What is the Gospel? According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the Gospel is embodied in these words: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
1 Corinthians 2:2 says, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
Warren Wiersbe writes in The Bible Exposition Commentary, “Proof #3 of Jesus’ Resurrection is that He was seen by witnesses. On the cross, Jesus was exposed to the eyes of unbelievers; but after the Resurrection, He was seen by believers who could be witnesses of His Resurrection. Peter saw Him and so did the disciples collectively. James was a half brother of the Lord who became a believer after the Lord appeared to him. The 500 plus brethren all saw Him at the same time, so it could not have been a hallucination or a deception. This event may have been just before His ascension. But one of the greatest witnesses of the Resurrection was Paul himself, for as an unbeliever he was soundly convinced that Jesus was dead. The radical change in his life—a change which brought him persecution and suffering—is certainly evidence that the Lord had indeed been raised from the dead. Paul made it clear that his Salvation was purely an act of God’s grace; but that grace worked in and through him as he served the Lord. ‘Born out of due time’ probably refers to the future Salvation of Israel when they, like Paul, see the Messiah in glory.”
TEXT: Matthew 5:38-42:
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
The mentality of the world is to do what is expected — oftentimes begrudgingly — and no more. But followers of Christ are called to go above and beyond that which is expected or commanded of them. That is the type of spirit Jesus teaches when he says, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”
Jesus was speaking of Roman soldiers and government officials who had the authority to “conscript” citizens into service. A soldier on government business could command a private citizen to carry his supplies to a certain destination. The soldier may have been of the lowest rank, but he held the authority of Rome and the private citizen was compelled to obey. Of course, the Jews despised this state of affairs and complied only begrudgingly. If they were told to go one mile, they would go that far and no more.
But Jesus says citizens of His kingdom ought to willingly be of service to their earthly governments (and, by extension, the unsaved community) — even going the extra mile in unpleasant situations. Kent Hughes writes, “What Jesus was enjoining here was willing cheerfulness for any of his followers who would come under this form of persecution. There are two ways to do any task. You can mow the lawn with a hangdog expression, like you are mowing the Mojave desert. Or you can mow it and say, ‘There are birds in the sky, there are clouds above, it is not raining. This is a great day!’ When you wash dishes, you can water them with your tears or you can sing hymns. Jesus calls for a revolutionary response in a difficult situation — a response of cheerfulness. A response that would cause a hardened soldier to say, ‘What’s with this guy? He has something I do not understand.’ Ridiculous? Impractical? Jesus did not think so! This is the way Rome was won! Righteous people possessing revolutionary joy even when treated unfairly call everyone’s hearts upward.”
Why does Jesus’ extra-mile command work so well? It is because going the extra mile is what people least expect. When you are met with an unpleasant person or an unpleasant task, people expect you to have a negative, adversarial response. However, a response that is cheerful, willing, and eager is a surprise. It makes people look twice. It makes them think twice. It is a powerful testimony to the work of God in your life. That is why the secular media makes a big deal out of “good samaritans” and “heroes” who go out of their way to do good. They are doing something for others in a world where most people only care for their own. That is what Jesus calls us to do as well.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.