One day this fall, I was walking my dog in our neighborhood when something suddenly startled her. She growled and barked and cowered at… a silly scarecrow!
Many people today can be just like that. We back off from the Gospel when we have no reason to.
In Romans 1:16-17, the Bible tells us why we should be confident in the Gospel:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
The Gospel message is the power of God. This Good News is not merely social concern or financial prosperity. The true Gospel is about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel reminds us of our need as sinners before God to benefit from the work of Jesus Christ. God has chosen to demonstrate His power to save people from the problems and penalty for sin through the Gospel.
Why do people back away from the Gospel message when it is the power of God?
Someone may object, “There are so many unique situations and religions. Certainly God would evaluate each one differently.”
But the reality is everybody has a lot in common.
The people in our world are divided into many nationalities just as they were when Romans was written. But from God’s perspective, our needs are the same. Everyone needs salvation from sin through Jesus Christ alone. And everyone must respond in faith. Salvation comes only to people who believe that Jesus Christ died for their sin — “everyone that believeth.” Never lose confidence that the Gospel is what every person truly needs.
My parents served as missionaries in British Columbia, Canada for several years. When they got ready to cross the border to move to that country, they found that their visas had expired. My dad then remembered that someone once told him a Canadian church could invite a minister into the country. He called a pastor in Canada and asked for an official invitation.
The letter they received gave them the right standing to enter the country. In the same way, God gives people the right standing to enter Heaven.
In Romans 1:17, “the righteousness of God” is the position of righteousness that God grants through the Gospel. No one can earn a right standing before God. Through faith alone in Jesus Christ, God grants a position of perfect righteousness. How silly it is to be ashamed of the message that makes us right with God!
There are many intimidating religious “scarecrows” around us today. Don’t let them scare you from the power of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Howard is Pastor at Morrow Bible Church.