Gospel On Our Lips

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. - Romans 5:6-11

This past week, I was in Texas at a Missions Sunday at one of our partner churches. While I was there, I got to visit with some co-workers who were doing some training at our Police Department gun range. There was a young man there that had several tattoos and me being one that also has a little ink myself, I asked about them. One in particular was a cross tattoo on his forearm. He said he got the cross tattoo because he was a Christian. I then asked him to tell me how he came to have faith in Jesus as his Savior. What he said next broke my heart.

He told me that he was not really religious and didn’t go to church but that he did believe in a higher power. I told him that even the demons believe and shudder. I then asked him what he believed about Jesus and he said he really didn’t know. Well, I wasn’t going to let this opportunity escape me so I gave him the Gospel. I told him that God is the Creator of all things and He spoke everything into being. He created mankind and has given us everything to live a fruitful, joyful life under His good authority. However, we all have rebelled against that authority. We all at one time or another have tried to run things ourselves and rebel against God’s good commands that were designed to protect us. It’s called sin and we all do it and because of that sin we deserve the punishment that God has set forth which is eternal death. I shared with him that God is also loving and just and because He is so He sent His Son, Jesus to live that perfect life that we never could. And although He lived a perfect life, went to the Cross, and was sacrificed for the sins of all that would put their faith in Him. In other words, God poured out the wrath that is due all believers on Jesus. Because God is just, our sins are atoned for. And although Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He rose again defeating eternal death for all that would believe and follow Him. If we believe this and have a deep affection for Jesus that motivates us to strive for joyful obedience then we are saved. It means that we know what we deserve because of sin but we also know what we are given through Jesus and that is life changing.

After this simple explanation of the Gospel, the young man looked at me and said, “I have never heard it put that way before.” This shook me for a few reasons. This is the Bible Belt where there is a church on every corner. Professing Christians everywhere. This young man had a cross on his arm and he had no real idea what it meant. He thought being a Christian was an idea and was easily claimed with no real change in life. No one had taken the time to share with him the deep love that God has for Him and that being a Christian is a relationship with King Jesus and it is so good. This young man, although surrounded by Christians, had never had the truth shared with him.

Church, I pray that the truth of the Gospel is always on our lips. I pray that we are conscious of the opportunities to share this. I pray that we not sugar coat sin and the gravity of it, but also are very clear on the great price Jesus has paid for us to be reconciled back to God just as Romans 5 states. And may we rejoice in our Lord Jesus Christ!

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