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The Way we Were

December 12, 2016

“We live in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to the gospel. Terror and radicalism cause many to fear and retreat. But we realize that Jesus loves even those who oppose Him. We’re determined not to be ruled by fear, but to live with a passion to reach the resistant with the message of peace and hope.”

-taken from RB Manifesto

So why should we bother with the likes of those who oppose the gospel? Can’t we just forget about them? Do we think it best to just let sin run it’s course and wait for judgment to fall on them? Do we throw their sin in their faces, quoting scriptures with vengeance and angry ‘righteousness’? Or do we stop and remember that – we were once like them.

The world in which Jesus lived was also incredibly hostile toward him and his message. Jesus had words and stones and spit and swords thrown and thrust at him. The worst of the bunch were those who supposedly knew better! But continually, Jesus stood boldly and radically, smack in the middle of them all, offering truth, light, hope.

In the eighth chapter of John, to the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” To the angry crowd ready to stone her: “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And to all he said: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

In various conversations described in the same chapter, Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees repeatedly. He was called a liar, demon-possessed, and an imposter, and at the end of their hate session, “they took up stones to throw at Him;” (John 8:59). That’s what he got for sharing the good news.

But in the midst of all of that, there is one statement of hope: As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.” (John 8:30) Many believed! Not all, not some, not few, but many. That is the hope of the promise of Isaiah 55:11:

… so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Why do the resistant need to hear the gospel? Because they matter. Because they are as lost as you and me before we heard. Because they’re part of “the world” that Jesus died for!

That is why we at Reach Beyond will not stop reaching out to those who are resistant today. Because tomorrow is another day. And our passion and commitment for the lost will drive us to another day, and another, and another … until all have heard, and until the resistant become open, and the lost become found!






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