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Some time ago, during the first night of our crusade in the Philippines, a seventy-four year-old man named Sylvio came forward for healing. That night he walked without crutches for the first time in eight years. He was so excited by what God had done that he went home and told his neighbors.

The next night, an entire family who lived next door to Sylvio came to the crusade. As we gave the call for those who needed healing, they came forward, bringing their eight year-old daughter, who had been deaf and mute since birth. That night the little girl was completely healed and spoke her first words ever: "Jesus! Jesus!" When they saw the miracle that had taken place, the entire family confessed Jesus as Lord and was born again.

These people did not come because they were interested in hearing a good message; they were drawn by something greater—the power of the real gospel.

During the last few decades of the twentieth century, an interesting phenomenon developed in society—it became easier to impress people with a fabricated image than with character and integrity.

Everyone from soft drink companies to politicians mastered the art of the sound byte—the "spin." In the late 1990's, investors threw money at any company whose name even sounded high tech, regardless of financial performance. Substance was out, and style was in. But things are changing.

The downturn in dot-com stocks is evidence of winds of change blowing throughout society and around the world. Investors are getting back to reality and actually looking at things like income statements and balance sheets. People are no longer satisfied with just an image—and we're not just talking about soft drinks. It's much more personal than that.

The world is full of real people with real needs. And people are hungry for something real to meet those needs—real love, real compassion, real power, real life. God is all about being real. That's why Jesus took such a strong stand against religion. Religion is only concerned about changing the outside—appearance, actions, rules and regulations. But God's desire is to capture people's hearts, to meet real needs and bring real change in their lives.

In many nations we visit, the people may have encountered religion before, but they have not heard the good news, they have not seen Jesus. When they find out you're a Christian, they think, "Oh, I've heard this before." But most of them have never heard the real gospel.

In Matthew 24:14, Jesus promised, "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come." But to what "gospel" was Jesus referring?

The gospel Jesus Himself preached was powerful—it changed hearts, healed bodies and delivered minds. It was a gospel of good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:18).

It was not a message of religious rules, regulations, and condemnation. It was more than just watered-down philosophy. Jesus preached a gospel with the power to save, heal, deliver, prosper and change lives. Jesus preached the real gospel. This is the gospel Jesus commissioned us to preach. It's a gospel of power. It's a gospel that God confirms with signs following (Mark 16:15-18).

Thank God that great things are happening all around the world. The gospel is being preached on scale like never before in history. Things are changing. God is moving. When Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:14, He was speaking the truth - this gospel of the kingdom SHALL be preached in all the world.

This is not the time for Christians just to sit back in their pews and enjoy the ride. These are the days for the Body of Christ to rise up and BE what God designed us to be—a powerful, victorious army, full of the Spirit and full of the power of God. It's time for us to do the "greater works" that Jesus promised. It's time to reach real people with the power of the real Gospel.

Copyright © Teen Mania Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Rod Arnold
Web site:
 
Rod Arnold is founder of BrandSmart Marketing, a branding and marketing agency, and he lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with the love of his life, Michelle, and their four incredible children, Ben, Bo, Jackson and Lily.
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