment for you. Instead, you will spend all of eternity in God's presence as a part of His family on the new earth after God restores all things.

Sound too good to be true, but it is. Take a hold of the gospel so it can take a hold of you!

* For an example check out this 4 1/2 minute video by Dr. Ravi Zacharias:
       How Can a Good God Allow Evil? Does Life Have Meaning?

Check out this related article: Sexual Immorality and Five Other Reasons People Reject Christianity

Here is a link to a post with the video, slides and handouts of a teaching I did titled Why Do People Refuse to Believe in God?

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