I finished my last post with the idea that God chose me to hear the Gospel. Now here I have to state with absolute force and clarity, that I am not implying that I had anything of any worth, that allowed this to happen. I did not deserve it whatsoever. I am a reluctant, sin-addicted, self-righteous, self-saving, procrastinating, nasty, angry person. Which by the way, is the only thing that qualifies you for the Kingdom of Heaven. Poor in spirit? Yes. In fact… spiritually bankrupt about sums me up, that was my condition.
And so when I said that God chose me, the only response I can have, is thank you God, that you would pick me, totally depraved me, to bestow your grace and mercy on.
And I feel that at this point I need to apologize for the sin of self-righteousness that is still in my flesh. I have been too quick to jump back into my own sin of self-right-ness: “That I am right and that is good, and you wrong and that is bad.” I give thanks to God, for those He has put in my life to caution and correct me. Lord forgive me… Lord help me… Lord teach me to point to you light ever more graciously. Forgive me for trusting too much in “isms.”
But there is one thing that I won’t stop preaching, cant stop preaching and refuse to stop preaching.
And that is this:
That I am so grateful God chose to reveal his love for us through the death of his Son Jesus Christ, for the glory of His name’s sake, and that there is no other name under heaven and earth by which we can be saved from the hell we are in today, and the hell we deserve tomorrow. So whatever “ism” that I is… that’s the one I want.
And I’m sorry, but I am totally convinced that if I had never heard the Gospel of Christ Jesus, that God would have been entirely just to condemn me to hell, because my heart was utterly dead, a heart of stone… and the only thing which that heart deserved was destruction. So whatever “ism” that is, that’s what I believe.
And I am absolutely entranced by the fact that God chose to love me while I was still a sinner, and that he made a way for me to be saved in Christ Jesus. And I am flabbergasted that he wants to use me to bring this good news to others. So whatever “ism” says that God has given me an abundance of joy, that it might overflow into the lives of others so that he might by glorified, I believe that one.
And I am totally convinced that if I don’t share this joy, then there are people who will never get to see the Glory of his Son revealed, and will not even have the chance to put their faith in the only name that brings salvation… the name of Jesus Christ. So I am compelled to share my joy, because God told me to go into all the world and preach the good news, and for the first time in my life, I have a good news to share. So if I am guilty of anything, let it be of this, that God chose to reveal himself through Jesus Christ, and that is worth sharing, and I must share so that others can share in this joy, and thereby make my joy more complete.
So if that’s Calvinism, so be it. If that’s Arminianism, then so be it.
All I care about is that Christ is preached, so that sinful, broken and depraved people can like me… can have the chance to share in this joy with me, and be totally satisfied in Him.
And I can’t help but trust that this Gospel is so compelling, that when people truly see the treasure they are missing, they will in their joy count everything else as rubbish, to get the treasure of the Kingdom: Jesus Christ our Lord. I trust that as a seed planter, it’s not by anything that I have in me besides the Grace of God, that will inspire them to reach out and hold on to him, for the Glory of God. But it is the Spirit who says come, and the Father that will draw them to Christ. I can plant, and I can water, but it is God who will bring the increase. Only God can take a broken heart of stone and turn it to flesh.
So whatever “ism” that is… this is the rock I have chosen to build my life on… that through some amazing miracle of his love… he has bound this broken heart, he has set me free, and released me from darkness… and so what can I do now but join with Isaiah and say:
The LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners”. – Isaish 61:1
And I agree with Paul when he said,
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” – Romans 10:14,15
And so again I say, whichever belief system that is… that’s what I am. So let’s go and shout it from the rooftops that Jesus IS Lord, and proclaim it in the streets that He died and rose again, and let our light shine, so that people will have the opportunity to see Christ and give Him the glory and honour that He deserves.
So thanks to the Grace of God that has been revealed to me through my parents, through my local church, this is me… so I guess I believe in Christ-ism. If I am guilty of anything, oh please Lord let it be that.