“and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47 NIV84)
Jesus opens the meaning of the Scriptures to His disciples and explains why it was necessary that He die and rise again so that humanity might be saved, and then He tells them that their message would be the same as John the Baptist’s and His. He tells them that the message they are going to take to the world is the message of forgiveness to all who come to God with repentant hearts. And over 2000 years later the message remains the same. The Christian church continues to preach a message of repentance and forgiveness. You and I are members of the kingdom of God today because we responded to the time-proven message of repentance and forgiveness.
I fear that too many Christians today think that the tried and true message of repentance and salvation needs to be altered or repackaged. I’m wondering if they fear that the message is not relevant for today or that it seems to be a bit offensive to today’s politically correct society. In response to both of these thoughts, let me respond by saying that the Gospel message has and will always be an offensive message. Our sinful nature resists any accusation of defect. Our pride blinds us from seeing our own brokenness. The message of repentance is tough to hear, but it is as relevant today as it has been for every century before us. Without the acknowledgement that we are lost and separated from God because of our sin, we can’t appreciate the message of forgiveness and salvation won by Jesus through His death and resurrection.
As God’s people, may we understand that our message must remain the same until Jesus returns to call us home.