In the prevailing pandemic, because of community transmission, it becomes hard to track the chain of transmission of the virus in large number of cases. The virus has started circulating within the community and can also infect those individuals who have neither traveled to a country affected by the outbreak nor have come into contact with a person infected by the virus.
Present day Christianity could be compared to the stage of community transmission, as it is hard to track the chain of transformation of large numbers of people. Without proper understanding of the Kingdom and without any personal encounter with Jesus, people have adapted the methodology available within the community, to establish a religion called Christianity. However, Jesus came to this earth to save all mankind from their sins and not to establish any religion.
This community is mostly adapting the following three aspects to reach out to the unreached. They are, blessings, healing and deliverance. People after obtaining all or either of the three, get satisfied and switch to various mediums which can give them the same kind of blessings. As such, leaders of the community have failed to lead these people towards salvation. Though the leaders often repeat the Good News, their focus is not on salvation but on providing temporary happiness and reliefs. People after availing relief, go back to their lives, as they have not understood the salvation that holds them to Jesus.
Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.John 9:35-38
In the above passage, Jesus did not stop at opening the eyes of a blind man but revealed Himself to him and saved his soul. Jesus is willing to reveal Himself to the people who are anxious to know about the reason behind their blessings, healing and deliverance.
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.Acts 8:34-35
In the above incident, the spirit of God led Philip towards a eunuch, to lead him to salvation by decoding the prophecy of Isaiah about Jesus and the Good News.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”John 6:68-69
The above passage is an answer given by the disciples when a great number of people left Jesus, as they faced difficulty in abiding to the teachings of Jesus.
Probably, they would have come for an instant blessing or healing or deliverance. At this juncture, the disciples told Jesus that they have come to believe and know that Jesus is the Holy One of God. Why do we come to Jesus?
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”John 4:24-26
Again, we find Jesus revealing Himself to a woman, who was expecting the coming of the Messiah. Are we following Jesus only to derive blessing, healing and deliverance or are we expecting His second coming, to be judged by Him with the confidence we have in the blood of Jesus Christ?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.Romans 1:16
Paul was boldly proclaiming that He was not ashamed of the Gospel. What about us? We may not be ashamed, but somehow, we are hesitant in telling people that Jesus died for our transgressions. He shed His blood on the cross, died, was buried and resurrected on the third day, overcoming the power of death forever and ever.
Yet, we are comfortable in referring to the empty tomb as the proof for His resurrection and fail to introduce the resurrected Jesus, who supposedly resides in our heart. Without showing people His new residence, we try to lure people by citing worldly blessings, physical healing and a temporary deliverance.
Probably, if we realize the Power of the Gospel, we may not devise so many schemes and plans to fetch people to His kingdom. How many of us cleverly format our sermons with presentations and number of rehearsals while quoting from the books of renowned authors and eminent speakers?
For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.2 Peter 1:16
The early church was totally dependent on the Good News and nothing else because they had seen the life of the Son of God, especially the transfiguration experience and His glorious resurrection. With that rich experience, they were constantly reminding people of how Jesus died for us while we were still sinners and relentlessly preached the Good News.
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.Acts 14:8-10
In Lystra, Paul was focusing on the sufferings, death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ that ignited the faith of many, including the faith of the lame man and he was healed. Good News will renew the heart of anyone who hears it and there is no need for any cleverly inserted video clipping of testimonies to promote our ministry and our organization. The Power of the Gospel is enough to bring forth change in the heart of any common man.
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.1 Corinthians 1:17-18
It is time to examine whether we apply our human minds and strategies in our ministries and thereby make the cross of Christ null and void. The early church exclusively preached Christ’s crucifixion (1 Corinthians 1:23), the power of God and the wisdom of God that saves people from their sin.
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.Acts 2:46-47
Is this the kind of growth happening in our churches or are we fastening our relationship with the good old existing members? What are our plans and projects to increase members in our church? The early church sincerely praised God and God took care of everything.
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.Romans 8:11
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, is living in our hearts. However great be a person’s transgression, it is not up to us to decide their salvation because the Good News has the power to give every sinner an eternal life.
There were various types of weapons used over the years to assassinate some of our great leaders but those weapons still remain deadly even today. Whereas, the power of the Gospel has changed the cruelty of the Cross into a symbol of God’s immeasurable love.
Satan is thriving hard to mar people’s soul by tormenting them with fear about their painful future and death. Do not give footstool to Satan either in your personal life or in the life of anyone else by underestimating the Power of the Gospel. We are conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ and so will the others also be.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Corinthians 15:55-57