Saturday, November 24, 2012

What is the Gospel? Bryan McWhite

God is the rightful and sovereign king of the world. But his sovereignty has always been disputed by human beings—including you and me. We have all rebelled against his sovereignty because we each thought we would make a better king than him. We each thought we knew best about what was best for ourselves and for the world. So God gave us over to what we wanted. He let us be our own kings for a time. But the result of humanity’s attempt at self-rule has been a disaster. Hunger, famine, poverty, corruption, war, sadness, lack of fulfillment, a sense of meaninglessness in life, broken relationships—with God and with each other, discord, disease, death….

But God loves his creation and was not willing to let it destroy itself. So he launched a rescue plan. He entered the world in human flesh as Jesus. Jesus is the rightful King over all creation, and in his lifetime he launched the Kingdom of God anew on earth—a kingdom of love and justice and blessing and peace and beauty. He died for his people, and in his death he absorbed his people’s sin and guilt and shame and rebellion so that they could be reconciled to the One they rebelled against and become part of his new Kingdom—anyone who commits their life to following Jesus as a subject of his kingdom. His kingdom will one day flood the whole world as God rules over all the earth in love, justice and peace.

In the meantime, his kingdom people live as “outposts in time.” We live the life of the new creation right here in the middle of the old creation. We proclaim the good news that God’s kingdom of love and justice is both here and is arriving. We invite people to lay down their rebellion against God and be reconciled to him by choosing to follow Jesus as their true and only king. And we wait for the return of the King to finish what he began and make a heaven of this world.

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