JONESBORO — Despite our best efforts, everyone – regardless of age, social standing, or even church attendance – stands in need of the life offered through Jesus Christ, LifeWay’s Mark Croston told GO Georgia attendees at the annual training event’s first general session here Friday evening. “We live in a day, age, and place where people don’t know the gospel story,” proclaimed Croston, LifeWay Christian Resources’ national director for Black and Western Church Partnerships. “We need to tell His story!”
Early in his message, Croston made it clear that Jesus was very much a man while at the same time very much God. “He wasn’t merely an image of God,” he said. “He was God.
“Peter says to his fellow Israelitest [that] Jesus was ‘a man attested to you,'” he proclaimed, preaching from Acts 2. “That is to say, He was shown, proven, recognized, demonstrated, … he was not plastic or a synthetic substitute, … not the image of a man. He was a man.”
Those qualities about Christ make him the most unique figure in history when it comes to understanding how mortal man faces sin.
“Remember, the Bible says that in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. He was tempted on all points like we are, yet was without sin,” Croston pointed out.
And so, in knowing Jesus’ story, Christians should be compelled to share it with others, he added.
“The real truth of our lives isn’t what people say about us today. The real truth … is what will God say about us when we go to meet Him face to face.”
God’s purposes cannot be hindered
Though called to live holy lives, Christians aren’t perfect. But even in our failure, Croston pointed out, we have victory.
“Remember this: the Bible says that the plan of salvation was already written before God laid the foundations of the world. And so sin is not a surprise to God. God already knew that if he made creatures like us, we would fail. And so, before we had a chance to fail God had already created the remedy to fix us in the midst of our failure.”
Those failures can still cause Christians to question their qualifications for service. Moreover. believers can think other factors may leave them unworthy or unable of service. Often, those perceptions are even forced upon them by fellow believers.
“The purposes of God cannot be hindered by age, assetts, assignment, or antagonist,” Croston countered. “Jesus was only 33. In many of our Southern Baptist churches we would say that’s too young. Moses was 80 when he was called to lead the [Israelites] out of bondage. Abraham was 100 when he had a son and became the father of a nation.
“God doesn’t care how old you are; you can still tell His story. … God’s purposes cannot be hindered by your age.”
God has an assignment for each of us, Croston said. “The truth is He has put you strategically in the middle of your assignment because there’s somebody God wants to reach with the message of the gospel and it can only be preached by somebody who is where you are today!”
And if doubt persists, Croston encouraged the audience to remember who gave the gospel “assignment” in the first place.
“There’s never gonna be a time when everybody is on your side. But as long as God is on your side, you are in the majority. … There is no obstacle where God doesn’t have the power [to overcome it] through our lives.”
And recognizing God’s power to work in us, despite our failures, actually makes us more useful to Him, said Croston.
“If you’ve ever been cut down … put down … let down … shut down … held down … just remember, you’re the kind of person God is looking for!”