We began this series with a quote from Karl Barth who said that people come to church out of the expectancy that they could find the answer to the question ‘IS IT TRUE? IS IT REALLY TRUE?”
If the gospel of Jesus Christ is really TRUE, then certain conclusions follow. The conclusion we want to look at today is . .
IF THE GOSPEL IS TRUE, THEN . . .
We have a message for the world, a message which is both good news and bad news.
The “gospel” means good news. Is the gospel good news to you? IF the gospel is true, then it is the best news anyone could ever hear — forgiveness from the Triune God! A place in God’s family! A reason to live! A confidence about the afterlife! But the gospel isn’t only good news. [The first book I wrote is entitled The Other Side of the Good News].
What’s the bad news of the gospel? Eternal judgment. Separation from God and God’s people forever. Righteous condemnation. Eternity in hell. There is no worse news than that!
One biblical text has always gripped my attention. It’s found in 2 Corinthians 2 —
Please notice the olfactory emphasis in this text. We are an aroma. We smell. To some we smell great. To others, not so much. Our job is to “spread the aroma” of Christ everywhere.
Just a few observations:
1. We are to be aroma-spreaders . . . everywhere (v. 14).
2. This aroma is “of the knowledge of Him” (v. 14).
3. Our primary audience isn’t the human race, but God Himself. We read, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ” (v. 15).
4. There are two groups who catch our aroma: (1) “those who are being saved” and (2) “those who are perishing” (v. 15).
5. The aroma we are spreading isn’t benign. To those who are perishing we are “an aroma that brings death.” To those who are being saved we are “an aroma that brings life” (v. 16).
6. Our aromatic duty is overwhelming and should cause us to exclaim with the Apostle Paul “who is equal to such a task?” (v. 16).
Today’s Challenge: Because the gospel is true, we have no choice as Jesus-followers but to bring the aroma of Him to the world. Everywhere. To everyone. Don’t be shocked when some turn up their spiritual noses at you or me. It comes with the package. Because the gospel is true.