Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gospel is good news for the poor?

Christian Campaign Declares Gospel is Good News for the Poor

WASHINGTON – Surrounded by stained glass windows, dark wooden pews filled with people, and the soaring voices of a black Gospel choir, Christians from across the country gathered inside a Baptist church Sunday night to proclaim that the “Gospel is good news for the poor.”

Whew, that is good news. Until this announcement, I had no idea that the Gospel was good news to the poor!

As a pastor spoke about the “spirit of justice,” a crowd of some 1,000 people sitting in Shiloh Baptist Church eagerly responded with "amen's." Thus began the first day of Mobilization to End Poverty, a large-scale anti-poverty event drawing Christians and politicians alike.

“I wish all the wonderful people of God who have come here in this holy place, during the next few days, to speak up and speak out to members of the Congress, the administration, to do everything we can to relegate and put the issue of poverty ahead,” said Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who delivered the message, on Sunday.

Wait, I thought we were talking about the Gospel here?

Lewis, a prominent civil rights leader who was educated at the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, said that although Christians pray, read the Bible, deliver sermons, and enjoy beautiful worship music, “there comes a time that we have to move our feet.”

Ok, now we are talking about going out and sharing the Gospel...for a minute there I was worried.

“We need in America, more than anything I think, a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas,” Lewis contended.

“I do not understand. It is strange to me if we can bail out Wall Street, why can’t we bail out the children of God dying here,” the long-time congressman said as the room erupted into applause.

No...this is not about going out and sharing the Gospel. I don't know what "it" is, but is certainly not evangelism.

My friend Robert over at Bring the Noiz made this statement: "There are many people in the Church today who purposely do things like this, be it giving out bottles of water, free food, ect. and call it "evangelism." But was it evangelism when I convinced a lady to get some collards? A good work yes, evangelism NO!"

The Gospel is "good news to the poor" (and the rich and middle-class) only when we open our mouth and proclaim the full Gospel; Law and Grace. (Romans 10:14)

Jesus did not come and die on the cross so people will have full belly's.

The Bible say’s in Hebrews 9:27 that it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. The Bible is clear that after we die, we will stand in judgment before God.

So how does one get forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God?

You may say, "What sins?" The Bible says in 1 John 3:4 that whoever transgresses the Law commits sin. So sinning is transgressing or breaking God’s Law.

Which Law? The Ten Commandments, God’s moral Law.

Have you broken God’s Law?Let’s look at just three of the Commandments…The 9th Commandment is thou shall not lie. Ever told a lie? That makes you a liar. The 8th Commandment is thou shall not steal. Ever stolen something? That makes you a thief. The 3rd Commandment is thou shall not take the Lord’s Name in vain. Ever said something like, "Oh my G**?" Or used His name as a curse word? The Bible calls that blasphemy. The Bible says that God will not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain.

The Bible says that all liars will have their part in the lake of fire.

The Bible also says that no thieves will inherit the Kingdom of God.

That’s the bad news.

But there is good news!

Two thousand years ago, God sent His Son Jesus Christ to Earth. He lived a perfect sinless life. He died a horrible brutal death on the cross for the sins of the world; for your sins and my sins. They buried Him. But three days later, God raised Him from the dead so that you could have forgiveness of your sins and eternal life in Heaven.

It’s like this; you broke God’s Law, but Jesus paid your fine in His life's blood.

The question now becomes; how do you receive this forgiveness of sins? The Bible says you must repent of your sins and place your trust in Christ to save you from God’s wrath on judgment day. To repent is not just saying you’re sorry, but turning your back on sin as well. Trusting in Christ is like trusting a parachute. You don’t just believe in a parachute, you must put it on for it to save you.

Once you do this, you will pass from death to life and God’s wrath will pass-over you.

* * * * * * *

Now that was the Gospel -

1 comment:

Paul Latour said...

Your post reminds me:

I so well remember in my growing years as a Roman Catholic boy when every time there was a call to pray for the poor, a plea to help the poor, a food or fund raising event to give to the poor, etc., the biblical verse that was used to motivate the masses (no pun intended) was always "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 5:3)

Far from being a Christian, what did I know way back then? I never knew until I became a Christian much later in life that the verse had NOTHING to do with people who were physically impoverished but, rather, spirtitually impoverished.

Good points. Good post.