Don’t throw that core away
Over the centuries, modes and methods of evangelism have continued to change. However, one thing has remained constant, and it’s the fact that at the core of true evangelism is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The final book of the Bible, which describes the end of the age, beautifully makes reference to the ‘everlasting gospel’. There are times and seasons in the church’s efforts to win the world to Christ, but the gospel always remains the same. We come to the world with this one treasure - this one hope - the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Planet Earth has a core that is both mysterious and little understood. Yet throughout the years scientists have been able to make some remarkable discoveries about it. Renown geophysicist Hrvoje Tkalcic, states that, "Although it constitutes less than 1 per cent of the Earth's volume, the inner core is extremely important for generating our planet's geomagnetic field – without which there would be no life on Earth." In a similar sense, where there is no presentation of the true gospel at the core of our evangelism, there is no power and no life. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes...” (Romans 1:16). The Passion Translation expounds this marvelously- “I refuse to be ashamed of sharing the wonderful message of God’s liberating power unleashed in us through Christ!”
In recent weeks, my wife and I went out to the centre-square of the city of Bergen, Norway to share the love of Jesus with people. Elisabeth and I began speaking with a 17 year-old lady who was smoking with her friends. She described to us how she has dropped out of school and been mostly homebound for about 6 years. When I asked her why, she began to tell us that she has been crippled with anxiety and depression since being bullied in younger years. I began to tell her of the indescribable anxiety that Jesus endured in the Garden of Gethsemane and the great depression that He felt on the cross as He cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” We explained to her that the reason that Christ endured these things was to make a way for her to be set free from these chains.
We went on to share how the love of God for her is expressed in Christ dying on the cross and being resurrected from the grave. From our hearts, we appealed to her for a change of lifestyle, belief in Jesus, and a choice to now live for Him. She said to us enthusiastically, “Yep, I’m ready.” We prayed together right there in the middle of the busy square in Bergen. Afterward, she began to tell us how she felt this heaviness lift off her chest and shoulders. She felt this immediate peace and refreshing on the inside. She had a huge, beautiful smile on her face.
The message of the cross - the gospel - was offered to our friend and she came running toward it. The gospel isn’t old. The gospel isn’t irrelevant to modern society. The gospel is the only hope of forgiveness, a new heart and a new life. It is the answer to the root problem of sin around the world. It’s an unstoppable power that will always be at the core of any sort of evangelism that I pursue. What else do we have to offer this world than this glorious good news?