Parakaleó

Parakaleó.

The word is a verb, in the ancient form of Greek in which the New Testament of the Bible was written. It means, “I invite,” or “I appeal,” or “I encourage.”

In his second letter to the Corinthian Church (listed in your Bible’s table of contents as 2 Corinthians), the Apostle Paul uses it this way:

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20.

This short passage from Scripture is the basis for the title of my blog, “An Urgent Appeal.”

This blog is for people who aren’t Christians. 

The appeal being made in that passage is that non-Christians might be reconciled to God. And the one making the appeal is none other than God himself–as the Apostle writes, “God making his appeal through us.”

That God is appealing, or inviting human beings to be reconciled to Himself tells us something. It tells us there is a divide between God and humanity. If there were no divide, there would be no need for reconciliation. Picture a deep, broad canyon, with all of humanity on one side, and a brilliant, shining throne on the other side, symbolizing God. We are on our side, and God is on His side, and He is calling certain people over to His side. “Be reconciled to Me,” He says, making His appeal.

That God is inviting human beings to be reconciled to Himself also tells us something else: this is a loving and merciful God. The reason for the great divide between humanity and Divinity is summed up in a single word: lawlessness. God is the Creator, and as such He is entitled to make the laws governing the behavior of all his creatures. Those creatures include you and me–and all of humanity. But we humans have not obeyed His law. In fact, we break it every day. Be honest: you have not even lived up to your own standards of right and wrong today. How much less have you perfectly kept the Creator’s moral law?

Therefore what might we expect to hear from such an offended King as God surely is–offended by our lawlessness and our indifference toward his authority? Instead of an appeal to reconciliation, we might expect to hear a pronouncement of doom. Indeed, that is what lawbreakers and rebels like us deserve. And certainly, it is the inevitable destiny for every human being who dies in a continuing state of lawlessness–having never been reconciled to God.

However, the Creator King, God, is in fact so loving that He has made a royal decree to save traitors like you and me, and to transform them into loyal, royal heirs.

For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (HCSB).

God loved, so He gave His Son. Jesus, the Son of God, crossed over to humanity’s side of the canyon, so to speak. And when He got here, we betrayed Him, we denied Him, we turned Him over to evil men, and we had Him crucified. He was buried. But God raised Him up again, and now Jesus is alive! He has gone back to the Father, for now, but He will return (as judge. That will be when all that doom and judgment we mentioned earlier will happen).

In the meantime, He has sent the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity that God is; it is kind of a long story) to dwell inside every person who hears God’s appeal, turns from their lawlessness and trusts in Jesus’ death and resurrection to save them from God’s wrath. Those He saves are given the right to live forever (“eternal life”) as God’s royal children.

So, while life persists, there is still time. There is still time for you to hear God’s appeal and respond to it. There is still time for me to join with my brother Paul and let God make His appeal to you. There is still time for me to “implore you, on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

One day, your time will run out. And that makes this appeal an urgent one. Hence the name of this blog: “An Urgent Appeal.”

Who knows?* Maybe some day this will be the name of my 501(c)(3) non-profit ministry. Or maybe I will get bored with this title, scrap it, and come up with something else. In the meantime, however, it aptly summarizes my purpose for this pastoral blog: to convey (1) the appeal God is making to His the people He has chosen, and (2) the urgency of that appeal.

This blog is for Christians, too.

In fact, because of what I will be writing and sharing, this blog will be primarily for Christians.**

What can my Christian brothers and sisters expect from this little endeavor? Come back here for exposition and explanation of Bible passages, for thoughts on defending and sharing the truths of Christianity, and for other things that I think will build up the Church and invite (parakaleó) more people to come in, through trust in Jesus Christ.

One aspect of this blog I am especially looking forward to is the opportunity to share with you the books and articles I’m reading, the videos I’m watching, the sermons and podcasts I’m listening to, and the discussions I’m having–in the hopes that you can use these resources to build up your own faith and develop a stronger walk with Jesus Christ.

Until next time, Settecase out. 

*God does.

**Though this blog will be primarily for Christians, this is the first post, and so I had to start things off with a clear explanation of the Gospel. If you are ready to know more about being reconciled to God, shoot me an email at jsettecase@gracepointe.us.

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