And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
2 Corinthians 4:3-5 NIV
Can you see the light of the gospel?
I had lots of Christian friends growing up, but I didn’t understand their enthusiasm for church or God. I hardly veiled my disregard for their beliefs, making my doubts about heaven and hell quite clear. Although part of me regrets my insensitive comments, I’m also very grateful God placed those friends in my life. I was blind to the gospel they saw so clearly.
My friends were patient with me. They invited me to youth groups and retreats and took me to church. They led me by the hand to the light – to the person of Jesus Christ. They couldn’t change my mind or my heart, but they introduced me to the One who could.
The gospel preached in their churches, gave me a glimmer of who Jesus was and what God was like. Jesus rarely did what the religious leaders – or what I – expected of him.
I anticipated hearing a list of rules to follow and received only two: love God, love one another. (Matthew 22:35-40 NIV)
I thought Jesus came to pronounce judgement on our secret and not-so-secret sins, and found he was quick to dispense mercy and forgiveness. (John 8:2-11 NIV)
I was afraid Jesus would look into my heart and reject me, but found a Savior who saw and lovingly accepted me. (Matthew 11:25-30 NIV)
My life was defined by fear. But the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus proclaimed freedom from fear and reconciliation with God, rather than judgement and condemnation. It is good news, which is what gospel means.
My friends didn’t proclaim themselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord and themselves as servants for Jesus’ sake.
I want to be that kind of friend.
There are people all around us who are perishing – enslaved to fear, addictions, depression, hopelessness. They need to know about the One who came down from the Father in heaven to save us. They need to see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Can you see the light?
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. (I John 1:5-10 NIV)