(Outreach Magazine, June 2018)
#hopeforall • #mosaix19
November 5–7, 2019
The Apostle Paul devoted his life not only to declaring the gospel but to demonstrating the hope of the Gospel; that is, not only to championing eternal life for “everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16) but to establishing local churches in which men, women and children from varying ethnic, economic and cultural backgrounds could walk, work, and worship God together as one (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:11–4:6) on earth as it is in heaven (Rev 7:9).
With this in mind Paul declared before the Sanhedrin, “I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 23:6) Having himself received mercy, Paul was determined to see the local church extend mercy to all people without distinction. Having been brought near to the living God, he was determined to see the local church draw diverse others near to him, as well. Having been called of God, he was determined to see the church fulfill its collective calling. To this mission and vision, Paul devoted his life; and in so doing, himself to establishing local churches in which believers not only expressed their love for God, but for one another and for biblical neighbors (Luke 10:25–37) beyond race, class, cultural and political divides.
To this mission and vision, pastors and local churches today must devote themselves as well; for the sake of the gospel, to declaring in more than mere words Hope for All.