26th March 2019

A Meeting with the Gospel

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.”
John 5:22 (NIVUK)

We live in a pluralistic and secular world where increasingly difficult questions about Christianity may be asked which, if not answered, could put the claim that God is love in jeopardy.

Our creator is our judge, which raises the question: has he created billions of human beings only to subsequently condemn them? Our judge is also the one who was judged in our place which raises a further question: was he judged to save the few, the elect, or for the many, the whole of humanity? What will happen to those who died without hearing about or understanding the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, or to those too young to understand, or to those mentally or psychologically incapable of understanding it, or to those driven away from Christ not by the gospel but by the poor testimony or lifestyle of professing Christians?

As early as the third century the pagan philosopher Porphyry, a critic of Christianity, asked the question, “What has become of men who lived in the many centuries before Christ came?” Jesus gave food for thought on this subject when he said of Capernaum, “For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day” (Matthew 11:23). Sodom was notorious for its wickedness, yet Jesus implied that if they had lived at the time of Jesus they would have repented, as would the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon (verse 21). Are these lost because they lived at the wrong time in the wrong place?

The apostle Paul explains the process of salvation in this era of the church: “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:13-14). He then goes on to say that, “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17).

To believe in Jesus, one must have heard of him. Salvation is about the life, death resurrection and ascension of Jesus and all that means. The Bible is vague about what happens after death but one thing is certain, “people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There is no time schedule on this statement, but all will ultimately meet with the Judge who is the incarnate, crucified, resurrected and ascended Jesus Christ, the Word, the Gospel. All will come to the Truth (Jesus), including those in all the categories mentioned above, and have the opportunity to accept or reject the Gospel, Jesus Christ. The gospel is good news for ALL.

Prayer
Father, we are grateful that in your scheme of salvation, all will have an opportunity for salvation.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh

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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Sheffield
The Source Training & Conference Centre
300 Meadowhall Way
Sheffield
S9 1EA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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