I greet all who view this blog in the flawless name of Jesus Christ. There are countless topics that flood the news on a daily basis that impact Christian families and the church. Hence, we should be alert, but not anxious, spiritually proactive and not reactive. I pray that this blog will inform, challenge, and encourage you not to merely go through life, but to live it and live it victoriously.
– Pastor Muhammad
Over the past few weeks, a lot of Facebook members have become obsessed with “the gospel challenge”. From the Facebook perspective, members challenge or “call out” their friends to post a video of themselves singing a gospel song (in most instances, not too well). When the challenge is accepted, the singer posts the video and challenges one or several of his or her Facebook friends to do the same. If the challenge is declined, that individual is required to make a sizable donation to a charity.
What's really ironic is the fact that Christ extended the very first Gospel challenge, and very few people have taken Him up on it.Here's the challenge from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: Matthew 28:19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
What is the Gospel? The word gospel is derived from the Old English term gōd-spell, where god = good, and spell = story or message – in other words, the "good news" or "glad tidings". Gospel, in the Greek translation, is evangelion or "reward for bringing good news". The Gospel is conveying the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Additionally, it expresses the “good news” that mankind can reign with Him for all eternity through accepting the finished work done by Jesus Christ on the cross.
So who called you out and how? 1 Peter 2:9
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
So what’s the challenge? I’m glad you asked. The first is to make disciples by evangelizing. This is a serious task and should not be taken lightly. The Gospel is not a casual matter. In verse 20 of Matthew 28, our Lord is so specific in regards to the handling of the Gospel that He instructs the disciples not to leave anything out, ensuring obedience to all of His commands.
Here is the real Gospel challenge: Our actions! Followers of Jesus Christ are challenged to live holy. We are challenged to crucify the flesh daily. We are challenged to love and forgive. His marvelous light exposes our sins, our weaknesses, and the things that we cannot do or accomplish in our own might. Jesus’ light allows us to see HIM and should compel us to run towards Him, away from sin and recklessness. So, let the challenge not be how well you can sing or place notes in a riff, but that you live a life pleasing to God and worship Him, despite the tests and trials, in Spirit and in truth. Let me put it this way: perhaps the easiest part of being a Christian is singing a gospel song, but the real challenge is living the lyrics.
We can easily distort the message of Christ by our deeds, ridicule Him, and scoff at His sacrifice. Like the Facebook “gospel challenge”, if we refuse to share the Gospel of Christ, we will have to pay a price (and it won’t be to a charity). It is God’s desire for us to spread the Good News while striving to live holy lives, thereby being effective representatives of Him. Are you up for the challenge?