Sunday, October 2, 2016

Don’t underestimate the power of the gospel.

Romans 1: 16.  "I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation for everyone who believes."
A pastor of a fashionable congregation was in the midst of a rather lengthy sermon. Suddenly, he was horrified to see a small boy throwing spitballs at certain people in the congregation. The pastor stopped his preaching and glared at the boy. The boy looked up at the preacher and said, "You go ahead with your preaching, pastor, and I'll keep them awake!" 
There are some Sundays when I could use a boy like that for I know that my sermon just didn’t cut it. I know from my own experience in the pew that it's not always easy to stay awake or to keep your thoughts from straying. I've been there.
On the other hand, we ought not use the preacher as an excuse to not listen or worse yet, not to go to church. If we do, we are cutting ourselves off from the power of God. The power is not in the pastor's words but in God's Word that he preaches. Paul says in Romans that the "gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone that believes." What an amazing truth that is! That "good news" is God's message of salvation, the good news that Jesus has suffered and died to take away your sins. It is the good news that through faith in Christ we have eternal life and that we will spend it with God. No other message, promise, or story can do what the gospel can do.
The simple message that "Jesus loves me" or "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life" has the power to save us from the eternal fires and punishment of hell. The gospel or good news has the power of the Holy Spirit behind it. It has the power to turn our hearts from unbelief to faith, and to strengthen hearts that are already his.

The next time you are tempted to skip church, to stay home and listen to the news or watch TV instead of a sermon, remember Romans 1:16. That message, which the preacher brings, a message centered on Jesus Christ our Savior from sin, has the power to do things nothing else can do. While the preacher may not always bring it across as well as we might, the power to do the job is still there. For it is the "power of God" for salvation not the power of man.
Written by Pastor Stuppy