If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19)
Yesterday I read an opinion piece by a man who claims to be an anti-natalist—someone who believes that having children is immoral. Throughout his article, this man attempted to prove that the cruelty of life in this world should de-motivate procreation.
One of his main arguments was the fact that the death rate among human beings is one-hundred percent. If you’re lucky, you only get 95 years on this planet. Death always comes before long, and it always seems to get the last word. Why then would you want to bring more people into a world where the grave so grimly awaits us all? It would be better for the human race to be extinct than to perpetuate such unavoidable misery.
This article resonated with me, not because I agree with its conclusions, but because it unwittingly affirms the Gospel by setting forth the utter bleakness of a world without it. By concluding that death cannot be conquered, it advocates for the extinction of humanity. But death can be conquered. Indeed, it has been. The human race has hope.
You see, the Gospel readily acknowledges death as a consequence of man’s rebellion against God (Gen. 3:19). It sets forth a view of death as the sworn enemy of the human race (1 Co. 15:26). But it also denies the supremacy of the grave, declaring that the natural world—the realm that can be physically sensed—is not all there is. Rather there is a spiritual reality just behind the curtain of this material universe. In fact, at its core, the Gospel states that this spiritual reality has invaded our world and, because of it, death has been declawed and defeated (1 Co. 15:55).
This is why, when Jesus began His earthly ministry two-thousand years ago, He proclaimed, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Essentially, Jesus was announcing that the Kingdom of God—the ultimate spiritual reality of His sovereign rule over all peoples, times, places, and events—has crashed into this decaying, death-riddled world of ours. And the King of this Kingdom is Himself “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)—the One who has swallowed up death in victory (Isa. 25:8). Therefore, the time has come for mankind to repent of our rebellion and follow this King; for He’s re-making this world into something beautiful and death-proof.
When we pause and really consider the stunning nature of Christ’s announcement, we’re confronted with the fact that we tend to think more like the anti-natalist gentleman than we care to admit. We definitely won’t embrace his views on procreation. But at the same time, we can’t deny that, like him, we have a tendency to approach life as if Jesus isn’t Lord and hasn’t conquered death. We too often live as if the Gospel of His Kingdom isn’t true. It happens in a million different ways every day. With every swipe of an overused credit card, with every secret indulgence of an adulterous fantasy, with every attempt to self-justify through workaholism and overbearing parenting, we disbelieve the News that Jesus announced in Galilee all those years ago.
Our chronic disbelief makes us aware of our need to be exposed to the Gospel again and again. This is why we have a standing appointment with God each week called the Sunday gathering. The Lord’s Day serves as a weekly Gospel-pivot for forgetful people like us who are “prone to wander,” as the old hymn puts it. It re-centers our lives upon who Jesus is and what He has done.
Therefore it’s crucial that we gather this Sunday to be re-exposed to the Gospel in a powerful way. We can’t do without our weekly Gospel-pivot; for without King Jesus we have nothing—indeed, “we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Co. 15:19, quoted above). But because of Him, we know that death doesn’t get the last word: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command… And the dead in Christ will rise” (1 Thess. 4:16).
To foster deeper Gospel-belief in us, we are teaching a new song this week called Worthy Of Your Name. You’ll find the song’s performance video and iTunes link directly below.
Set List for Sunday, November 12, 2017:
Only King Forever by Elevation Worship (C. Brown, M. Brock, S. Furtick, W. Joye)
Holy, Holy, Holy (Savior And King) by Gateway Worship (W. Beach, J. B. Dykes, R. Heber)
Worthy Of Your Name by Passion (B. Brown, S. Curran, B. Younker)
Come Thou Fount (R. Robinson, J. Wyeth)
Build My Life by Housefires (P. Barrett, K. Kaple, K. Martin, M. Redman, B. Younker)
You can also listen to a playlist of LifePoint’s current song rotation on Spotify.