Tuesday, March 20, 2012

already and not yet of hell

We live in the Church age. There are currently two Kingdoms in conflict. Dave Dorr sheds light on an oft overlooked aspect of this tension. Here is his post ...

I am tired of preaching the gospel as good news for your death. The gospel IS good news for your death. But people don't think about their death as much as they think about their life. (Isn't that true of you? It is certainly true of me).

And the gospel is great news for your life. Isn't that what the whole gospel-centered movement is really about? The gospel makes a difference for your life right now, both at conversion and then everyday afterwards.

And that is incredibly motivating.

Here's why: When we become a Christian we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:13). So in just a little way, the kingdom of God is present wherever we are, because we are a part of that kingdom. But, of course, the opposite is also true. The kingdom of darkness was present wherever we were before our conversion. We were unwittingly doing our part of bringing the kingdom of darkness on earth as it will be in hell.

It is the "already and not yet" of hell.

But when the gospel is believed all of that changes. And believing the gospel is stopping the advance of hell right now, not just making sure people don't go to hell when they die. Satan is bringing hell to earth and Jesus is bringing heaven to earth. Satan has his people and Jesus has His.

And what's incredible is Jesus wins even in our defeats. That is what it means to be more than a conquerer (Romans 8:37). Even our suffering serves us and the present advance of the gospel. As Paul later said, "My imprisonment has resulted in the whole praetorium guard hearing the gospel and the emboldening of other gospel preachers (Philippians 1:13, paraphrase)."

So maybe this helps strengthen your motivation for evangelism -- don't just preach the gospel so that people won't go to hell when they die. Preach the gospel so hell will not have one more inch of ground today.

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