2 Corinthians 5:17 states the following, "Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new."
There is a great need for the preaching of the gospel in this hour of history in America and beyond.
By "the gospel," I do not mean preaching and teaching that focusses on how we can experience better and more successful lives here on this earth. I am not referring to how we can learn to use Scripture in order to accumulate wealth or fame during our current temporal existence either. Even though the Lord can and does bless us and meet our needs, this is not the true message of the gospel.
The pressing fact is there needs to be a renewed focus on the preaching of the cross of Christ, the conviction of the Holy Spirit, godly sorrow that leads to repentance, what it means to be born again, righteousness, discipleship and more.
This does not exclude the fact that we need to preach about God's love, mercy, forgiveness and more. However, we must commit ourselves to proclaiming all the truths of God's Word in order to instill a needed maturity in the church that will aide in reaching and impacting a lost nation and world.
The sad truth is that there is currently and has been for some time a great lack of clear gospel preaching in a large percentage of the church. The outcome of this is that a great plague of compromise and sin has weakened and even muted the church when it comes to her role in culture. As a result, we see a society free-falling into degradation with little to no slow down. America is in desperate need of another great spiritual awakening, but first of all there must be a revival of truth in the church.
The apostle Paul made it clear in Ephesians 2:1 that "you were dead in trespasses and sins." His use of the word "dead" signifies he is actually referencing a corpse. The Greek word here is literally referring to a dead body. In other words, we were dead and isolated from God's eternal life. As a result, we were in a state of spiritual depravity with only one hope, which is the good news of the gospel.
I have been blessed to preach the gospel in dozens of nations around the world over the last several years. As I have declared the clear truth of God's Word in many cultures, the thing that has and continues to amaze me is that the gospel works in every setting. However, it is proclaiming the truth of lost humanity in need of a savior that always makes the difference.
It has not mattered what the geographic setting is, what ethnicity has been present or even what religious setting that I have found myself in over the years; the message of the gospel always penetrates hearts and lives have been gloriously changed. It is the simple and clear truth of the Bible that always brings those listening to a place of conviction, repentance and glorious transformation.
Below are three truths regarding mankind and the necessity of the transforming power of the gospel.
- We were dead in our sins and trespasses (not just morally inept). John 3:7 says, "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again."
- We were enslaved to spiritual darkness, sin and self. Titus 3:3 (NASB1995) says, "For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another."
- We were condemned. John 3:18 says, "He who believes in Him is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Through the preaching of the gospel, the following three truths about humanity become a glorious reality.
- We are transformed through the beautiful doorway of repentance. Luke 5:32 says, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
- We are awakened to the supernatural realm. Romans 5:1-2 says, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and so we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God."
- We are allotted grace for life. John 14:23 says, "Jesus answered him, "If a man loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our home with him."
Let me close by saying that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can make a difference. Our ability to do ministry, build churches, advance our media footprint and more means nothing in the light of eternity if we are not willing to share and live the truths of God's Word.
As God's people, we must arise in this hour and, as with the apostle Paul, we must not be ashamed of the gospel.
Keith Collins is the founder of Generation Impact Ministries and Impact Global Fellowship. He is actively involved in itinerant ministry, teaching and writing. In recent years, Keith served as the president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and as the director of FIRE School of Ministry, which were both born out of the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. His recent book, Samuels Arising: Waking Up to God's Prophetic Call, is now available on Amazon, and his podcast, titled Maintain the Flame, can be heard on iTunes and at cpnshows.com. You can contact Keith via his websites at keith-collins.org or impactgf.org.
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