Doubts about the Gospel
Are we members of the incredible shrinking religion? If you were to listen to the news media and the pessimists, you would think so. The leftists in our country would love nothing more than to relegate Christianity to the dustbin of history and have everyone live in a more “enlightened” mode.
We are criticized for living by an antiquated book and an out-dated system of teaching. The more “enlightened” are more “liberal” and more “open-minded.” The two biggest challenges, I perceive, over the next few decades will be the church’s position on homosexuality and our position on a limited role for women in worship. Some churches are already relinquishing Christ’s teachings on the latter; it won’t be long before the former is also brushed over.
But, will Christianity become extinct? Not hardly. Christ’s teachings have been a major, driving force for good in the world for nearly 2,000 years. What has ever seriously challenged the pragmatism and spiritual richness of Christianity?
The Communists of a generation ago thought communism and marxism would replace Christianity. Yet, when the “wall” fell, there was a great “swooshing” sound as the Gospel re-entered those very nations. Why?
First, because man’s greatest problem is sin. So many deny it but that is the reality. Listen to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Paul’s culture was not so very different from our own.
Secondly, Christianity will also remain relevant because it is God’s religion. Christianity is Christ working in me. No other religion or philosophy can claim that. No other religion has the power of the Holy Spirit working through it. No other religion has written communication from God as its foundation. No other religion has a resurrected Savior as its power.
Our faith cannot rest in men. It must rest in the power of God, the same God who brought Israel out of Egypt on the wings of eagles. The same God who brought the walls of Jericho crumbling down. The same God who kept Daniel alive in the midst of lions.
To the Thessalonians, Paul wrote: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thess. 1:11).
Don’t lose faith in the Gospel message. It still is the power of God to save (Romans 1:16).