Posted by: Brian Musser | July 12, 2016

The Gospel

Presented at Campus Wide Worship on Drexel’s Campus on May 12, 2016

So this is campus wide worship.  This an event where several of the Christian student organizations come together and worship in as public of a place on campus that we can find (weather permitting).  Jesus as he is praying to God the Father in John 17:21 says “that all of them (them being followers of Christ) may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”  There is something powerful that happens when followers of Jesus come together.  Christians coming together as one, which we are doing here tonight, helps the world understand who Jesus is in a very special way.

Allow me a few minutes to make explicit what we mean when we say we are Christians.  That can be a confusing word and a sometimes overused word.  What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?  It is something that you have to choose.  You aren’t born a Christian.  You aren’t a Christian because your parents are or because you are an American or because you go certain places and don’t do certain things.  At some point in your life you have to make a decision to identify with Christ.  You have to choose to follow him.  It doesn’t just happen.  Romans 10:9 and 10 says “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead?  There is good and substantial first person testimonial evidence that Jesus of Nazareth lived, died and rose again.  Many credible witnesses saw all three of these events and went on record saying that the Jesus who died is the same one who rose.  Do you believe it?  If you don’t I would love to talk to you afterwards about why you should or give you some convincing things to read and watch about the factual resurrection of Jesus.  I have become absolutely convinced (that as a rapper I know has said) Jesus “tasted death and shook it off.”

But for those of us who believe that Jesus’ resurrection happened, the question is what does it mean?  Simply put my definition of Christianity is a 2,000 year process of figuring out everything that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus means.  And there is 2,000 years’ worth of meaning behind it but let me give you some of the highlights.

Since Jesus rose from the dead we should pay attention to his teachings.  We should study what he said, taught and did.  Jesus, the one who beat death, taught that there is a God who created everything including and especially humanity.  That includes you.  That includes me.  He taught that humanity was morally accountable to this God who created us.  He taught that we have done things that have separated ourselves from God.  The religious word for this is sin.

Allow me to describe sin to you this way.  Sin is when we do something to hurt, damage or destroy something or more importantly someone that God created.  God is not only our creator, God is also our protector.  That means when I do something that hurts you, I not only hurt you but I have now put myself in an antagonistic position with the God that created and protects you.  God becomes your ally and my enemy in that moment.  But the same is true when you sin against me.  That means that God needs to separate himself from you and protect me from you.  The same is also true when we do something that damages ourselves.  When we lie to each other.  When we purposely say things to hurt one another.  When I hoard up resources for my future prosperity instead of meeting your immediate needs. Guys, when you are online looking at images, creating a market for those who are trafficking our mothers, sisters and daughters into sexual slavery.  Ladies, when you belittle another’s humanity because of the size or shape or style of someone in competition for the attraction of someone else.  When we label one another with easy and shallow hashtags so that we can justify our hatred of those who are different than us.  When we do these things we not only hurt each other but we separate ourselves from God.

Think about the worst thing that ever happened to you.  Do you have it in mind?  Can you imagine how it would feel if God didn’t care about your pain and was still buddies with the person that did that to you?  Now think about the worst thing you have ever done.  Can you imagine God laughing that off?  When we do things that hurt, damage or destroy each other it also damages our relationship with God.  This is what sin is and this is why sin separates us from God.

But this was not acceptable to God.  God was not satisfied to allow us to remain separated.  Therefore God the Father sends God the Son to live, die and rise again.  Jesus lived a perfect life without sin so that his death could atone for our evil and his resurrection could restore our relationship with God.  When we identify with Jesus, when we become Christians, when we confess Jesus as Lord, his death becomes our death.  We die to our sins.  Those things that we have done that separate us from God die with us and with Jesus.  And then on the other side of our deaths in Christ through his resurrection we can have a new life, a restored relationship with God as new creations.  Jesus’ death can become our death so that Jesus’ resurrection can become our resurrection.

Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus we can have a restored relationship with God.  We can have new life.  We can be saved.  This new life starts the very moment you decide to call Jesus your Lord.  The words don’t really mean much if your heart and mind and will don’t truly believe them.  But if you confess Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you shall be saved.

Just as I did over 35 years ago and just as Congyu described to us earlier, many of us here have made this commitment.  We are followers of Jesus.  We are Christians.  If you are not please consider doing so.  You will never regret it.  Take time right now to talk to someone who you know is a Christian and get them to explain it to you in greater detail.  If you are a Christian who is willing and able to explain to someone how to become one would you stand for a moment?  If you are not a Christian and are considering the choice please look around and see if someone you know and would be comfortable talking to is standing.  Go to them right now.  Just do it.  If you are embarrassed then wait until we are singing again.  If you don’t know anyone else here you can talk to me.  If I am too scary looking find someone else who doesn’t look as intimidating.

As our worship leaders come forward, let’s all stand.  Those of us who are Christians stand with me and sing to our Lord.  Those of us who aren’t join us and pay attention to our songs.  Those of you who are somewhere in between, who are considering use this time to figure things out, to ask questions, to talk to your friends.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. […] Presented the Gospel at Campus Wide Worship.  Campus Wide Worship is a joint event sponsored by many of the Christian […]


Anything to add?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: