By Ryan Shaw
What does the “apostolic” message refer to? Since it is our great joy to partner with God in proclaiming the message to all ethnic groups, what is included?
It is not a style of communication or a kind of personality doing the communicating. These things do not matter as they are mere forms.
The “apostolic” message is getting back to proclaiming the reign of God over all created order, His act of sending His Son from eternity and incarnating Christ as a human being.
Only in sending the uncreated and eternal Christ as a man, could God cleanse the sin of rebellious humanity through His sacrificial death.
The apostolic message is Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected, a person believing with the heart, confessing with the mouth and turning from all known sin, as the doorway of relating with a holy God.
The apostolic message focuses on God acting in love and faithless humanity consistently rejecting Him. It reveals how God has tirelessly made a way and yet how a majority of people throughout history have resisted Him at every turn.
It speaks directly and personally to an individual or group. They have rejected God by not understanding that He sent Jesus to rescue them from sinful depravity.
It calls people to flee the wrath that Scripture clarifies is coming upon all those apart from Christ. This fleeing is only done by “hiding” in the shelter of Jesus Christ Himself and trusting Him alone for salvation.
This kind of communication is somewhat rare today. Proclaiming God’s judgment with a right spirit (this is often the challenging part) and fleeing the wrath to come are generally missing.
The only biblically appropriate way to do so is having tender love beating within our hearts. We see in God’s judgments His merciful hand extended to welcome back the one steeped in sin and pride against God.
His judgments are meant to wake us up and draw us back to Him in love. These are innately understood messages by the masses.
There is something within every human being that intuitively knows penalty for wrong behavior is required. The unreached are ready to hear these messages, spoken with burning love and compassion in our hearts.
Before the second coming of Christ we will see these core messages restored and God using them to usher in the greatest spiritual harvest history has seen.
This kind of proclamation is marked by boldness. This doesn’t refer to how loud or soft we speak; how dramatic or subtle we are in presentation.
Boldness is an inner confidence that God has indeed sent us to a group of people to labor among through sowing His Gospel in its completeness and expecting results to follow.
It is God who has initiated the process, passionately seeking to reach people with His love through a message of hope for all. We follow Him to the ends of the earth with this inner boldness ablaze in our hearts.
Paul’s posture with the Gentiles was always sympathy and love. Yet this is never to be misunderstood as condoning their idolatry, empowering them to believe all ways led to God or tolerating their wicked practices.
Paul made clear what was required of his hearers. He aimed to motivate people to turn from wrong doing, repent to God and believe in Jesus Christ as the only able sacrifice to wash their sins.
Paul took an uncompromising stand against sin and its deadly effects. Apostolic preaching focuses on the power of sin to kill the spirit, heart and soul, separating us from God and conversely the powerful blood of Christ as the only mediator to restore that failed relationship.