Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Heart of The Gospel

Meteors falling to Earth, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, all leveling cities or shutting down the daily ebb and flow of life. Wars, and rumors of wars. Popes stepping down. I even read an article that whoever fills Benedict's role would supposedly be the final Peter; by name and position. Don't know where that comes from and sure don't want to start rumors for our Catholic friends. Disease and what seem to be pandemics. I've been sick all week with what feels like the bubonic plague, myself. Are these all signs of end-times or just a cycle repeated many times before of life on planet Earth? Facts can be, and are, argued both ways. But here's the real question. What does any of it have to do with the heart of the gospel? I had a dream last night. I won't say vision, as I had several memorable dreams last night. Strange dreams of abduction. I dreamed myself, Layne, and Adam were in a trailer, hoisted up on an overhead trolly system and taken away. Another dream of thieves at my grandparent's home in Alabama. Strange dreams. Are they signs or visions, or just random thoughts of a head filled with mucus from a severe cold? I don't know, but I got a sermon title out of it. One of the many dreams, and all I can recall of this particular one, are the words..... "What does any of this have to do with the heart of the gospel?"

We get hung up on lots of theological ideas, or things that sound lofty. Some aren't even fit for the category of "theology". We debate creation as if we weren't crafted. And I ask you, what does any of this have to do with the heart of the gospel? That is, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. I urge that we keep our focus on the only One in whom we have hope of redemption of the formerly mentioned scares.

The author of Hebrews said well of this hope, of Jesus.....

Jesus, Author:
Long ago, at many times and  in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,  but  in these last days  he has spoken to us by  his Son, whom he appointed  the heir of all things,  through whom also he created  the world.  He is the radiance of the glory of God and  the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.  After making purification for sins,  he sat down  at the right hand of the Majesty on high,  having become as much superior to angels as the name  he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. (Hebrews 1:1-4 ESV)

Jesus, Finisher:
And just as  it is appointed for man to die once, and  after that comes judgment,  so Christ, having been offered once  to bear the sins of  many, will appear  a second time,  not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly  waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27, 28 ESV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and  sin which clings so closely, and  let us run  with endurance the race that is  set before us,  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,  who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising  the shame, and  is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1, 2 ESV)