Last night I had a crazy, awful dream that my oldest son Caleb died in my arms. He had been sick and while I was holding him he breathed his last. In agony I wept and wailed aloud, asking Jesus to restore him to life. “Please, Lord, please bring Caleb back to life.”
When I opened my eyes, I saw Caleb’s eyes open and roll around the room as if totally confused about where he was. He was alive!
I’ve pondered this dream all morning long. While I was doing my morning chores the song titled Forever by Kari Jobe played on my phone. The words struck a chord within me and caused my spirit to worship. The words say, “The ground began to shake, the stone was rolled away, His perfect love could not be overcome. Oh death, where is your sting? Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated!! Forever He is glorified. Forever He is lifted High. Forever He is risen, He is alive….He is alive!!”
That’s when it hit me. That is the message of the gospel. My dream is what Jesus has done for us – for me. I was dead. My ugliness and sin separated me from God, but when I called out to Him, He saved me. He reached down from on high and took hold of me. He drew me out of murky waters and restored me back to life.
This message is for everyone – the Republican, the Democrat, conservative, liberal, moderate, pro-life, pro-choice, homosexual, heterosexual, man, woman, child, mother, father, postal worker, police officer, homeless person, checker at Wal-Mart, nurse at the hospital, white man, black lady, Hispanic, Korean, German, Chinese, and all those nationalities I can’t pronounce. The message of the gospel is for all! Whatever label someone has placed on you or you on yourself, Jesus came and died for you, that you would live.
Now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31)
The Cost of Salvation? Everything. Yield to Him. Accept His sacrifice. Bow your knee. Confess your sins in humility before Him and ask Jesus to be Lord of your life.
This, my Christian friends, is the message we are to unite around. Not a law or policy, not a politician or other leader. We unite around the gospel. We raise its banner high!
The truth of God’s Word is what changes people. It is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered ad laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13
We will be persecuted for the gospel. People will hate us for it. Jesus foretold of it. He said…
Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles…All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved…. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap of joy, because great is your reward in Heaven. (Matthew 10:17-18,22, Luke 6:22-23)
We are to keep proclaiming the gospel in authentic love and true grace. We are ambassadors of Christ. We are not responsible for what people do with the message, meaning we do not force anyone to come to Christ. They must choose of their own freewill, but as Paul said…
We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
And God is patient, He doesn’t want anyone to perish but all come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9
The road is hard and often lonely, but we do not travel alone. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
My friends, let us pursue this gospel and unite around it.