Summer 2017

The Hard Part of the Gospel by MARV WISEMAN Pastor, Grace Bible Church Much emphasis is placed upon the simplici- ty of the gospel message and the fact that one need only believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. How simple is that? How easy is that? The exercising of one’s faith in the person of Christ is all one needs to do in order to be saved. And, because it couldn’t be any easier it qualifies for being the “easy part” of the gospel. What then is the “hard part” and, really now, can there even be such a thing as a “hard part” to this wonderful concept called the gospel? Indeed, there is. In fact, it is very often this hard part that prevents many from progressing to the easy part of believing. Before anyone can embrace the easy part of believing they have to deal with this hard part. It consists of the recognition and admission of our own person- al weakness and inability to “reform” oneself so as to become acceptable to God. We tend to think we already are acceptable, with per- haps a little moral “tweaking” needed here and there. It is in the blow we sustain to our ego that makes this so hard to do, thus it becomes the “hard part” of the gospel. In our moral and spiritual fall (of which all humans partake) we all like to think we are better than we really are. And, we certainly are not as bad as most others! To admit that we are just as bad off as the rest of the crowd is a huge blow to our ego. Maybe not as bad but as bad off. There is a difference. To think of oneself this way does not put us in a very good light but quite the contrary. What is more, we may also be quite offended and downright angry that anyone could even suggest we might be “bad off”. The offense and accompanying anger contributes to making this the hard part of the gospel. In fact, for many, it is so hard and offensive that they stop right there. Their failure to get beyond this hard part prevents them from being able to embrace the easy part that would follow. It is only in successfully coming to grips with this hard part of our weakness and inability 30 | Summer 2017 ON A MISSION