Friday, October 14, 2022

The End of the Gospel


In years past I wrote several “gospel” blogposts. The first was inspired by a Sunday School teacher who referred to the “actual gospel.” This term jumped out at me as a title, and I wrote about it. More writings followed. 

I wrote about other subjects—the condition of our society, the advancement of science as it pertains to the human condition, the darkness around us. But my favorite subject has always been the truth and light of the gospel.

After the passing of time, and the downward spiral of our world, I came to the conclusion that I had little else to say except this: I have nothing to offer but Christ crucified. The statement based on I Corinthians 2:2 summed up my feeling that there was not much left to write about. This decision was my own. It was not necessarily God’s will for me, and I knew that. I knew it all along. But my writing became sporadic. I stopped working on an unfinished novel. I blogged occasionally but lost the discipline of sticking to a schedule. And as happens when a writer doesn’t write, I became a bit hopeless, a bit cynical. I sabotaged my own sense of completeness.

But what does it matter if I write? Other writers, many others, impart their influence and encouragement with far more skill and talent than I could ever offer. All the great deliberations have been expressed within the binding of a book or the glow of a screen. My little voice means nothing. And yet, I am compelled by my Creator to live out His design for me. To offer Christ crucified the best way I know how, with words on a page.

An end, or a pause, in my writing does not mean an end to the gospel. It carries on by the will of God, continually changing the world around me, with or without me. I’d rather it be with me.

But while I struggle to pen these words, the world is not changing for the better. We’re being pushed, seemingly crushed by those rulers, those authorities, those powers of this dark world. (Ephesians 6:12) They want to end the gospel. To silence us and, to some extent, we have become silent. But not completely.

There are still churches that preach the gospel above all else. Still pastors and leaders who will not cower but lift up the name of Jesus as the only hope of conquering evil. Still teachers and writers and students of Scripture who won’t bow to societal pressure or accept the lies of cultural shifts. And while the church in general remains either cautiously vague or thoughtlessly uninformed, there are those willing to voice a properly discerned warning to the lost and saved alike that the end of the age is near. This is not the end of the gospel, but the gospel of the end, which is the same as it was at the beginning, unchanging and eternal. Now and always we are called to, with honesty and humility, speak the gospel.

For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. I Thessalonians 2:3-4

I feel the need to repeat myself, and so I’ll rerun my “gospel” posts over the next several weeks. Afterall, I still have nothing to offer but Christ crucified. But that doesn’t mean I can’t keep saying it over and over in every creative way the Lord impresses upon me. So, while I’m posting reruns, I’ll set my mind on writing anew, knowing I can do nothing without Christ who strengthens me. I’m one of those believers who discerns the lateness of the age, and it seems I spend more and more time smiling at the sky in anticipation of the Great Return. But I can’t just stand around waiting. I’m not out of time, or inspiration, or words. It’s best for me, for all of us, to be busy about our Father’s work, to run the race, and to finish strong.

The end of the gospel is a non-issue. It can’t be stopped. The gospel of the end is no different than the beginning. It will not be silenced. It knows no end. But our days are numbered.

“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10: 8-10

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