Many Christians believe that all people who do not accept the gospel before they die are eternally lost and without hope. On one hand, Christians believe that by the Son of God all things were created (Colossians 1:16), by the Son’s word all things are held in being (Hebrews 1:3), and that through the Son’s human birth, death and resurrection all things are reconciled to God (Colossians 1:20). Yet, on the other hand, many have the idea that the blood of Christ cannot reconcile humans who die before coming to faith.
References to: gospel
“Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons,” Paul wrote to a young pastor on the island of Crete. “Therefore, rebuke them sharply” (Titus 1:12-13). Paul went on to advise Titus to teach the Cretans to be self-controlled and to set a good example (Titus 2:1-7).
“I don’t think this world needs Superman. This world doesn’t need a savior,” Lois Lane tells the Man of Steel in the latest remake of one of America’s most popular fairy tales.
Later on, suspended high over Metropolis, Superman tells Lois quite feelingly, “You wrote, ‘The world doesn’t need a savior,’ but every day I hear people crying for one.”
Some people help you understand what the gospel is all about. They cut through all our theological bickering, personality conflicts and denominational rivalries and inhibitions. They do things that show us what Jesus really meant.
They are people like the widow in the Temple who donated “all her substance” to the offering. Or the thief on the cross who just wanted to be forgiven. Or the worried father who asked if Jesus could heal his child in spite of his own unbelief. And like Sam Howard.
Guilt trips. They’re all the rage, you know. Everybody’s taking them. No date restrictions. Availability unlimited. People of all ages are welcome. But there are a few hidden costs.
Among other things, guilt trips cost you your stomach lining, your sleep, your sense of humor, your ability to have fun, your productivity and any realistic sense of who you really are and what your purpose really is.
Chapter 2 of The Gospel: Your Invitation to the Kingdom
Some people can get quite excited about Bible prophecy, it seems, but have a hard time getting excited about the central message of the Bible — salvation through Jesus Christ. God has given Christians the most precious gift possible and the role of telling others how they can also receive that gift.
Have you ever had a really bad day? Maybe you’ve been fired, totaled your car, and, just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, you were served divorce papers in the emergency room! Whatever your worst day was, no doubt someone had it even worse.
But wouldn’t it be good if today was the worst day of your life—if, from now on, things will only get better?
Michael Morrison has a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is Dean of Faculty and Instructor in New Testament for Grace Communion Seminary. He is the author of Sabbath, Circumcision and Tithing and Who Needs a New Covenant? The Rhetorical Function of the Covenant Motif in the Argument of Hebrews.
Articles by Michael Morrison:
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Do you know what is God doing in your life? And what is he doing in the world as a whole? These two questions are of course interrelated: What God is doing in your life, has something to do with what he is doing in the world as a whole.
But just what is that? What’s he up to?
We wouldn’t know much about God at all, except for what the Bible tells us. In order for us to see what God is doing, he has to reveal himself to us, and he does that in the Bible.
So what is he up to?
When people gather in churches after a disaster, they come to hear words of comfort, encouragement and hope. Yet, try as they might to bring hope to a grieving people, some Christian leaders unwittingly proclaim a message that amounts to despair, hopelessness and fear for people whose loved ones died without having first professed faith in Jesus Christ.