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The Relevantly Potent Gospel: The Evidence

By Frank A. DeCenso Jr.
Guest Writer – What is the evidence of a relevantly potent gospel?

Luke 7
20When the men had come to Him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?"' 21And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.
22Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

When asked about the evidence for His messiahship, Jesus did not preach a sermon that showed how Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in Him. He presented as evidence the tangible fulfillment of the passage in Isaiah 61 – the blind were made to see, the invalids were made to walk, the unclean were made clean, the deaf were given hearing, the dead were raised, and the poor were blessed with good news. Five out of the six evidences Jesus gave to John’s disciples spoke of the mighty works that accompanied His preaching of the gospel to the poor.

Similarly, if someone asked,

  • "Is your fellowship a good place to bring my unsaved friends and hurting neighbors to?"
  • "Is the good news really proclaimed there?"

what evidence would we give?

  • "We preach about topics that (we think) are ‘relevant’ to people’s lives"?
  • "We counsel hurting folks until they get better (if ever)"?
  • "We tell 'seekers' to come back next week for Part 3 of the 'Be Happy' series"?

Our response should be that our fellowship invites the presence and power of Almighty God to come into our midst unhindered by traditions and time constraints, and He is given the freedom to powerfully change peoples' lives – from the surface issues all the way to the very core of their beings.

This world needs to see that our God is dynamically more than capable and willing to reach with great power every single problem people have. He desires to change peoples' hearts and meet their greatest needs, and when He does, they will not be following just another religion that simply meets 'felt-needs'; they will be following the One Who cares enough for them to touch them deeply and completely.

If our 'good news' does not bring people to that conclusion, how good is it, really?

Copyright © 2005 by Frank A. DeCenso Jr.

All verses NKJV

Frank has been teaching the Bible in churches and other venues for more than 20 years. He is currently the Ministry Resources Director at Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Virginia Beach, Va. He is an employee at Regent University in the Information Technology Department. He is also the founder of Presence-Powered Ministries. Frank is married and lives in Virginia Beach.

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