Ep.1232: Is the Gospel Obsolete?
Discovering the importance of the gospel in our narcissistic society
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Theme Scripture: Romans 10:15
We live in an age of tremendous knowledge, phenomenal technology and unprecedented freedom. On one hand, ours is an age where the individual reigns supreme. I can decide what's right and wrong for me. I can also expect others to make allowances for my conclusions. On the other hand, the Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us right from wrong and moral from immoral. It defines our treatment of others, how to live and why we should live that way. The gospel is all about calling out a people for God’s name through Jesus and proclaiming that God’s kingdom is in fact coming! With the way this world operates, does the gospel message and way of life even matter? Are the personal freedoms of our present social order beyond its reach?
Just before the resurrected Jesus ascended to heaven, he spoke very specifically to his 11 disciples about what their mission would be in his absence. The simple truth was that they were to preach the good news of Jesus, salvation and the coming kingdom. They were also tasked with “making disciples of all nations.” This meant that the focus of the gospel message was going to expand beyond the boundaries of Israel and have an impact throughout the entire world.
Paganism vs. Christianity
The challenges the disciples would face as they brought this message to their pagan world back in those ancient times were significant. It was not easy to bring godly humility, godly morality, and discipleship to Christ to the people of that world. Those nations had their own brand of "humility, morality and discipleship," and it was all focused on their pagan gods and rituals. Fortunately, the early church’s challenges, experiences and solutions are recorded for us in the New Testament.
Relevant or obsolete?
Those New Testament epistles and letters help us to focus on the very same mission they were tasked with. In many ways, our present-day challenges with living and sharing the gospel are even more difficult. The standards of that message are exactly the same as when Jesus and the apostles preached. However, the standards of the world have degraded significantly. This makes the contrast between a worldly view of life and a Christian view of life far more pointed. Does this larger-than-life difference in world view make Christianity into a round peg of values that doesn’t fit into the square hole of our culture? Absolutely! What now?
Check out our June 6, 2022 podcast, “Is the Gospel Obsolete?” for more. We dig into what to do with several of the primary principles we stand for as Christians. The fact that we are not on the same page as the world around us regarding values does not keep us from being empathetic with them. As a matter of fact, the whole idea of applying empathy from a Christian perspective is key to grasping the gospel’s relevance in our world today. Join us as we examine how we can, as representatives of the gospel, make a difference!