Daily Good News – How the Camel Found the Gospel
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Jul 1, 2015 1065
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24).
In Jesus’ words about the rich entering the kingdom of God, he is talking about the priorities of the heart. If the priority of your heart is money, then Jesus is saying that you might have what you desire, but you will never see the kingdom. Jesus is saying that you don’t get to heaven by your bank account, but by your faith account – even faith like a mustard seed. And faith means that you know that everything you are and everything you have is his and not yours, so you will know how to invest your life and all that you have in the Gospel of the Kingdom.
The transformed heart is the catalyst to a transformed world. Certainly many of the greatest social reforms in history, such as the abolition of slavery in large parts of the world, have been motivated by the message of the gospel. But let’s not get the cart before the horse. The “heart gospel” must come before the “social gospel”. The message of Jesus was always “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!” The heart comes before the life; the heart must be changed before anything about the life changes. The only thing that can transform the world is the grace of Jesus Christ in the hearts of men and women.
But let’s remember that the message of the gospel is not in essence a political message, nor is it a social message. It is the proclamation that we have been fully reconciled with God by the blood of Jesus Christ. Undeniably this has social implications, and perhaps I would even venture to say, in some cases, political implications. But the heart gospel must go before the social gospel. The kingdom of Jesus Christ is in this world, but is ultimately not of this world.