The Gospel is the message that the wrath of God toward sinners has been re-directed to Christ on the cross, who will graciously forgive all sin for those who will come to him in faith and repentance. This is good news. Yet often when we talk about the good news, it is coupled with bad news: a loss of evangelistic passion, the decline in baptisms, and the overall lethargy of Baptist churches. This is bad news.
However, there is some good news about this bad news.
It will not always be this way. The antagonism people feel toward the church will be righted when the King of the Kingdom reaps the harvest (Matt. 13:30). The lethargy for lost people will disappear when God lets the light of Christ shine (Luke 8:16-18).
This really is a provocative parable, a one sentence metaphor, Jesus told in Luke 8:16.
No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.
Our internal commentary on this text is the song, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine….” This is in fact the application of the story when told by Christ in Matt. 5:16, but not here. There is nothing in the immediate context that makes this about us sharing our light, but rather this is about God sharing His Light.
Jesus continues that nothing that is secret that will not “come to light” (v. 17). The secret is the secret of the kingdom (v.9) that only true disciples can understand. The principle secret of the kingdom is that Jesus is the King of the Kingdom and coming back to reign forever.
God will not hide the secret of the light of Christ. He will ultimately put it out there so that all can see.
This is encouraging! So often the talk of evangelism is accompanied with a heavy side of guilt so thick, we refuse to see the great joy we have in sharing the light. The good news about the bad news is that it will not always be that way. The God of all will one day make the invisible kingdom visible. He will not hide the secret that Christ is ruling! This is good news.
King Jesus is not just coming to reign, He is reigning.
One day the invisible kingdom will be made visible. This is very good news. Of course the devil has some dominion now, but only that temporarily granted by the Father. As Luther said, even the devil is God’s devil.
Until the harvest of King Jesus we are desperately attempting to tell everyone we can the good news. Jesus will come in judgment. When he does there will be no more opportunity for those to hear the good news. This is why this is so incredibly urgent. There is nothing more important than drawing glory to God through the exaltation of His Son by seeing as many people come into the kingdom as possible.
In this vein, Southwestern wants to help churches be equipped to do just that.
I want to personally invite you to our SBC event Launch: Equipping for Every Day Evangelism.
We will have a panel discussion with Stephen Rummage, Steve Gaines, Ronnie Floyd, and Matt Queen. There will be other special guests as well.
For the first 300, we will give away a free set of books designed to equip your church to do every day evangelism. As door prizes we will give away a set of three commentaries from the NAC series.
We will hear testimonies from those who are doing it, and generally be encouraged about the task. For more information look here. Launch will be a celebration of some very good news about the bad news.
The current state of things temporary. A lack of love for lost people is not an unavoidable trend, it is a daily choice. A choice that can be reversed! This is very good news indeed.
See you there as we celebrate the good news.