Monday, December 22, 2014
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

Found: Great Pyrenees in La Vernia. Call or text to claim 830-581-8041.
Found: Young black male Lab mix in the Cimarron Subdivision, Floresville. 210-237-8777.
Lost: Chocolate Lab, 1 year old, Hwy. 775 and Eagle Creek area, Floresville. We are desperate to find her, please help. Call 210-215-9132.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

*Fair Housing notice. All help wanted advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to advertise "any preference limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention, to make any such preference limitation or discrimination." This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for help wanted ads, which is in violation of the law. Our readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis.
Experienced Backhoe Operator with CDL needed. Apply in person or online at www.swatconstruction.com or call 830-393-9405 for more information.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Keeping the Faith


Keeping the Faith: The gospel according to Jesus




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
Ronnie McBrayer is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Ronnie McBrayer
February 17, 2012 | 1,571 views | 2 comments

While traveling in Central America, I had the opportunity to worship at an international, interdenominational, English-speaking church. The congregation contained Africans, Italians, Spaniards, Latinos, Americans, and Asians. We sang old Irish hymns and modern, Australian worship choruses.

The service was a mixture of Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal elements. The welcome was given by a Canadian, a German read the Scripture lesson, and an American did the preaching. It was a wonderful, diverse experience, and for a little while I thought the kingdom of God had come.

This, I thought, is what worship should be: People of various Christian traditions, streaming together from all tribes and nations, gathered in an idyllic setting, worshiping Christ together. Then the sermon began, and things changed.

The pastor’s sermon could have been heard in many an evangelical congregation in North America. It was about who was “right” and who was “wrong,” who was “in” and who was “out.” He summed up his sermon, and his philosophy for life, with these words: “Real life is full assurance that you will go to heaven when you die. That is the gospel.” At great risk of being misunderstood, I could not disagree more.

As those words were spoken in that Latino church, the surrounding countryside had just endured its worst flooding in five decades. Gang graffiti clung to the walls and sidewalks just steps from the church’s front door. Thousands of people were trying to survive grinding poverty.

To say to all these people and in all these of conditions, that “real life” is checking out of this life for the next one, is a mockery of reality and a refusal to heed the gospel that Jesus actually proclaimed. When Jesus began preaching his gospel in the Galilean hills, his message was clear and singular: “The Kingdom of God is at hand. It is here and now,” he said. “It is today.”

Jesus’ intention, it seems, was not to rescue people from earth, per se, transporting them to a far removed heaven. His intention was to put heaven inside of people. A gospel that ignores this fact -- and this current world -- because our status in the next world has been properly secured, is a distortion of Jesus’ redeeming message.

Thus, the gospel according to Jesus, is not just about a harp-playing, cloud-riding, hymn-singing, glory-praising, pie-in-the-sky heaven. It is holistic, all-encompassing deliverance, now. I’m not denying the existence of the afterlife; no, not at all. But I do not believe that we have to die to personally experience the life God has for us.

Jesus’ first disciples did not have the benefit of two-thousand years of Christian tradition and theology. All those disciples had were Jesus’ words: “Follow me, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” They had no promises of a big heavenly payoff. No fluttering angels’ wings, no crossing over the River Jordan to the Hallelujah Shore, no promises of golden streets or pearly gates, no “full assurance that you will go to heaven when you die.” All they had was the invitation of Jesus to “Follow me.” For them, that was enough.

This may sound strange -- it sounds a bit peculiar to my own ears -- but even if there was not a heaven, I would still be a follower of Jesus. Why? Because I believe that how Jesus taught us to live and the life he has to give, is the greatest hope for our world today. He offers redemption, in all its magnificent and diverse manifestations, as more than the blessed hope of heaven. He offers it as the blessed hope for people today.

So the choice before us plain: We can give up on the present, pack our bags, and wait for the paradise rescue from above; or we can join Jesus in bringing some of that not-here-yet of God’s heaven to the here-and-now earth. The choice, I think, is clear for the present -- not the future -- is the arena in which we follow Christ.

Today -- not tomorrow -- is where we live out the gospel according to Jesus.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at http://www.ronniemcbrayer.net.
 
« Previous Blog Entry (February 10, 2012)
 


Your Opinions and Comments

 
Russell Dickerson  
Floresville, TX  
February 17, 2012 9:50am
 
 
>He offers redemption, in all its magnificent and diverse manifestations, as more than the blessed hope of heaven.

Ok, so this guy is a "Kingdom Now" or ... Read More Read More
 
 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
February 17, 2012 9:05am
 
 
New column.
 

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post comments:



Other Keeping the Faith

Keeping the Faith bio sidebar
Keeping the Faith sidebar button
Heavenly Touch homeTriple R DC ExpertsAllstate & McBride RealtyChester WilsonVoncille Bielefeld homeBlue Moon Karaoke & DJEast Central Driving School

  Copyright © 2007-2014 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.