Refreshment is found in the Gospel

“But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.” (Acts 3:18)

Jesus’ suffering was not God’s plan B. It was and always has been plan A. From before the foundations of the world God planned for Jesus to come and die for you. What an amazing plan! What love the Lord has for us!

Admittedly it is difficult to fathom how the Father would give His Son for a rebellious people. But the Father did. He didn’t do it on a whim, instead He did it as part of a plan so that we might be rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light (Col. 1). He rescues us in order to win a people for His Son so that we might glorify Jesus for all eternity in the future kingdom to come. He did it so that we might be drawn up into the eternal love relationship the Trinity has with one another.

Understanding what Jesus has done for us, we are called to repent and enjoy fellowship with Jesus and to experience the hope of the future kingdom to come.

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” (Acts 3:19-21)

Those who repent, turning to Jesus as Lord and Savior, not only experience future hope, but they also experience present refreshment. Don’t we need refreshment from the grind of the world? Don’t we need relief? We can have it in a relationship with Jesus.

Turn to Jesus today. Trust in Him whether you would call yourself a non-believer or a believer. The gospel is for everyone. We never move past it. We only go deeper into it, experiencing salvation, hope, refreshment, even in the midst of a nation that is leaning more and more post-Christian.

Why do I have to join a church?

To relate to God, you must do it “covenantally.” He wants all of you; he wants every aspect of you; he wants every bit of you.” It’s silly, but it’s natural that American Christians will say to me, “I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Why do I have to join a church?” I say, “What do you mean?”

“Where does it say in the Bible that I have to join a church?”

“On every page,” if you understand the covenant. All joining a church means is you’re willing to make a public vow that makes you accountable for your whole life. That’s what we don’t like because, “Who needs that? The most important thing is the personal and the spontaneous.”

No! The most important thing is every part of you has to go to him. You’re supposed to make yourself a whole burnt offering on the altar. That’s what it says in Romans 12 where it says, “Make yourself a living sacrifice, a whole burnt offering, to the Lord.”

 Keller, Timothy J., The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013)