“But at that time, your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:1–3.
One enduring truth of the Great Reformation that we continue to celebrate is the restoration of the Gospel to the Church. As strange as it may seem, the Western Church, about the 12th Century, had begun to lose the evangel and to rely more on priestly ordinances and external liturgies as the sole means of salvation. Starting with the early Reformers, Wycliffe, Huss, and Luther, the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ began to dimly shine in the darkness until dawn broke in the Reformation in Europe in the 16th Century. Post tenebras lux.
Once restored in the churches, the Gospel spread rapidly across the continent and beyond. One reason for its spreading quickly was its simplicity. Anyone who can recite the Twenty-Third Psalm can also memorize the basic elements of the Gospel and thereby communicate it to his friend or neighbor. The greatest revival in human history occurred in the Great Reformation in Europe, when over 100,000 souls converted to Protestantism.
Daniel’s prophecy gives us great incentive to share the Gospel openly, even promiscuously, with all sorts of people. One wise unto salvation will clearly perceive the importance of spreading the Good News far and wide. Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the preaching of the Word. But how will anyone hear without a clear proclamation of the Good News? (see Rom 10:9-17).
The best place to start is with one’s own person: by recalling and taking comfort in God’s promise to save all who profess Jesus Christ as the Son of God. God promises forgiveness of sins and eternal life to all who profess faith in Jesus, who believe that Jesus is raised from the dead — apart from one’s own “good” works. God will eternally justify all who receive Jesus as their Savior, despite their heavy debt of sin. The Gospel is thus a soothing balm to one’s restless and anxious soul. We are enabled to take our eyes away from our dead works and make our boast solely in the Lord our Savior. This greatly glorifies God in Christ, who saves sinners to the uttermost by his grace through faith in his crucified and risen Son.
Having become proficient in applying the Gospel to ourselves, we are moved in love concerning our lost neighbors and friends. We desire that they also experience the love of God in Christ. Those who are wise will turn many to righteousness, even the everlasting righteousness of God that is imputed to all who believe. God’s wise sons will share the Gospel. Daniel’s prophetic promise will not be broken.
There is no reason to leave the task of spreading the Gospel solely to ministers and foreign missionaries. Anyone who loves his neighbor as himself may spread the Gospel. Daniel’s prophecy places no restrictions on who will shine as stars in the heavens forever and ever, except that they be wise unto salvation. Even when we see little results to our evangelizing, we must keep broadcasting the seed of the Good News, for:
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Ps 126:5–6.
At this time, the whole world seems to have come to Houston, Texas. What can stop us from going into Houston and joyfully sharing the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ with others?