The Global Gospel

 

     An exploration of the many facets of Jesusí gospel is very rewarding. Such expands oneís understanding and appreciation of the gospel. We are increasingly hearing today various expressions involving the word "global." We are hearing about "global warming," "global economics," "global terrorism," and a "global government," to mention a few. I want to now introduce you to the "global gospel." The global nature of the Jerusalem gospel is seen in the Great Commission. Jesus said thus to his apostles: "ÖGo ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16: 15). Within about twenty-six years, the Great Commission was fulfilled in that the gospel had been preached to the then known world (cf. Rom. 10: 18, Col. 1: 5, 6). The very way the gospel was to be disseminated reflected the global scope of the gospel (Acts 1: 8). Let us now consider some of the global aspects of the gospel.

     The gospel addresses a global problem, the malady of sin. Paul wrote: "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3: 9, 10).

     The gospel provides a global remedy for sin. Without a remedy that would address the global problem of sin, failure would result. However, God has provided a global remedy for sin, an answer that applies to all men, everywhere. Of Jesus it was said, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1: 21). Regarding his blood Jesus announced, "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26: 28). The apostle John later penned, taking in Christians and potentially all men, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2: 1, 2).

     The gospel supplies a global relationship and entity in which Christians may collectively work. The expression "in Christ" is highly significant. In many cases, "in Christ" is used to set forth the relationship the Christian has with Christ and also the location of this relationship. Paul wrote: "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" ( 2 Tim. 2: 10). This relationship is enjoyed in the church universal. The Christian is an active part of a local church (cp. I Cor. 1: 1, 2, Heb. 10: 25). In this circumstance, the Christian pools his resources to corporately work with other Christians in preaching the gospel and edifying the saints (I Tim. 3: 15). This relationship and local church situation is seen as a static part of pristine Christianity (Eph. 4: 13-16).

     The gospel contains the global means of faith. There is not anything mystical, arbitrary, or exclusive about faith in terms of its attainment and operation. "But they have not all obeyed the gospel" Paul wrote, "For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10: 16, 17). When the jailor asked, "What must I do to be saved?," he was told, "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16: 30, 31). How, though, could this pagan believe or have faith? The historian then states, "And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house" (Acts 16: 32-34). All men everywhere obtain faith in the same way, from the word of God (cp. John 20: 30, 31).

     The gospel has a global hope. We read that there is "Öone hope of our calling" (Eph. 4: 4). We do not "hope" for what we already possess in reality (Rom. 8: 24). The Christian has the "hope of eternal life" (Tit. 1: 2). As we read the scriptures, we see how this one hope is not earthly, but heaven is its object. Peter wrote thus relative to the inheritance belonging to the Christian: "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (I Pet. 1: 4). Hence, all Christians regardless of the time, place, or culture in which they have lived have the same hope. In this regard, this hope is global.

     The gospel contains the means for global peace. The scriptures reveal that man will never have global peace (cp. Matt. 24: 6, 7). However, we see in the gospel the potential means for such peace. "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you" Jesus taught, "do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets" (Matt. 7: 12). If all men were to apply what Jesus taught, peace automatically and naturally would result!

     The gospel provides a global mediator. A mediator is a go-between, simply stated. It is he who possesses knowledge of both parties and is able to effect the coming together of the two parties. Jesus understands both God and man. He possesses such understanding because he himself is both God and man (Heb. 1: 8, 9, 4: 15, I Tim. 2: 5). Every Christian, then, whether of Jewish descent, African, or Caucasian globally looks to Jesus as his mediator.

     Man today is desperately attempting to put into place a global order consisting of many things, even including a global government. "When we have in place the global order, we will then and only then see universal equality, education, and world peace," some tell us. The problem with such an idea is it does not contain the particular universal needs of men. There are peculiar and endemic needs and challenges involving particular cultures and peoples. In order to strive for "equality," there will have to be a compromising and lowering of many people. The sad thing is it is this class of people who are the providers, hence, there will be a lowering of standards such as we have not heretofore witnessed.

     Since the essential nature of the gospel from its inception was and is global, it should be of no surprise that changing the gospel is absolutely forbidden (Gal. 1: 6-9). This gospel was also "once for all delivered" (Jude 3, see ASV). You cannot improve upon the "perfect" and Godís law is perfect, the "perfect law of liberty" (Jas. 1: 25).

     Regarding the gospel and what it globally offers all men, God is able to perfectly supply all the global answers and needs. The gospel is the only system, if you will, that lifts or sublimates all men regardless of their particular cultures, geographic location, education, etc. It does this without lowering or compromising any. Instead of shallow and flawed efforts that are usually nothing short of socialism, the gospel in a real and practical sense challenges men and in the process, lifts men up to levels they without such a system cannot experience. In closing, Paul penned: 1: And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sinsÖBut God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2: 1, 4-7). The gospel remains Godís power to "salvation to both the Jew and the Greek" (Rom. 1: 16). (See, "The New World Order" to read more about manís efforts, solutions, and ideas.)  (You might like to read, "The New World Order."