Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Heralds of Good News

I just finished John Piper's new little book Jesus The Only Way to God: Must we hear the gospel to be saved? and would definitely recommend this book but I wanted to share a part from the conclusion with you. I thought this section really captured the heart of Piper's purpose for writing this book but also ought to encourage and challenge us as we battle daily to love people who want love but willingly reject Christ.

"The world wants to be loved in some of the ways that the Bible commands us to love them. And the world does not want to be loved in other ways that the Bible commands us to love them. Millions of people do not want to be loved by being told that they need to trust Jesus in order to be rescued from everlasting destruction. This seems to them narrow, arrogant, presumptuous, and offensive. This is not new. But it is perhaps more prevalent today than ever.

In the first decades of the twenty-first century, with an ever closer concentration of diverse religions in our urban centers around the world, and with the explosive nearness and immediacy of everything on the Internet, more and more Christians are losing the nerve to tell the world - the neighbors at home and the nations who have no gospel access - the good news of Jesus, because they fear it will be heard as intolerant, old-fashioned, arrogant religious dogma.

I have written this little book to convince our minds and strengthen our hearts to do the loving thing, namely, to spread to all peoples the good news of God's word in Jesus to rescue sinners and someday renew the world. To this end, I have tried to answer three questions with arguments and illustrations from the Bible: Is there an eternal hell of conscious torment to be rescued from? Answer: Yes. Is the death and resurrection of Christ essential for that rescue? Answer: Yes. And do people need to hear this good news and believe it in order to be rescued? Answer: Yes"

May we be faithful to proclaim Christ crucified to a world lost in sin. We have the ministry of reconciliation because God in his mercy has reconciled us. May we be faithful ambassadors as we plead with the people to be reconciled to God through the substitutionary atoning work of Christ for sinners.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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