There is a nominal Christianity which is accepted and approved of men, but the pure gospel is still despised and rejected.
The real Christ of today, among men, is unknown and unrecognized as much as He was among His own nation nineteen hundred years ago.
Christ in doctrine, Christ in Spirit, Christ in life; the world cannot endure as King.
It is alright for men to chant about Him in cathedrals, or sing about Him in synagogues, or preach about Him in pulpits; but Christ honestly obeyed, followed and worshipped in simplicity, without pomp or form; Christ exalted as prophet, priest, and King (not later, but now), they will not allow to reign over them. It is as spiritual Lord that Christ claims sovereignty among men.
Somewhere in my reading I came across the expression, 'The richness of the ascension'. I was struck by the expression because so little is said or written these days about the tremendous act of both the Father and the Son by which the Gospel of God concerning His Son is brought to its climax.
A gospel that does not speak of an ascended Lord is not the Gospel of God.
If the gospel is Christ and Christ is the gospel, and surely this is true; we must proclaim a Christ risen, exalted and reigning. He must be preached where He is now and identified as the pre-existent, virgin born, sinlessly living, vicariously dying, Son of the Living God.
Always the apostles preached the Living Christ and worked backward, a decided reverse from the gospel of today. This is God's good news.
How can Christ be preached if He is not preached where He is now?
If Christ be risen and exalted, the rest is easy to accept! If not, the virgin birth and everything else cannot be accepted. The whole pattern of the gospel story sinks or swims on the truth or falsety of the resurrection and exaltation.
This article is excerpted from a Rolfe Barnard sermon entitled, "The Ascended Lord". Edited by Eulala J. Bullock. Free PDF edition by Grace-eBooks.com.