What is the Gospel when it isn’t wanted?

What is the Gospel when it isn’t wanted?

What is the gospel to one who seemingly doesn’t “want it”, to one whose life seems pretty good, whose life is successful, whose dreams are coming together just the way they want in their career and family and position? And to one who is actually hostile towards the idea of a Supreme Being that leads His people via an outdated book, calling allegiance to some dude named Jesus?

This has been my ponderings this week.  I have a friend that is this person.  How and what do I share with her?

It gets even more complicated that her job and entire livelihood is tied into the worship of false gods.  She is an artisan of mystical and spiritual products–a coming-to-Jesus would eventually mean having to turn from creating art she’s mastered and developed for the last decade, and her family’s sole income.

It just gets so messy when I think about the Gospel and my friend.

It breaks my heart, actually, that I find myself at a loss of words.  I feel tongue-tied.  I am grieved.  And her salvation weighs heavily on me because I care deeply for the whole family.

I keep thinking I need to ‘craft’ it just right to apply it to her life, looking for just the right inroad to make it all make sense. After stewing this over for a few weeks, I have come to this conclusion:

The Gospel doesn’t change.  Whether fertile soil, or seed tossed on dry ground that the birds are just going to eat up, the Gospel is the Gospel. God’s good news is still the good news. I don’t have to curate it.

And that good news is this:  We were created by a loving and Holy God that desires communion and fellowship with us and we were specifically designed by Him for this very communion.  But because we have chosen sin over his light, we can’t be in His presence.  He is that holy.

And so we are separated from Him.

But because of His great love for us, He always had a plan to restore us back into relationship with Him. And that plan is Jesus.  In His great love, Jesus, God’s Son, left his throne in heaven and came to earth.  He was born fully human, and yet fully God, and walked with us to know and experience the fullness of all humanity.  But he never sinned. He was perfect.  And in His perfection, He chose to die and take all of the punishment that we deserved upon Himself.

Imagine if you were standing before a judge who was about to cast sentence on you for a heinous crime, and someone stands up and says, “I’ll take the death penalty for them and stand in their place.”

It’s that serious, my friends.  Our sin (all sin, no matter how big or small) is deserving of death.  And Jesus’ willingly chooses to die for us.  We talk about his death on the cross—that moment on the cross is our death penalty fulfilled in Jesus.  But He didn’t stay dead!  He came back to life and conquered death and conquered sin! What?? Like, who does that?? Only God himself.

So when we accept this Good News of Jesus standing in our place, and believe He is the Son of God who He declares himself to be, that his death was the punishment meant for us, and that He defeated death and came back to life—when we believe this good news, we are forgiven washed from sin and are restored back to our Creator. We are saved.   We are made pure–so pure, that we can come back into His holy presence.

Thinking again about my mystical-spiritual-artisan friend… She, too was made for this grand restoration. Even if life is good. Even if life feels okay, just as it is.  Jesus came, died and rose again for her.

I’m praying that God would remove the scales from her eyes to see, to lift any and all barriers in her heart and mind that would keep the Truth from reaching her.

And I have to remember that if (WHEN!) she comes to faith, God knows that she’ll need a new career—this is not outside His realm of understanding or care.  He will take care of her.  His love is THAT big.

Is this person you? Do you want to know Jesus as your Savior as well? To be restored back to the Heavenly Father that created you? Then pray this prayer—just say these words out loud and direct them to God from your heart:

Lord, thank you for creating me, loving me, and making a way for me to come back into relationship with you. I believe that Jesus is who He says He is – your Son.  I believe He is perfect, that His death was for me, and that He came back to life.  I believe, and choose to follow Him and claim Him as my Savior. Thank you that I am forgiven because of Jesus!

Show me what next steps I need to take as I step into a new life of faith. Surround me with teachers and mentors to guide me.  Help me understand the Bible and the great Truths it contains.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Leah Carolan
Pastor of Worship & Media

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