Thursday, October 24, 2019

The Gospel is for Everyone

There is an understandable gap that exists between us, as part of the Christian body of Christ, and the world. And the road that one walks from being part of the world rebellion, to part of the Spirit-filled body of Christ, is indeed extreme.

The gospel spreads based on our obedience as Christians. Our Lord Jesus brings salvation through His body, the church. If we are obedient, the gospel will spread, if we are disobedient, the gospel will not spread.

There were many, many, many Christians along my journey who gave nudges in the direction of Christ. It took dozens of encounters, I was particularly stubborn. But I will you tell you one thing, not one of those encounters had anything to do with Christians just shining their light and showing it by their actions. No, it was Christians actually brave enough to walk up to me and tell me in words, about Jesus. It is not enough to simply “show you are different”, that’s a good start, but the gospel has to be spoken, in words.

Prayer is more powerful than any of us fully realize. If God’s people don’t pray, salvation doesn’t come. A Bible study was praying for me, when I was in my twenties. And those prayers were effective.

I recall being in the emergency room, and a male nurse tried to share the gospel with me, I yelled at him, and he left sadly. In my twenties two trembling girls walked up to me and asked me if I died today would I go to heaven? I ran them off. My grandpa gave me a Bible, and shared the love of Jesus with me. I took the Bible, but I thought he was foolish. I read from the Bible.

I was very very very depressed at that time in my life. So sad everyday, life seemed so pointless, so meaningless. I did drugs as often as I could. I would scrape together money, and go buy beer and cough syrup and get messed up everyday.

My parents tried to help me by sending me to treatment centers and mental hospitals, but nothing seemed to change me deep down.

It took years dark times, and sorrowful struggles to realize the truth. I got really really low, I mean, so low. After several drug overdoses, I felt sick all the time.

Through drug use, and depression, I had experienced demonic activity, and disturbing hallucinations of a spiritual nature. Those had convinced me that there was indeed a spiritual realm around us that went unseen.

In 2011 God gave me an experience where one morning I watched humming birds buzzing around outside the window on a beautiful sunny day, and I realized there must be a God for such natural complexity to exist.

But through thousands of prayers, hours and hours of reading the Bible, watching Christian movies, studying the gospel of John, and getting so sickly, so depressed, so traumatized by all I’d put myself through, that I finally hit a rock bottom of sorts, where I just couldn’t live the way I had been living anymore. So on that fateful day in November 2012 I realized I needed God. So I got off my sofa, and went down on the ground, on my knees, by the fireplace at the old house, and God put it in my mind to cry out to Jesus Christ. And I cried out to Jesus Christ. That cry seemed to echo around me, and down inside me, like it echoed through an unending series of halls going off into eternity. And at that moment I found the ground around me shaking and I screamed in terror, but later I read in the scriptures “The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness” psalm 29:8 and in Acts “the place they were meeting was shaken, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 4:31

I joined a bible-believing church, and was discipled in a small group, I began to learn to share my faith, and use my God-given talents for Christ. I got clean from drugs and alcohol and cigarettes, and repented of my old ways.

And I will tell you, I had spent many years with some of the strangest people this world has ever known.

I spent time with a group of gamers, who were into anime and videogames and indie music. The gospel is for them. I hung out with a guy who thought he was a vampire, with girls who read tarot cards, and a gay guy who spent time trying to contact spirit guides. The gospel is for these people.

For a while I hung out with rockers in high school, trading CDs, and going to shows. During college I hung with new age hippies smoking weed everyday and philosophizing about jack Kerouac and saul alinsky. The gospel is for them.

I’ve hung out with homosexuals and lesbians, and transgender people, the gospel is for these people.

I’ve hung out with drinkers and partiers, going to bar after bar after bar. The gospel is for these people.

All these lost groups of people, people who need healing, people who need repentance, they all need Jesus. They need some Christian somewhere, to witness to them, to love them, and share the word with them. We’ve gotta plan that into our schedules. We’ve gotta make time for it, even if it we do it badly, it will still have a huge impact.

And if we don’t, then the world won’t get saved, and the gospel is for the whole world, every person, every city, every people group, and every ideology.

And woe to me if I do not carry the gospel, because if I don’t, then when I go before God and give an account for my life, where will I go? How will God judge me if I keep silent out of fear of rejection? I will be judged a disobedient servant, and cast into outer darkness. Therefore I must win the world for Jesus. So let’s do it. Amen.