Freedom and the Gospel

I had the privilege of attending the VES Apologetics Conference this weekend at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. One of the most sought-after speakers in the world Ravi Zacharias was there, and he spoke about the direction of Christian apologetics in the 21st century.

Ravi used an amazing example from this personal experience to illustrate the value of freedom. When he visited Guantanamo Bay in Cuba he noticed the irony of ironies. The prison housing terrorists who waged war against American freedom were themselves without freedom as they were surrounded by a triple barbed wire fence. However, on the Cuban side there was another wall topped by barbed wire which was meant to prevent Cubans from coming to freedom.

A place like Guantanamo represents such opposite things for the terrorists imprisoned there and the Cubans who would want to defect to the US to achieve freedom.

The gospel of Jesus Christ bears similarities to the above illustration in terms of the irony it presents. It is the best possible news for the man regenerated by the Holy Spirit, but it is the worst possible news for the natural man who remains under the wrath of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

How is it possible that two such opposite views of the gospel can exist? The one who experiences its salvation sees is as the power of God, while “the wise, the scribe, and the debater of this age” view it as foolishness. To the Children of God, Christ is salvation, while to unbelievers He is a stumbling block.

The answer lies in the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit in convicting and convincing the hearts of men with respect to sin, righteousness and judgement. Only He can open our minds to see the meaning of the cross, this glorious event labeled as foolishness by the world.

Guantanamo will stand as an ironic beacon of freedom and captivity.

The gospel of Jesus Christ stands as the power of God for believers and folly for those who perishing spiritually.

image: RIZM

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