Summary: You have a huge choice to make with your life. What story will I tell? Will I spend my life telling people how great I am or will I spend it telling them how great God is? You will gossip something. Gossip the good news.
1 Thessalonians 2
Ready to be entrusted with the gospel
This week past our church and community experienced two dramas that portrayed the pivot points of our belief system. One was a drama presented live by actors on the Evergreen stage. The other was a drama experienced in real time and real life by the untimely death of a young lady we loved and miss.
The theatrical presentation reminded us that there is a place called heaven which is the eternal home of the redeemed and there is a place called hell the eternal home of those who reject the saving work of Jesus. The death of Lindsey Murphy reminds us of the urgency of the Gospel.
As simply as it can be made the difference between the two is Jesus. Heaven in where he is Lord and Hell is where you are Lord. You become part of the Kingdom of heaven when you repent of sin and enthrone Jesus as Lord of your life. You are a member of the Kingdom of hell when you insist on being your own boss and fail to see the destructive nature of a sinful lifestyle.
Some people wonder how a loving God could separate families and friends by sending some to heaven and some to hell. God does not separate people and send some here and some there. He died to save all people. He wants all people with him in the Kingdom of God. It is not God that makes our final destination plans, it is us. We have two roads laid out before us. One is called the broad road and the other is the narrow. The broad road leads to hell. The narrow road leads to heaven. Which road we choose is up to us.
Others want to blunt the impact and importance of our choices by teaching that all people will eventually be in heaven. They teach that hell is not a literal place, but just a description of a life without Jesus. There is no doctrine that I would love to embrace more than this, but I have a problem to deal with before I can accept it. The problem is that Jesus taught that Hell was real and that Heaven is real and we are to do all we can to avoid the first and wind up in the latter.
Let us deal with the concept of the Gospel. The Gospel means the good news. What is the good news? The Good News is that The Father God was not willing that even one of us die without hope, so he became a man Angels called Jesus who died and rose again to offer us the hope of eternal life in the very presence of the God who made us.
Some people have taken the Good News and turned it into bad news because they have made it legalistic, fatalistic and negative with a focus on avoiding hell as the highest good. Hell is to be avoided at all costs, but heaven is more than just a final destination. Heaven is as well a way of living as is hell a way of living. Some people live hellish lives and some heavenly. The difference is the presence of Jesus. Where Jesus is-is heaven. Where Jesus is absent-is hell.
This message must be taken to the nations. The world needs some good news. Whose responsible to tell the good news story? At first it was nature’s job. The heavens declare the glory of God the Psalms tell us. Next the good news was handed to faithful men called Patriarchs. Their names are Adam, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Next the message became the responsibility of the Jewish nation. Now, after the cross and resurrection the good news message is the responsibility of the church. You are part of the church if you are a born again and baptized follower of Christ. The good news is now your responsibility.