Thought for Thursday

The Lord hath made known His salvation; His righteousness hath He openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. Psalm 98:2

More than 30 years ago, a little brown Gospel tent was pitched on a lot in Hampton. At that time, the main highway between Saint John and Moncton ran right by the tent, and thousands of people had to see the sign inviting people to come and hear the Gospel. People going to and from the nearby golf course also had to drive directly past the tent, and must have read the sign, and heard the singing and preaching. Many years later, another tent was pitched on the same property. No longer is the road a major highway, but it is still a busy street, and the tent had high visibility. People in the town had no excuse; most knew the tent was there, and many read the sign and have received invitations. Whether they came or not – and some did come – they had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. Our text declares that God’s salvation is being made known. What a privilege!

Our text reminds us that it is to the heathen that God is showing His righteousness. The term refers to us as those with no right to claim God’s salvation. Even the Lord Jesus could point out to Gentiles that He was first come to the nation of Israel. He had worked through that people through the Old Testament eras, and despite their rejection and backsliding, it was to Israel that the message first came and as an Israelite that the Messiah came. It was the rejection of Jesus as the Christ that caused the spreading of the Gospel to the Gentiles, as foretold by our text. We are seeing a similar pattern today, as people in the western world are turning their backs on the Bible and the Christ of whom it speaks. But the Gospel goes forth unabated. The apathy and neglect of the free world notwithstanding, the Gospel is still being preached, even though the response is small. But in the communist and moslem worlds, where Christians are tortured and killed and the Gospel is outlawed, the Gospel is blazing its glorious light in unprecedented brilliance, and thousands are being saved daily.

We have a responsibility in the Gospel, to support those who preach it in every way possible, and to display the reality of the Gospel’s deliverance in our lives. The Gospel’s message and mission should hold a high priority with every Christian. But we also need to remind ourselves that it is not our salvation, and even the best of preachers cannot produce converts. Only God can save, and the fact that He does so is cause for our rejoicing today. – Jim MacIntosh

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