Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Is The Gospel?

As I have been teaching through the book of Mark on Wednesday nights and going through the essentials of the faith on Sunday the topic of why did Jesus die on the cross and how to share our faith comes up.

I have some thoughts on this and would love some feedback.

Many times when we share the gospel with people we want to go right to the good news that "God has a wonderful plan for your life". I think it is VERY important to note that we need to give people the "bad news" before rushing to the good news.

What is the bad news? That man has sinned and because of our sin we need to be reconciled to God and if we are not then we will face the wrath of God for eternity. Sadly I think we have focused so much on God's love we fail to understand God's wrath. We need to be balanced in our view of God and realize God is Holy.

The reason Jesus came was not to give us an example (Though He is an example) and neither did he come to give us a life of wealth, health and prosperity. Jesus came to reconcile fallen sinful man to himself. When we evangelize, to skip right to the good news of the gospel and telling them to come to Jesus for any other reason then that they are sinners and need to repent and submit to Jesus Christ is or will face His eternal wrath is to miss the primary purpose of the gospel.

I think we are scared to give the full picture of who God is for fear of scaring people off so often times we "De-fang" God and do not talk about His wrath and Holiness.
I often times myself when talking to others about Christ catch myself wanting to avoid talking about sin and how bad it really is. I constantly have to remind myself that salvation is of the Lord and it is not for me to try and make the message more palatable so it goes down easier.

As I have been going through the book of Mark you see Jesus is hated and chapter 6 tells us the people took offense at him. Are His slaves better than the Master?

Jesus said if they hate me they will hate us (John 15:8) and that his message is an offense (Mark 6)

PLEASE do not misunderstand what I am saying. I am NOT saying that we do not love people. I am NOT saying that we be rude and offend people just to offend them.

I am saying that if we really love people we tell them the truth even if they do not want to hear it. If they are offended at the message then that is between them and God but our duty is to share the truth of God's word and trust his word and the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

God is love but he is also just and Holy

Acts 17:30
"Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

We are to love people and that's why when we give the gospel message we tell them the truth as to why they need to come to Christ.

Ray Comfort gives the example of a man in a plane and during the flight a employee told him if he put the parachute on it would improve his flight. He put it on and it was uncomfortable and poking him. Then other passengers started laughing at him and in anger he threw it off because the lady told him the parachute would improve his flight and instead he was uncomfortable and laughed at.

What if she would have came to the man and said the plane is out of gas and we will be in real danger soon so put the parachute on. Now he does not care if it is uncomfortable or poking him because he knows without it he will die. The fact others are laughing at him does not matter to him and he clings tight to the parachute because it will save his life. He did not put it on to "improve" his flight but rather to save his life.

One does not come to Christ for a life of care free living and no troubles. If that's how we present the gospel then as soon as troubles come then they think Christianity has failed them. However when they come for the correct reason which is that man has been separated from God and needs to be reconciled, when bad things happen he is not swayed because he did not come to Christ for a care free life but rather to be reconciled to God through His son.

I know my grammar stinks but I wanted to share my thoughts on this. Feel free to share your thoughts. God Bless

Also I am not saying I am better than anyone else or saying I am not sinful etc.....
And I certainly do not want to come off as arrogant or harsh.

I am the biggest sinner I know and I above all need God's grace!


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