House Church Talk - why we still do it
goodword at bresnan.net
Wed Aug 18 09:34:03 EDT 2004
Sharing the gospel: A very basic explanation. It's always about one life.
Since people seldom get public applause for telling others about the Lord
Jesus Christ, why would anyone still bother to share the gospel message? And
why would an unsaved person ever believe it or care?
Aside from the fact that there's a great cosmic battle going on, a war between
the light (of God) and the deliberate darkness of evil, the gospel message is
all about one thing -- rescuing another human life. You see, Jesus died to
"So what?" you may ask.
What does it really matter that some really nice guy died two thousand years
ago -- to save sinners? And more to the point, save them from what? We still
have wars and crime and poverty and cancer, and landlords who want their rent
on time. Not to mention used car salesmen, and politicians who promise us
peace and prosperity in exchange for our votes. What is anyone ever "saved"
To the life that is burdened down with sin, salvation in Jesus Christ means
And that's just about every human life, at some time or another. All of us
are sinners, after all. But we may not always feel like sinners, or go around
feeling the need of a rescue. In this present time in our society, for
instance, fewer people than ever are willing to acknowledge their sin.
Yet I find it interesting that at the very same time millions and millions of
people in our society are using prescription drugs to escape their anxiety,
their deepening depression, and their general feelings of emptiness. Even
more interesting is the fact that the drugs don't get it done. And neither do
the illegal drugs, the alcohol abuse, the sexual "freedom" or any of the other
escapes people try.
We all need Jesus Christ Himself. And so, by the grace of God, the message
continues to go out.
The gospel of Jesus Christ tells us how Jesus, the very Son of God, came down
to this planet, and became one of us -- not in pretense, but He was really
born as a human being in Bethlehem. And the gospel tells us about His sinless
and miraculous life. Jesus was truly perfect before God. He did nothing but
good to everyone. I can't say that about my life. Nor can you say it about
And the gospel message goes on to tell us how Jesus was put to death by evil
men, how He was buried, and how He rose up from the dead, three days later,
and walked out of the tomb on His own power. But more than that, the gospel
tells us the real reason -- God's reason -- behind the life and death and life
of Jesus Christ our Lord. The gospel says that Jesus took our sins with Him
when he went to the cross.
When Jesus died, He carried away the sins of the whole world -- especially of
those who believe in Him, who trust in His power to save, to rescue, to remove
the eternal stain of sin. (Read it for yourself in the Holy Bible, in the New
Testament portion, starting in the very first books, called Gospels, and then
on into the book of Acts, then the book of Romans, etc.)
That's why people who know and love Jesus Christ will often tell others about
Him. They'll tell what He has done, and what that means for anyone and
everyone who's willing to believe the gospel today.
At the beginning of this post, I said that it's all about one life. And that
one life is any one person who responds in faith to the gospel.
The gospel is always being given out, in a thousand different ways, in many
languages, in a thousand different places, all over the world. But it's
message is only about one life, one sinner's life that needs repair, rescuing,
salvation -- the mercies and kindness and power of God. It's for the one man
or woman or young person who will believe today. For someone somewhere,
today is their day.
The Bible makes it very, very clear that Jesus Christ died to save sinners.
And every sinner is in need of God's grace. That includes the people you
know and love. It includes members of your family, and the people who live
and work around you each day.
Will Jesus save them, too? If this teenager or this man or this woman -- the
very one you know and care about -- trusts in Him today, will Jesus Christ
rescue them? Will He take their sins away? Will He give them a brand new
life, a new and living hope, a reason to live and to be an active part of the
society in which they live?
In a word, yes. Jesus Himself said this:
"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me shall never hunger, and whoever
believes in Me shall never thirst. All that the Father gives Me will come to
Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out [or reject]. For
I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who
sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given
Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is
the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in
Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (from
That passage makes it clear that Jesus will not reject anyone who comes to Him
in faith. He'll do again and again what He's always done for everyone else
who truly believed in Him. All anyone must do is believe the gospel message
and call on the Lord to save them. Yet as Paul reminds us in Romans, chapter
10, how will they call on someone they know nothing about, and how will they
know unless some tells them?
