The word “Gospel”, derived from the Greek root word “euangelion” means more than just a message or story. It is good news that offers hope and life beyond the grave and death for the whole of humanity.
Many world tyrants have risen and fallen and left behind long trails of blood and gruesome deaths of millions of human lives lost under their reigns. Jesus Christ has shed no blood at all but has shown “Agape” or unconditional love towards all mankind.
The two world wars and the Holocaust, civil, political and religious wars…mankind still escalates to commit unprecedented crimes against humanity and continue to do more evil. Japan still mourns to those horrific days on August 6 and 9, 1945 when American bombers dropped atomic bombs over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that instantly wiped over 800,000 human lives. Tens of thousands more lives were lost due to the after-effects of radiation and at least 129,000. They were killed not by an army of soldiers, but by just two atomic bombs dropped from one bomber plane.
Rather than learning a lesson to cease or veer off from such devastating war experiences, several world super power leaders continue to terrorize the rest of the world by boasting of their nuclear capability - hence the world summit calls for the denuclearisation of North Korea and Iran in particular.
In this our own age and time, news headlines continue to highlight and loudly voice the concerns of world leaders regarding the building and development of nuclear armaments.
These efforts to escalate nuclear weaponry can only be described as potentially leading to the physical and spiritual suicide of all of humanity. Jesus Christ has fought no war against anyone but the devil, Satan, the great adversary and deceiver of all mankind.
The Apostle Paul describes why mankind continues to be blind to the devil’s work, because as he puts it: “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (verse 4).
There is only one name and message that offers the good news of salvation to the whole world and that, in no uncertain terms, is none other but the Lord Jesus Christ. If only our lives could be shaped and influenced much more by him than by the myths, legends, folklores, fairy tales, traditions and love stories often read to us as bedtime stories. They are often built around historical or heroic characters that seek only violence and vengeance for a settlement of disputes and indifferences. Yes, Paul says it very bluntly, “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost”.
How then are we to know that we are not only lost but also founded in Jesus?
1. It takes but the Holy Spirit of God in us after we have truly been born again, of the water and of the Spirit (according to Acts 2:38) to fully know and understand the will of God at enhancing our Godly relationship towards all mankind. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
2. Jesus teaches zero tolerance towards wrath, violence and vengeance: “And fear not them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body” (Mathew 10:28). “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thy enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12: 18 – 21).
3. How husbands should and ought to love their wives? “So men ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hateth his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5: 28, 29).
4. Jesus teaches about true love. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love your neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you...” (Mathew 5: 43, 44).
5. Jesus teaches proper upbringing of children. “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonishing of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
6. Admonishing of a true Godly relationship with all people, regardless of who they are: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12: 14). “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17).
7. Believe in the One True God and Eternal Life is in Him only: “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life” (1 John 5: 11, 12). “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols, Amen” (1 John 5: 20, 21).
8. Failing to acknowledge all of the above is spiritual suicide, meaning, we have no salvation until Jesus sits upon the throne of our hearts, as in heaven: “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2: 9, 10).
Consider ourselves saved and found only in Jesus Christ. Beside Him is no other God.
Have a safe and blessed weekend in Jesus, Amen!
Bishop Tutai Pere