Spectrum Perspectives: The Gospel
The gospel has been on my mind a lot in this last semester, and I decided to pick it as the topic for this week’s Singular Perspectives.
To me the gospel is simply this: It is a message of hope, grace, and unfailing love. Jesus Christ did all that He did while on this Earth in love. He didn’t have to die for us, there could have been other ways to pay for our sin, but he chose to sacrifice Himself as the payment. He loves us that much. He has forgiven those who believe and I find hope in that. I don’t have to live in a bondage of sin because He has rescued me. The gospel is a love story and message of a rescue, hope, love, and grace. It is a message of healing and forgiving. It is the perfect love story.
With a topic as huge and personal as what the gospel means to me, I tend to lean toward two extremes in my writing: either I go all out and give the most in-depth (and often very lengthy) explanation that I can, or I try to condense it down to the most concise, straightforward, and simple version of what I believe. Since I’m sharing space in this post with the Adams and brevity is of the essence, I’ll take the second path. What the gospel means to me is that death is not permanent and that life has purpose, and that makes all the difference in the way that I deal with both.
In America today we’ve reduced the gospel to a “get out of jail free” card in the Monopoly game of life. It sickens me. I get that explaining the complexities of salvation to a 5-year-old is nigh impossible. I get that we don’t want to scare away converts with the fine points of theology. I get it.
There’s a reason, though, that myriads of today’s young adults are rejecting Christianity as simplistic. They say that Christianity provides no answers to the questions they have. The Christianity—the gospel—they are familiar with, the gospel we sell them, really doesn’t. It’s a powerless thing full of threats more than promises, full of fear of more than love.
The gospel is simple, don’t get me wrong, but the problem it solves is not simple in any way. Christianity isn’t about what happens after you die. Okay, it’s not just about that. There isn’t a sphere of life for which Christ does not have answers. There is not a part of life that Christ does not make sweeter.