As a church, we are seeking to grow in knowing, understanding, and sharing the gospel with others. This simple framework is designed to help us in our conversations: God. Man. Christ. Response.
We’ve considered how the Gospel is rooted in the reality that God is the loving creator and righteous ruler of all. As His creation, we were designed to find our joy, satisfaction, and life in a relationship with Him, submitting to His good rule over us (Revelation 4:11).
The Reality of Man’S CONDITION
Although we were created by God and for God, we have all stepped out from under His rule and declared independence from Him. In essence, we have set ourselves up as pretend kings to run our own kingdoms. We have turned from God’s way of life to live life our own way, seeking to find joy and satisfaction in everything apart from Him.
Romans 3:10-12 – None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
1) Man is a rebellious creature
This rebellion against God and rejection of His loving rule is what the Bible calls “sin.” It has broken our relationship with God and separated us from His life and love. In His goodness and justice, He cannot allow our rebellion to go on forever. Now all humanity finds themselves under the penalty of death and ultimate judgment, eternally separated from God in a place called hell.
2) Man is a condemned sinner
Hebrews 9:27 – It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.
The bad news is this – in our sin, there is nothing we can do to earn forgiveness or somehow make ourselves innocent before God. Our only hope is for God to for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
Why is this important?
Many people believe that man is inherently good. Therefore, the corruption in our world must be a result of something outside of us (i.e., education, family, environment, etc.). Their solution is relativism: don’t worry about a standard of right and wrong, just find a way – any way – to feel better about yourself. It can be religion and spirituality, or humanitarianism and activism. Whatever you do and however you do it, be true to yourself and find the good in everyone.
Others are keenly aware of their sinfulness. However, instead of seeing sin as their rejection of God, they simply view it as “doing bad things.” Their solution is moralism: stop doing as many bad things and work to do more good things so God will accept you.
However, when humanity fails to recognize that our fundamental problem is our rebellion against the Sovereign of all creation, then we will look for answers in anything other than the truth of God. As a result, we will set aside the message of God’s judgment as extreme, unloving, and unfair.
implications for evangelism
People need to understand the significance of their problem before they can understand the wonder of God’s solution. In other words, without the bad news, the good news is just … well … news.People need to understand the significance of their problem before they can understand the wonder of God's solution. In other words, without the bad news, the good news is just, well ... news. Click To Tweet
First, if sin is fundamentally rebellion against our Creator – that is what must change. Be careful not to present sin simply in terms of “doing bad things”. People can justify themselves with all the good things they do. But the gospel is not about moral improvement or self-help; a relationship with God must be restored. If we are never reconciled to God, then we are stuck in our rebellion and it’s consequences, regardless of how much good we do.
Second, if the Bible’s diagnosis is that we are rebels, and the prognosis is that our rebellion will be judged – then judgment must be explained. It is very important to communicate clearly and compassionately about God’s judgment on our rebellion. Condemnation is not an emotional response of God, but the inevitable consequence of our rebellion. When we separate ourselves from the Author of life, the only result can be death. When we rebel against the eternal Sovereign of creation, His holiness, justice, and goodness demand eternal judgment.When we separate ourselves from the Author of life, the only result can be death. When we rebel against the eternal Sovereign of creation, His holiness, justice, and goodness demand eternal judgment. Click To Tweet
The choice to reject God’s loving rule over us not only has consequences in this life but also for eternity. In our evangelism, we must be clear on the issue of sin and compassionate, yet direct, on the issue of judgment. Man is a rebellious creature and condemned sinner – it’s the darkness of this backdrop through which the brilliance of the Gospel of Jesus shines!