reckless and dangerous

We hear the term gospel all the time. It is widely used and abused. The word actually means “good news.” And believe it or not, people respond to the gospel in one of three different ways.

Before I discuss the three responses let me explain how we get good news from gospel. It all begins with God. There are a few things we need to understand about God’s nature. God loves us with an eternal love but He is also a just God who detests sin. Therefore when we sin there is a punishment due. That’s how justice works.

Meanwhile, the reality is that as human beings we have all sinned. In fact we have sinned big time. If we ever get sinning down to once a day and live to be 65 we will have sinned 23,275 times. It piles up. The Bible says that sin brings with it the penalty of death. Death is eternal separation from God in a place called hell. Hold on, it gets worse. The Bible also says that there isn’t anything we can do to make ourselves right with God. Sounds pretty desperate, doesn’t it? Well, it is!

Here’s where the good news enters the picture. Jesus came into this world to pay our sin debt for us. He came to do for us what we could never do ourselves. He came to offer us the opposite of what we deserve. In a word it’s called grace.

And when we accept the grace He offers, turn from our selfish and sinful way of life to a life of surrender to Him, a decision that leads to baptism for the forgiveness of our past sins, we are forgiven and adopted into His eternal family. Does that sound too good to be true? Well it is. This is about the only time when sounding to good to be true is actually true. Not only is this good news, it is the best news we could ever be the recipient of. It is tremendous, awesome and stupendous news.

So what is all this three responses to the gospel stuff? It sound to me like there is just one response, yes or no. I accept the grace he offers or I reject it. I am in or out. But hold on. There’s more to responding to the gospel than just that. In fact, there are three ways people respond to the good news. Here they are.

“I believe in the gospel enough to benefit from it.”

“I believe the gospel enough to contribute comfortably to it.”

“I believe in the gospel enough to give my life to it. It is never ever about me again. It is all about Him.”

Here’s my point in taking up your time in this blog post. If Jesus died the most heroic death the world has ever known, doesn’t He call us to live a heroic life for Him. Doesn’t He call us to be hard core, reckless and dangerous followers of Him? How can we settle for just a selfish or lukewarm response to the best news the world has ever known and we’ve ever experienced?

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