EFFECTIVENESS OF THE GOSPEL

“And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit…”
1 Thessalonians 1:6

                   There is the story told of a preacher’s son who fell deeply in love with a young lady with whom he went to church. After a short courtship the boy and girl announced their intention of getting married. However, the church members one by one began to complain to the pastor that the girl was not right for his son. How could he allow his son to marry such a girl – you see she was a former prostitute who had gotten saved. Finally the young man had had enough and asked his father if he could speak to the congregation. Standing before the congregation the boy declared again his love and intention to marry this girl. Then he said these words; “By the fact that you all disagree with our marrying, you are telling us that you don’t believe that Jesus’ blood is powerful enough to save. For my sweetheart used to be lost but now she is found; she was dead but is now alive; and she was a prostitute but now is a new creature in Jesus Christ.” The congregation was silenced and the couple lived happily ever after.

          What a great story with a happy ending, but this is not always the case. There are a lot of believers who have limited the power of the gospel. They say that God does save folks but some are just not redeemable,  okay, which ones? I’m sure some in the early church believed this lie as well when they thought about the Apostle Paul. After all he hated Christ and His church, even murdering fellow Christians. We even read in Acts 9:26; “and when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.”

          But Paul knew the power of the gospel to change lives, as a matter of fact it could change the hardest and wickedest of sinners, himself. He wrote in Romans 1:16-17:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

          We have no need to be ashamed of the gospel for it is the dynamite power of God to break through the toughest of all hearts. The gospel has transformed drunks, dope addicts, homosexuals, murderers, thieves and the like into godly men and women, some of whom God has and is using in mighty ways. We don’t have write anyone off as not redeemable!

For Further Study

1.      Read 1 Thessalonians 1:6; how did the believers in Thessalonica receive the Word of God?

2.    Can you think of anyone right now whom you have written off as not redeemable? Will you repent of that attitude and ask God to begin a work of Salvation in them today?

3.    Are you ashamed of the gospel? Why or why not?

Today’s Prayer

 
          Father God I want to thank You that the gospel is powerful to save. I am indebted to the gospel for I was changed by its power. I ask You Lord to forgive me for being ashamed of it and not sharing it with others. I also ask that You forgive me for seeing some persons as not redeemable. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.