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The Real Purpose Of The Gospel

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Bruce Barton in “The Man and the Book Nobody Knows”, said this about Jesus: “He did not overthrow the oppressive government of Rome. He did not lower the tax rate. He did not improve sanitary conditions in Jerusalem, nor did He erect a public library in Nazareth. He did not increase the wages of Christians over those of infidels. He taught no sure cure for disease. The economic status of His followers was exactly as it had been; He found them, fishermen, He left them, fishermen…But His fishermen were different men, transformed…”

If you are familiar with the New Testament you’ll realize how accurate that description of Jesus is. Because our society makes immediate, temporal happiness most important, we are sometimes tempted to forget that Jesus’ gospel was not about political reform of our system, fair housing, or better health care, such as “Medicare for all,” higher taxes for the rich, or equality in economic status for all.

Jesus came to save men’s souls, as
Luke 19: 10 says, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Of course, social reform and improvements are not bad, and often they are badly needed. However, if every social reform could be enacted and finally accomplished, it wouldn’t save one single person’s soul!
Yes, it is true, that Jesus’s teaching makes anyone who follows it a better citizen and neighbor. But, He did not come merely to make people better citizens and neighbors. He came so they could be saved. In fact, even Jesus’ miracles were not primarily intended to make life more convenient but to confirm Jesus was the Savior.
John 20: 30-31 says, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Dear reader, don’t forget: Jesus’ gospel was not a “social gospel,” designed for mere social reform, but it is “the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (
Rom. 1: 16). Think on these things.

Dennis Abernathy

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