I know this post is already long, but let me share with you an example of what
Jesus is doing today for those who believe the gospel. Here's what the Lord
Jesus Christ did for Richard Deem.
This is the testimony of Richard Deem, a sinner saved by the grace of God.
Even though I was unworthy, God loved me and called me to be His child. This
is my story of discovery.
I was raised in a moral, but non-Christian home, by loving, but agnostic
parents. From my earliest memories, I have had a profound interest in science
and nature. I pursued studies in the sciences in my classes and on my own,
primarily in the old "playhouse" room adjacent to the garage in the backyard
of my parents' home. During these early years I came across several religious
people, all of whom seemed to believe theirs was the only true religion. The
need for God seemed remote, since I was very capable and self-sufficient.
I pursued a bachelor of science degree in biology at the University of
Southern California, which included several classes which discussed the theory
of evolution. Studies on the possible chemical evolution of life were
unconvincing and led me to the conclusion there must have been a Creator God
who at least created the earliest life forms. I became a deist, but was
skeptical of being able to sort out which of the religions of the world
represented the true God.
After graduating, I began a master of science program in microbiology at
California State University Los Angeles and worked part time counting
inventory at night for an inventory service. One of these night jobs involved
doing an inventory at a Christian bookstore.
The store's owner was very friendly and helpful, but halfway through the job
he announced to our crew that he was going home. He told us to finish counting
and leave the totals on his desk, lock the door, and drop the keys in the mail
slot. We were all amazed that he would trust total strangers with his store.
There was obviously something very different about this Christian man.
I graduated with a master degree and began my career doing research in the
field of immunology. Things went very well and within six years I had
published eight articles (five of which I was primary author) in prestigious
scientific journals. I was running my own life and ignoring God until I got
very sick. The tests revealed I had Crohn's disease, a serious, incurable
inflammatory disease of the intestines.
I found myself unable to do things using my own abilities and strength. After
two months of being bedridden in severe pain, I cried out to God and promised
to try to follow Him and do what He wanted me to do (although I had no idea
what that was at the time). Within three months all symptoms of Crohn's
disease had disappeared.
Three years later I was "set up" for a blind date with a Christian woman. We
got along fine, except when it came to the issue of God. I was given many
things to read, including the gospel of Luke (which she thought would be of
interest, since Luke was a physician). None of this reading was convincing, so
I decided to read the entire New Testament, beginning with the gospel of
Mat thew. Things seemed rather bland until I got to the sermon on the Mount
What Jesus had to say was unlike any of the messages of the world, but was
what I would expect to be God's message. I was suddenly aware that I was
guilty in the eyes of God, even though I had led a "good, moral life." The
Holy Spirit convicted me that Jesus was the Son of God and that He was the
only way to have peace and communion with a Holy God.
Since that time, I have grown in faith as I have followed the course laid out
by the Holy Spirit. The joy and peace found by following Jesus is unlike
anything the world has to offer. It is something that I could not have
understood as a non-believer.
If you're a non-believer, I'm sure you have doubts about the peace Jesus
promises. However, through simple faith and a prayer to God, you can
experience this peace yourself. You have nothing to lose and eternity to gain.
If you still have some doubts or questions about the Bible, trust that the
Lord will answer those questions.
The Lord has been faithful in answering my doubts regarding the harmony
between science and the Bible through the ministry of Reasons to Believe. One
of my favorite verses is from Isaiah:
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the Lord, "Though your sins are
as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson,
they will be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
You can reach Richard Deem at http://www.godandscience.org/contact.html
(Richard's story is taken from the website: http://www.godandscience.org/)
House Church Talk is sponsored by the House Church Network.
House Church Talk has been renamed. These discussions, via the web, now occur at the Radically Christian Cafe.