“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16)
Just this morning I was reminded of the power of the simple message of Jesus. One of our Dare 2 Share team members, who had been praying for her father to come to Christ for years, met me at the door with a story.
She told me that she and her mom had been praying for her dad to come to Christ for years. Well, over the course of the last few days he read my new book, Unlikely Fighter: The Story of How a Fatherless Street Kid Overcame Violence, Chaos and Confusion to Become a Radical Christ Follower. This book chronicles the spiritual transformation of my very tough, very urban and very violent family.
Last night her dad, after reading the book, finally put his faith in Jesus!
We both wept as she told me the story of her father’s much prayed for conversion. One of the things she recounted to me that stuck in my brain was how her father was blown away by how simple the message of the Gospel was. But it was that simplicity that finally won him over.
As my book recounts, it was the simple Gospel that won over my fist-fighting, jail bird, Uncle Jack (who once went to jail for choking two cops unconscious at the same time!) When Jack heard the simple Gospel and was asked if it made sense, he answered “Hell yeah!” (Talk about a sinner’s prayer!) He then went on to share the Gospel with 250 of his rough-and-tumble friends and brought them all out to church over the course of just one month. Many of them understood the simple Gospel for the first time and put their faith in Jesus.
It was the simple Gospel that transformed my uncle Bob in the back of a squad car, right after he got done beating a guy to death (who, thankfully, was later resuscitated.) A year later Bob went to Florida Bible College where he learned to transform others with the simple Gospel!
It was the simple Gospel that transformed my hard-partying, hard-hitting ma (she was a street fighter too!) After three years of sharing the Gospel with her, she finally succumbed to the good news. After she put her faith in Jesus I asked her, “Where are you going to go when you die?” She said, “I’m going to heaven, cigarettes and all.” I gently reminded her that heaven was non-smoking. 🙂
I was fifteen years old when I led her to Christ but, even then, I knew the power of the simple Gospel to change lives. Because this message had already transformed me from a scared, scarred little kid into a radical follower of Jesus.
The simple Gospel turned my family from from street fighters into street preachers almost overnight. That simple message gave us a sense of identity (as children of God), belonging (as member of the family of God) and purpose (as advancers of the mission of God.) The simple Gospel gave us eternal life that started at the moment of salvation and stretched into eternity.
The simple Gospel changes everything.