There is one reason alone for proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Any other reason is deception. Gospel is the word spoken or written concerning life in Christ; for it God appoints people. It is for a specific purpose that is higher than any man in the flesh can imagine. It gives hope of life to its hearers that believe it by changing their life. That hope is unbreakable. A man or woman’s life is changed by the gospel that their perception of life changes. They are to perceive all things according to the understanding in God. In other words, they must look at life from God’s viewpoint. The gospel enables them for it, if they are able to understand that their life actually has a specific purpose. It is for one and one reason alone. The apostle Paul explained it in the following: “because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel” (Col. 1:5).
The reason for hearing the gospel is that there is no everlasting hope in this world. The life, which we now live in the flesh, will have to end come what may. The reason for it is known to us. It is the effect of falling from grace that was initiated by the sin of Adam and Eve. And whatever the world does is in sin and is merely for living out their short life on earth. This certainly says the unbelieving world is without hope. What gospel brings to people is the hope of a different kind of life. It is stored up in heaven. It is a life which believers in Christ will possess. It allows them to continue to live. In order that we take hold of it, we have come to understand from the gospel that the life we now have is for a specific purpose God chose for us. So, our primary goal is to not look to satisfy the life on this earth, but to obtain the life laid up for us in heaven. Obviously, we do not know the kind of life it is. Yet, we do know from the Word and even by living on this earth that it will be a far, far better one; it will be a life we would have never imagined. It is of such life that Paul spoke and for it he lived out his life on the earth for Christ. Just imagine, in his case, he would never die; is always with joy in the presence of God with all the magnificent things he has never seen or imagined. All his sufferings, troubles, inadequacies and fears were short lived! It is because of the gospel of Christ that changed his life.
Once the gospel changed his life, he saw life from God’s viewpoint. And the same happened to those who heard and believed his gospel of Jesus. From his words it is clear that those Christians were guaranteed the unseen magnificent life in heaven. How do we quantify it? We cannot! It is of such greatness. The life laid up for us in heaven is much more than all that we have and see in this world. One of the reasons the people of the world do not have hope is they assume the things of this world as their only means to life. On the contrary, they are just a means to survival and a way for God to deal with men on earth. If by having the things of the world we still die, they are not the magnificent things that give the life, which God promises through His gospel. Well, someone might say to me, “how do you know it?” It is the work of the gospel that touched my heart to change my life and see it from God’s viewpoint. Then, I knew what life would be without Him. “So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image” (Rev. 16:2).
Remember Paul saying elsewhere that if we hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. Life without hope in heaven is death. Life without God’s perspective is hopeless. Jesus offers it in our life. No human being, given the choice, would want to die. Nevertheless, he dies, because of the sin that rules him. It is only the gospel of Jesus that is able to remove sin from him, because it brings upon him His sinless blood. And such people we are, cleansed by the blood of Christ, for the life stored up in heaven. God has not been unjust to us. When we became sinners by the disobedience of one man, He did not leave us to death. He prepared a way to save us by sending His Image, i.e. Jesus. Just as God did not want the first man to disobey Him that he should die, even so He now wants all men to obey Him that all should live. And since we obeyed we now have a life prepared in heaven. Our obedience has denied the mark of sin on us. This brought forth God’s grace upon us in as much as we will never be lost or eternally die. For this reason, the gospel is so precious. Believing it credited us righteousness through the blood of Christ; righteousness seeks obedience, which has an automatic outcome. It happened before. “For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil” (Rom. 16:19).
There is honor in obeying God. We do not have to proclaim our godliness, but our obedience to the gospel that changed our life and enlarges it will in time produce a good report of us. Our life does not resemble the life of those in the world. It is with a specific purpose to live according to God’s viewpoint. And when we are determined to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil, we become all the more useful for God’s kingdom. They are additions to our obedience to accelerate our spiritual progress. For example, eating meat is not a sin, but to not eat it for the sake of a weaker brother is being wise in that which is good and innocent in what is evil. This glorifies God. Here is an example to not being wise in what is good. “Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue” (John 12:42).
As belief is without confessing Christ so is obedience apart from the accelerators of spiritual growth. Both remain dormant for God’s purpose of us. Obedience leads us to the intrinsic things of God. When we see that something is good to do, it compels us to weigh it and execute it in the right way for a better outcome. This is being wise in what is good. To exercise wisdom is doing good according to God’s will. The great quality of obedience, which has become distant to many Christians, is it gives the freedom to do the right thing. The reason many in the churches are unable to uphold the essential things of God is they lack this freedom. They are always in fear of something or someone and thoughtless in seeking God’s will. They do not know that when they fully obey Him nothing eternally harms them. Lack of obedience disabled them to see life from God’s viewpoint. Hence, there is nothing compelling in them to do good that relate to serving God and His kingdom. Yet, they claim Christ, who was contrary to their nature. “For I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:16).
He fully obeyed God. That He said He would never eat the Passover again in the flesh indicated He was determined to obey God even for death. For Him to eat it meant His death is imminent. He chose to be wise in what was good for God and His kingdom, because He first fully obeyed His will. For Him to have not taken part in the Passover would have meant He feared someone or something. When He ate it, He did it knowing His obedience will bring life to many by passing over their eternal death in the power of God, and thereby, give Him the opportunity to eat it again with them in heaven. One Man’s additions to His obedience gave life to many. Even so, we are called to be like Him. It means we are to fulfill God’s purpose by adding to our obedience the principles that please Him. Then, we too will reach many for Christ. For we became well versed with the fact our life is stored up in heaven. And such was the man by the name of Apollos. “And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace” (Acts 18:27).
The one thing that defines this man is fearlessness in proclaiming the things He believed of truth. He was very bold and persuasive in preaching the things concerning Jesus, though acquainted only with the baptism of John. He believed in Jesus and obeyed Him, but only to a level of knowledge He had concerning Him. When He was corrected by Aquila and Priscilla, He obeyed and became wise in what is good by adding to his obedience the complete knowledge of Christ. See where it took him. When He desired to go to Achaia, the church happily sent him. Because he progressed spiritually, he became a great help to Christians rather than a disturbance to them. By choosing to be wise in what is good he became innocent in what is evil. Obedience with the principles that please God helps us to look for ways to serve Him. This comes about from hearing the gospel. And, we too will have the opportunity to say, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place” (2 Cor. 2:14).