Newsletter 02.08.17

Dear Church Family,

A few weeks ago we talked about perceived and actual hopelessness. I argued that before Christ’s blood was applied to us, we were actually hopeless, but now as Christians, any hopelessness we experience is solely perceptual. When God granted us faith to truly see the Gospel for what It is and then to respond accordingly, our hopelessness was replaced with the hope of Christ. This exchange is gloriously irreversible.

As the Spirit works within us, we don’t want to keep this good news a secret. So, as those who were once in the same situation, we strive to tell others about how they too can have true hope. However, in order to tell people how they can have real hope, we must first tell them that in and of themselves they are currently hopeless.

There are those who consider their situations or circumstances hopeless, but most people with “The American Dream” ingrained in them do not think they are hopeless. There is a pull yourself up by your own bootstraps mentality often labeled as grit when it really is pride. All this is to say, there are billions of people living in the world without hope, but they do not know it. These are mothers and fathers, baby sisters, doting grandparents, and everything in between who don’t have Christ and therefore don’t have hope.

The mission entrusted to the Church by her Savior is to make disciples of all nations. The life of a disciple begins at conversion, which happens when the Gospel is received with faith. That means, in order to faithfully fulfill the task entrusted to us, we must share the message of hope to those without it. Many will stumble over Christ when we tell them there is no hope without Him. Many will call us bigots and narrowed-minded.

Sinful man does not like to hear that he has no hope—but he must be told. And that’s not all we tell him. We tell him the best news a truly hopeless man can hear: Christ offers hope to all those who will look to Him in faith. Many will hate our hope, but there will also be many who love the Source of our hope. For this reason, God alone receives the glory.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?”

Gentry