When Abraham Lincoln was twenty-eight years old, he spoke these prophetic words to an assembly at the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield, Illinois:
We find ourselves in the peaceful possession, of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tells us. We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings.
Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
In this national election, some of us have some disappointment with which to deal. I believe the results of this election are far more revealing about our country than our candidates. Much of what many people want to do troubles me greatly. I do not want to whine and cry and say, “Now what can we do?” Instead, I want to take hold of the one thing that can change us and change our land.
The gospel will have a greater impact on our country than anything else. The gospel message will be more life-changing than any other message we give to people. We may be trying to get people to go to church, turn over a new leaf, or do some other good thing, but the gospel is far more effective. It is not up to us to just tell it in the church-house, but to tell it in the highways and hedges, our workplaces, schools, among friends and family. Have you given the gospel to your friends? Family? Work companions? You may say, “I never have the right time,” but you do not have to have the right time you just need to give it. One day, every person we have ever met will meet God with their sins. What have we done to prepare them for that day?
The Gospel Is
What is the gospel?
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God.” Romans 1:16
The gospel is the power of God. The same power that created the universe is the same power that God demonstrates in the Gospel. When we are tempted to complain sometimes, just remember – we have the power of God at our disposal. Because I am a recipient of the gospel, I know what it can do for others.
The Gospel Does
What can the gospel do?
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
The gospel brings salvation. Salvation brings a change in life. It is strong and powerful, but many times we keep it locked away, like a ferocious, powerful lion locked in a cage. We talk about it. We even say, “Look at how powerful the gospel is! It is strong! It has the power to save men’s souls! It has the power to change lives!” But we cage it up and close it off so that it can do nothing in our lives or in the lives of those around us. If we want to see what the gospel can do, we must let it out.
The Gospel Reveals
What does the gospel reveal?
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17
Our faith is not in faith. The object of our faith is the Lord Jesus Christ. The righteousness of God is revealed “from faith to faith.” I became a Christian because someone gave me the gospel. That is how God designed it to work. Do you remember who told you the gospel? Someone told you and you ought to tell others. People say, “I want to make the world a better place.” How would you like for the righteousness of God to be revealed at your job? In your home? In your nation? Millions of people in America vote in a national election, but most of them could not tell you the way of salvation. These same people could go to a voting booth and be concerned about ungodliness and unrighteousness if their lives were changed by the gospel.
What can we do now? Stop the religious work that consumes our time, money, and effort and separate ourselves to the gospel. Nothing apart from the gospel has the “power of God unto salvation” to change lives. I want to complain sometimes and yell at the television or get mad at the news person. Maybe some of them are reporting with great prejudice, but the real issue is not them. The real issue is I am not doing what I have the power to do because I have received Christ as my Savior.
What would happen if we started talking to people about how to know Christ, the forgiveness of sins, and started giving people the gospel? The righteousness of God would be revealed in their words and deeds. May the Lord work in our lives to separate us unto the gospel of God.