Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The guy who has it all

Recently, I took a trip down to Tucson, Arizona (my home town) for a family birthday party with my wife and three daughters. The usual activities took place. Food, family, jokes, food, friends, food, swimming for the kids, and lastly, food.

It is at these gatherings that I fear sharing the Gospel the most. I think about whether or not they will take me seriously or if I will damage or forever change a relationship. Maybe I'm concerned that I will cast a strange mood on the gathering. Of course, none of these are good reasons to withhold the greatest gift ever. They are just among the many fears that I have when I purpose in my heart to witness to anyone.

There is one person in my family that I love to study. On the outside, he has it all: A wonderful wife who cares for him and their two children. A great job that serves and has the respect of the community. He is in great physical shape, athletic, funny, animated and has lots of good friends and family that love him. Most of the world looking in would say that he has it all; that he is experiencing all of the best that life has to offer.

What he doesn’t have though, is eternal life in Christ. What’s worse, is that although he is easy to talk to, he is perhaps the one person I fear most sharing the Gospel with. That is something I have to deal with soon.

One thing I am sure will not work with this individual is the modern Gospel that is being preached today. It is a message that all too often speaks of a Jesus offering life enhancement, his best life now, self serving purpose or whatever else the world values. He would tell you his life is great, that he doesn’t need church, the Bible or God. And based on any “gospel” offering worldly benefits, he would be right. He doesn’t need to be made happy, he’s perfectly content. He doesn’t need Jesus to fix his marriage, his is fine. He doesn’t need fellowship or guidance for life, his friends and family are fellowship and support enough. Least of all would he think that he needs forgiveness. Forgiveness for what? I am sure he would consider himself a pretty good person with the exception of a few wrong choices in his youth.

What he and every other person on this earth needs is the genuine Gospel that speaks of his lack of goodness. In fact, he has to be convinced that at his core, he is actually completely depraved and can do nothing in himself to gain the approval of God. He needs to know that God is angry at his sin and that there will be a day of judgment and God is a just Judge and must punish sin. He needs to know that there is only one way to escape eternal punishment and separation from God in Hell. He needs to know that two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh came to this earth and lived a perfect life to pay for his sins by giving His life up on the cross and then rising from the grave three days later defeating death. That his only hope is to repent and trust in Jesus alone and respond to God’s kind and gracious gift of eternal life. Now that would be some good news!

How do we realize our sin and get on our faces before God if we aren’t convinced that we have any real sin in our lives. How do we rightly revere God if we do not have an accurate knowledge of His holy, perfect, and righteous character. Here’s a good place to start.