How can a 2,000 year old gospel be relevant today?
Folk who ask this point to mankind’s increasing knowledge, advancements of science, diverse governments and ever-changing technologies. “The world has transformed dramatically,” they say, “How can the ancient message of Christianity connect with humankind today?”
The answer is really quite simple. While the world around us may have changed, the human animal has not. We are still a fallen species, estranged from our Maker, lost from His Love.
Writing in the early half of the 3rd century A.D., Cyprian of Carthage mused,
“It’s unavoidable, as it ever has been, that people are intoxicated by love of alcohol, puffed up by conceit, inflamed by bad temper, their peace of mind damaged by the lust for more and more, excited by cruelty, aroused by the urge to be top dog, rushed into ruin by uncontrolled sexual desire, surrounded with alluring things that take hold and won’t let go.”
Numerous similar quotes can be cited from virtually every century.
Some 800 years before Cyprian the prophet Jeremiah cried “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). And this remains true of human hearts today. Whether one covets his neighbour’s lamb or Lamborghini, the wickedness of heart is the same. Murder by a sudden club or by a slow and subtle cyanide reveals the same heartfelt hatred of the schemer.
St. Augustine defined in his day both the problem and the solution of our situation “Thou has made us for Thyself,” he prays, “and the heart of man is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” – St. Augustine (354-430 AD).
And in the mid 17th century (1623-1662) French Mathematician, Philosopher and Physicist, Blaise Pascal summarized, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus”
All of these display the timeless relevance of the gospel. It is the answer for every era. It is the enduring answer because no other answer will do. As 1+1=2, and opposite poles attract, so the answer to human unrighteousness is found only in the righteousness of Christ. Look around… there is no other Holy Sacrifice.
Is love outdated? Is sleep passé? How about hunger? The need for shelter… purpose… hope? Are any of these ancient things no longer relevant?
Death and judgment are also unchangeable and unavoidable realities — but by the gospel. Its message remains as relevant and as urgent to us today as it was to those who gazed on atop that bloodied hill so many, many years ago.
Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer.