Chuck Colson sketches the joy at the heart of the Gospel in this excerpt from The Faith: Given Once for All by Colson and Harold Fickett.
God is. And He's told us how His world works. He is the ultimate reality. Why then is there suffering? Because God gave humans free will. We chose not to obey, so evil came to the world.
God invaded earth in His Son... The Holy Spirit was sent to finish the invasion, establishing Christ's Kingdom through His body, the Church.
Satan's control didn't stand, however. God invaded earth in His Son. The battle raged, and the Son was arrested and executed, as the payment for evil. But the stone was rolled away, and God raised Him from the dead, and with His resurrection guaranteed our own new life. The Holy Spirit was sent to finish the invasion, establishing Christ's Kingdom through His body, the Church.
We can now exchange our lives for Christ's life. Reconciled with Him, we are reconciled with each other, living a holy life in community, defending life at every stage. One day Christ will come again and finally establish God's Kingdom. All those in Christ will enjoy God's fellowship eternally, as humankind was meant to from the beginning. [We can] find joy in knowing that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, the sustainer of all things, through whom and by whom and for whom all things were made...
The Gospel is the great proposal: Come to the wedding feast, one and all — black, white, rich, poor, East, West, Muslim, Jew, Christian — all are welcome... God turns no man or woman away, not one. Through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Father brings us into His Kingdom. This is the promise He holds out to individuals and nations alike, a Kingdom not of eating and drinking or of marching armies and clashing swords, but a Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy forever in the Holy Spirit.
- Chuck Colson
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