Mark 16:15 (NIV)
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”.
The Gospel, the Everlasting Gospel, the good news of God’s everlasting free gift to all mankind; His son, Jesus Christ and Him crucified. How do we share this good news? How do we gain access to those who have yet to hear it in its beautiful fullness? I have been on many evangelistic committees and could not have dreamed of an opportunity such as this!
Every man needs a better man in his life and for me it is Earl Hack. Rarely does a Sabbath go by that our families don’t gather and share and rejoice over Jesus and His amazing love for us. It was on one of these Sabbath gatherings that Earl asked if I would be willing to share the book of Romans with his daughter Carol’s Sunday School class at the Richardson United Methodist Church. The class is a fairly good size class ranging between 70-100 people and consisting of SMU Theologians. Carol and her husband attend there and she was in charge of finding someone to present for a particular period of time during the year.
I have been a Sabbath School teacher for many years but have to be honest, the thought of going before such a group so well represented inspired a sense of intrepidation! If that was not enough, the undertaking of presenting and expounding on the greatest literary achievement that has been written by the hand of man… awesome! Notwithstanding, I immediately said yes.
The book of Romans is the Gospel in its entirety. What an opportunity! The Gospel is my favorite subject and its head, Jesus Christ. Every doctrinal belief must be understood and defended through the Everlasting Gospel. It was agreed upon that I would have 5 weeks starting in July to present as much of the book as possible. The day came and I lay in bed not having a voice to speak an apology as to why I would not be able to make it. The war was on.
First and foremost I would like to say that through the Holy Spirit I was privileged to bring the truth of the Gospel to individuals whose hearts were ready and willing to receive it but what they taught me was even more profound. I am forever blessed to call them my brothers and sisters in Christ. If I could in a word summarize my first impression of the group it would be, “Agape”. What a marvelous love and genuine care they have for one another. One I had not previously witnessed.
As I presented the immutability of the moral law despite the fact that “we are no longer under the law but under grace” the room was incredibly silent, eerily silent. It was only after the class finished and as individuals came to the front sharing their thoughts that I understood why.
“Ray, you have to understand why we were so silent. We were hearing what the bible had to say and comparing it in our minds to what we previously understood to be the truth, then accepting this new truth in its place”, “we have never heard anything like this before”, “we have never seen this laid out like this before” “we have been doing this all wrong” “We have been studying the book of Romans at our home bible study but did not get any of this”.
What precious hearts, what a precious truth! The Lord is the only One who can orchestrate such an opportunity and open doors through which we walk in the fear of the Lord and in awe. God used Carol as His instrument for a witness of His incredible good news and for a bridge of opportunity to be established. I was then asked if I would be willing to continue for an unscheduled week to make up for the one lost and come back again at a future time. The war is on!
Since the writing of this article I have been asked to present the Gospel and the book of Romans to a class directly across the hall from Carol’s class. Please pray that God’s will is done and that we may all glory in Christ Jesus and His finished work of redemption, Amen.