The gospel of Jesus is the good news of forgiveness, redemption, and salvation though our Lord’s atoning death and resurrection. It is the message of grace that sparks hope in the hurting.
Our family study of how the bible describes the New Covenant has used the book Wineskins as a guide. This evenings section considered the scriptural footprints that indicated potential boundaries to the life-span of the New Covenant. In other words, biblical prophecies point towards a time beyond that currently experienced by Christians.
The message of grace given to Christians under the New Covenant operates within divine boundaries. It is great news; but, it is not all the news. There is more to the story.
This is not to say that the gospel is insufficient. That message is what God requires his followers profess faithfully to those near and far. When compatible with the scriptural evidence, the gospel message has the power to resurrect the dead, to breathe new life into the desperate, and to confound the gates of hell.
Not all religious messages, however, carry such glory. Sadly, there are many false gospels that rampage through religious hallways (something that will be considered in subsequent posts). But when professed in line with the fullness of Scripture, the New Covenant gospel offers the greatest message of hope available.
And yet, it is not the full story.
The bible does not allow Christians to profess anything different, but it does give brief hints of something beyond the limits of the God-given gospel.
Without detailing the verses noted in Wineskins, it may be worth highlighting one of those “hints”.
Whether we like it or not, the gospel clearly requires that every knee bow and every tongue confess Jesus as Lord or face condemnation before the Throne of Judgment. The Bible tells us that many will knowingly reject Jesus and be denied entry into the Kingdom of God. It even goes so far as to tell us that blatant evidence of such rebellion is “how you know who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil.” This is all part of the gospel.
Now consider this revealed “hint”:
“As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” (Rom 11:28)
Those who use this as justification for their false gospel of “universalism” must reject large sections of Scripture in the process, and yet, there is something extraordinary about what is indicated here.
We have a message of good news that is exactly what Jesus wants shared with all who will listen. And we also have a God whose love extends beyond what our grasp can currently contain.
The gospel of grace in Christ is absolutely good news—the best possible message of hope anywhere. And yet, God himself is greater than the gospel! His plans are beyond tracing out. Hope in him bursts the seams, overflowing with grace and love beyond our wildest dreams.
Expect God to keep his word: the gospel is the good news of restoration between man and his Creator through faith in the blood of Christ.
Expect Jesus to return and resurrect his faithful saints to shared glory with the King of Kings.
Expect Jesus to destroy Satan, to pour out holy revenge on the wicked, to give the rebellious what they want: eternal separation from the Giver of Life.
Expect the lion to lay down with the lamb; for there to be no more crying or tears. And….
Expect God to do the unexpected, to exceed our expectations, to set the captives free, to show great mercy, to extend his loving grace beyond what we now comprehend.
Faithfully share the good news and expect to be amazed at the One who is Great.
Does your gospel message allow for God to remain true to his word and still astound creation with unexplainable grace?