The Power of the Gospel is Real
But would you feel as confident if you knew those hardened sinners in your audience were actually two-thousand antagonistic, gang members who:
• All have killed in cold-blooded murder, with their own hands, at least one person (and then went on to eat the dead body);
• All are presently, actively involved in some form of deep, black, Satanic witchcraft;
• All have both a heavy drinking and drug addiction history; and
• All are addicted to living in some form of sexual perversion; either incest, pedophilia, adultery, or fornication.
Also added to the audience will be several hundred unwed mothers, plus countless divorced and unfaithful women, as well as some legions of hardened children who live in those broken homes.
Next time you think anyone is too far gone, too-hopelessly lost, too far into sin, remember the power of God’s Gospel that takes spiritually dead sinners and changes their hearts into His holy temple.
That power is most beautifully displayed in John 8:11-47, please turn there with me. In a few moments, we’ll read those words together, but before we do, back to the gang I was describing.
If you would even agree to such a meeting and teaching time, we still need to ponder, what message do we give to people when we are:
Reaching Our Hopelessly Enslaved World
Add to this opportunity the question, what would you teach them if they asked you to stay in a camping tent, on the ground, in the middle of their village for a month, and present more messages about Christ?
The power of Christ’s regenerating Word, even in that type of atmosphere, permeated by sin, means God’s grace allows anyone who will believe the power to say no to sin and yes to walking in His Spirit. Just like the pioneer missionaries found in ancient times, God can change lives even in cultures dominated for centuries by immense evil.
This Gang is not Hypothetical but Real
That crowd of thousands of incestuous, drunken, murderous cannibals, totally naked, living in alcohol and drug-induced sexual frenzies, hating and hardened: is exactly the situation that faced one of the most well-documented missionaries of the past 100 years.
Whenever it seems like the challenge of evangelizing and then discipling those steeped in sin, with the sanctifying work of the Spirit is too hard, I always remind myself of one of the heroes I have admired since childhood—one lone missionary who taught those hopelessly enslaved people the power of God to completely change them from the inside out.
The year was 1910, the place Central Africa, and the man was Charles T. Studd.
What was his plan? He started in the Gospels and preached to them the message of Jesus straight from God’s Word. The message of the new birth, of the new heart, and of a Savior who loves so much He will forgive any and all sins. That is:
The Power of the Simple Gospel Jesus Taught in John 8