Tuesday, August 09, 2016
A MORE BEAUTIFUL GOSPEL
Did you know that when Paul preached the Gospel to Gentiles he never mentioned Hell or Sin? Sometimes he never even mentioned Jesus by name at all.
Instead, Paul told them about the God who “has shown you kindness” and who “fills your hearts with joy” and who was “not far from each one of us”.
Just read Acts 14 when Paul speaks to the Gentiles in Lystra, or Acts 17 when he speaks to the Athenians and see for yourself. No mention of Hell, no mention of their sins, and hardly any mention of Jesus.
What you’ll see is Paul expounding on this beautiful God who calls us “His children” and “in whom we live and move and have our being”.
You’ll see Paul describe a God who is our Father, and who “gave rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying (our) hearts with food and gladness”.
You’ll hear Paul entice people to discover “the unsearchable riches of Christ” and to know a God who loves them more than they ever imagined.
Isn’t that refreshing?
Wouldn’t it be great if those people who hold signs and scream at people through megaphones were expressing these same ideas about a God who is good and who loves us?
Wouldn’t people want to find out more about a God like that?
I know I would.
“We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, . permitted all the nations to go their own ways; He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” [Acts 14:15-17]
““Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” [Acts 17:22-31]