The term gospel has become a pronoun, a word that refers to something else. Sure it means the 'good news' but even then, what is the news? What is this news they are referring to?
Anyone that has read more than 12 sentences of mine know that I am not so much of a grammar person. I asked my roommate, friend and grammar-nazi about an antecedent. An antecedent, for those who don't know, is what the pronoun is referring to. So the 'good news' is the pronoun here and now I think we need to figure out what the antecedent is. What is the good news that everyone is talking about?
I am starting to learn and really start to understand what the gospel, the good news of Jesus is. Jesus is the manifestation, the living physical representation of God's love. That God loves us, no matter what, God knows us but still loves us.
I heard a quote recently, "Christians have a easier time believing that God exist than that He loves them".
I love that, that is so me. I love to get into discussions about logic and philosophy of God's existence. But all of that is meaningless if we don't conclude that not only does He exist, but He loves us.
Sure we have heard, "Jesus loves you" a million times and a lot of us read it on hats, bracelets and shirts. But do we believe that after we sin? After we have done a really horrible thing?
I recently heard a story from a guy that really convicted my thoughts on what it really means to believe in Jesus.
This guy grew up in a broken home and needed to leave home so he actually ended up living with his best friend and his wife. His best friend was in a wheelchair, handicapped for life, but despite that he took him in and took care of his friend. So this guy's friend and wife took care of him, fed him and showed him hospitality for several years. After a while of living with the couple, he ended up having an affair with his best friends wife. I don't remember how, but his best friend found out about this and killed himself. As he was telling the story he started tearing up, saying, "I killed my best friend. Everyday after that I just wish he would have killed me, I wish he would beat the crap out of me. I hated myself, I hated who I was and where it took my friendships." After getting into crazy emotional detail, he said, "and you know what really gets me out of bed everyday? Do you know what keeps me living and loving. It's when I learned that Jesus died for me, even after I did that".
The story of Jesus is simple, yet complex. A year ago, around this time, I prayed, "I want to know the need for Jesus, I want to truly understand why Jesus had to come down and die, it just seems like there wasn't that much of a need". After a year of trials and darkness and tears I know what it means to believe in Jesus and that is simple.
To believe in Jesus, you have to believe that God loves you. To believe in the representation of God's love, you have to believe in what he is representing, which is God's love. Jesus didn't wait for us to sin and think, "well, I don't think I wanna die for that", or "well if I knew internet porn was going to be invented, I wouldn't have died on the cross" he didn't didn't wait for us all to sin then say, "yea, I think I can forgive that". He knew that he loved us regardless of the sin, the amount of the sin, the amount of hate and selfishness in the act, he knew that all of them He was willing to forgive, he was willing to still love us. He didn't think, "hey i said I would forgive all sins, but this guy that slept with his handicapped best friends wife, I cannot forgive that". He truly knew what sins were possible and probable and still died.
He died for us while we were still sinners.
The "Word of God" is known as the Bible, but actually in the Bible, many times, they say the word of God and are referring to Jesus. The word of God is true, just, eternal, it's life, etc. The word of God is Jesus.
I looked up the definition of 'word' and I got this. Word: a message, a promise, command, a person's account of truth and news.
Jesus is God's promise. Rainbows are God's promise that He won't flood the earth again. Jesus is God's Promise that He loves us, even while we were still sinners.
Jesus is God's message. Jesus is a message sent from God that He would do anything to show His love to us.
Jesus is God's command. To love as He has loved us. A physical demonstration on how we should live as an example.
Jesus is God's account of Truth.
Jesus is God's good news that He wants to tell us that He loves us.
Just as Jesus forgave the prostitute when she was caught in the bed with a married man. He didn't wait a few days to forgive her, or wait for it to 'sink in', he forgave her and gave everyone else the message that they should too, because they also have sinned.
My understanding of predestination is this: not that God chose are paths and that He decided who goes to hell and who doesn't, long before the earth was formed. But He chose our destiny, he chose what He wants us to become, we just have to accept, and once we accept, he will commit himself to molding us, correcting us, teaching us and convicting us to make us little Christs.
The destination was chosen, but the choice to get on the train is ours.
But to end, I should say this. Whoever you are, whatever you just got done doing or getting ready to do. Whatever you are thinking or just thought. If you still have the blood on your shirt or hate in your heart. God loves you. Regardless, and that is good news.
But we cannot truly change and until we repent and allow Him to mold us into little Christs. Little representations of God's love.
And when that happens, may we remember who made us and is making us perfect in His love.
For more of my thoughts on this very thing, I wrote a blog about this for a blog project called "The7ishproject". http://the7ishproject.blogspot.com I didn't get to proof-read or organize my thoughts as much.