Thursday, April 7, 2016

Why Be Urgent with the Gospel?
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

Job declared that my life is but breath (Job 7.7). David affirmed that God has made our days as handbreadths (Ps 39.5). James reminded us that we are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4.14). Our lives are brief. We are here but for a few years and then we step into everlasting eternity without end. One might ask: why must we be so urgent with the gospel?

We must be urgent with the gospel for the following 5 reasons: because of…

1. the nearness of death.
Men fail to realize how final and certain death is. This life is not the end. Death is not the end. Five seconds after death is not the end. When God takes a person’s life and he steps into the everlasting abode of eternity he will then realize just how brief of a time he was on earth. But it will be too late then. Life is short. Heart attacks happen. Strokes can seize people and usher them immediately into eternity. Accidents occur. Mistakes happen. God’s sovereign providence is mysterious and unknown to us. Because death is so near, so inevitable, so final, and so irresistible, we must be urgent with the gospel before it is too late and the door of mercy shuts.

2. the finality of judgment.
God has fixed a day whereby He will call every man before His judgment bar to stand before Him. On this occasion, God will look into His perfect books and repay every man according to what he has done. This judgment is final and fixed. It is unchanging and fair. It is unbending and eternal. This judgment that God will render upon every sinner is inflexibly fair and divinely good. God will finally judge and fairly condemn all sinners who have sinned against God’s perfect holiness into an eternity under the crushing and constant and conquering fury of His righteous wrath. Because of the finality of this certain judgment to come, we must be urgent with the gospel so that sinners would see the weight of their sin, the guilt of their iniquity, the punishment that is due them, and, in faith, fly to the One who bore the divine curse for His people at Calvary.

3. the compassion for people.
True Christians have burdens for souls. God instructs us to love Him with all our hearts, souls, and minds and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The height of all pride is to receive salvation and refuse to proclaim that saving message to others seeking to persuade them to believe the truth. Someone who lives unconcerned about the lost, unwilling to evangelize, and unengaged in speaking of his Savior has every reason to doubt his true conversion. Because we know the greatness of God, the sweetness of salvation, and the delightfulness of Christ, we love others and long for their eternal welfare. So, out of our love for others and from a compassion for their eternal joy, we must be urgent with the gospel. Someone who is unwilling to speak of his Christ and of Christ’s gospel to someone is not really a true friend, nor is he someone who loves. True love proclaims the ultimate lover of souls and the giver of salvation. Thus, we speak urgently and with love.

4. the imitation of Christ.
No one ever walked the soil of this earth with a greater and more perfect love for people than the Lord Jesus Christ. As God, He loved perfectly. As God, He loved supremely. As God, He loved tirelessly. And, because He loved so much, He warned of coming judgment and urged His hearers to decide to follow Him immediately. The Lord Jesus constantly performed miracles to show that He was who He claimed to be: God come in the flesh. And His discourses center on His wisdom, His salvation, following Him, forsaking the false religious system of works-righteousness and trusting in Him and counting the cost in surrendering to Him. Jesus approached people and evangelized them immediately and lovingly. He spoke the truth in love. Because He loved souls, He urged them to repent and believe. This was His mission and why He came. Jesus did not just come to hang out with people and ‘love them’ in some emotional, hang-out sort of way. Rather, he loved them by exposing their sin, warning of judgment, and inviting them to come to Him for eternal life. Because our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, was urgent with the gospel in pressing it home upon people’s souls, we must learn to do the same. After all, the most loving thing we could ever do (as we love as He loved) is to call sinners to flee from the wrath to come by freely and humbly embracing Jesus Christ by faith alone who bore God’s curse in their stead.

5. the delightfulness of Christ.
No object captivates the heart more than the Lord Jesus Christ. His promises are the rays that come from Him, the Sun of righteousness. He is full of love, overflowing with grace, abundant with promises, delightful in His presence, and comforting as He is near to us. None is so worthy of worship as Christ. No person is sweeter. No love is fuller than the love that He showers upon His chosen Bride. His delightfulnesses rapture the heart, captivate the mind, woo the heart, and enlarge our affections. True believers know the beauty of Christ and the blessednesses of His eternal and infinite Person! Therefore, true Christians want unbelievers to know this Christ and to experience the fullness of divine joy in their hearts. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ understand that sinners without Christ attempt to fill their lusts with the cravings of this world and always are left empty and guilty. But Christ, Christ is delightfully sweet and immediately available! He is the Savior of love, the God of grace, the minister of comfort, the friend ever-near, and the greatest of all sweetnesses. Because of this truth, we are to be urgent with the gospel because, preeminently, Christ deserves this worship and adoration and, secondarily, we want sinners to know the satisfactions that come from a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are urgent and we press home the gospel frequently, fearlessly and faithfully upon sinners’ souls.
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