The Desperate Need For The Gospel

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Reading for octobre 22 from Desiring God's Daily Devotional app, which features the best of over 30 years of John Piper's teaching to your everyday life and satisfaction in Jesus. Download it for free in the app store. “Rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles— to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:16–18) My assumption is that people without the gospel are without hope, because only the gospel can free them from their sin. Therefore, missions is utterly essential in the life of a loving church, though not all Christians believe this.

Walbert Buhlmann, a Catholic missions secretary in Rome, spoke for many mainline denominational leaders when he said:

In the past we had the so-called motive of saving souls. We were convinced that if not baptized, people in the masses would go to hell. Now, thanks be to God, we believe that all people and all religions are already living in the grace and love of God and will be saved by God’s mercy. Sister Emmanuelle of Cairo, Egypt, said, “Today we don’t talk about conversion any more. We talk about being friends. My job is to prove that God is love and to bring courage to these people.”

It is natural to want to believe in a God who saves all men no matter what they believe or do. But it is not biblical.

Essential teachings of Scripture must be rejected to believe in such a God. Listen to the words of the Son of God when He called the apostle Paul into missionary service:

“I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:16–18) This is an empty commission if in fact the eyes of the nations don’t need to be opened and they don’t need to turn from darkness to light, and don’t need to escape the power of Satan to come to God, and don’t need the forgiveness of sins that comes only by faith in Christ, who is preached by the Lord’s ambassadors.

Paul did not give his life as a missionary to Asia and Macedonia and Greece and Rome and Spain to inform people they were already saved. He gave himself that “by all means [he] might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Desiring God, Multnomah Books (Colorado Springs, CO), pages 226–227

Jenny Smith

3705 Oceanview Drive, Denton, TX, 76208