Elmer Long

What is the design of the gospel?

Was it to be only a witness to the world or was it designed to purify society?

Herein are two thoughts. There are a host of people who preach and teach that the world is doomed and the gospel will not change it. It was not designed to do so. The world will grow worse and end in apostasy. A world known preacher has made the following statement, "You do not polish the brass on a sinking ship." This is his concept of the power of the gospel. The second coming of Christ is the only cure for man's problem. That the second coming of Christ is a most important doctrine we do not deny. But does not the gospel prepare men for this? The Bible tells us that the gospel will change and purify men bringing one into a spiritual kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; a kingdom that will conquer all kingdoms. This does not mean everybody will be saved, but that Christian principles will be the rule, not the exception.

As a boy I remember when the Church had such influence that no one need lock their doors, crime was rare, and morals were the rule. Why is this not true now? Has God changed? The Church believed then that the gospel was the cure for man's evil. Jesus said Christians were to be the salt of the earth. Salt is designed to preserve and flavor society. When it fails to do this it is good for nothing but to be trodden under the feet of man.

It has been said if the gospel was designed to change society, why is much sin and wickedness abounding? The answer lies in the fact that most do not believe that the gospel can or will do this. It is preached everywhere that tribulation, apostasy, and defeat is all to be expected. This has killed the faith of the people. Some teach there is an escape route by a secret coming of Christ for the saints. Others say all will go through a great tribulation. The results are the same in either case.

One of the chief reasons why this is preached so much is because men preach out of their own experience. They do not have victory over sin in their own lives. So out of their own defeats they preach a doctrine that fits their own experience. The church is filled with people who have no assurance of salvation. They have a false security but not a clear witness of the Holy Spirit along with the fruit. And if they do not have the fruits of the Spirit they do not have the witness of the Spirit.

In Daniel we are told the kingdom made without hands will consume all other kingdoms and will last forever. This is a spiritual kingdom, not an earthly one and it brought about by the preaching of the gospel. Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against this Church. Let us preach a gospel that will change men, bringing them into the kingdom of Christ and giving them victory over sin. In so doing it will change society as well. society is made up of men. Purify men and you will purify society. May God help us not to preach out of prayerlessness and defeats making an alibi for our own failures.

Herein lies the two thoughts. One is: the kingdom of Satan will bring the Church down to apostasy in this world, making the devil the winner. The other is the gospel will triumph. Which do you belong to?