THE GOSPEL

This is a case where truth is stranger than fiction. I just about wrecked my car when I passed this sign in front of a church in our community. My first reaction was uncontrolled laughter and uncontained amazement. Yet, as a few miles passed, my countenance became somber as questions flooded my mind. They progressed from “Does coffee come with it?” to “How many people will this attract to this small church?” to “Would those people come to a neighboring church if the other church advertised biscuits AND doughnuts?” to “Is that all they can think of to promote?” Has it come to this in Davie County? The “hot donuts now” sign might work at Krispy Kreme, but will it bring people into the church?

Churches need to be a friendly and caring. Churches should to offer something to enrich the family and encourage others. Churches should possess a desire to help those who have less. But churches have to be more than that. If hospitality, personal inspiration, and acts of goodwill are all we offer, then the YMCA, the Ruritan Club, and the Red Cross are doing a much better job.

What Bible-believing churches offer is life-changing. It is not life-changing because we offer some well-organized programs and a comfortable atmosphere. It is life-change because God the Father sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins, freeing us from an eternal destination in hell. Doughnuts do not bring us to God, the convicting and guiding power of the Holy Spirit are what bring us to the foot of the cross, in repentance and surrender of a life lived for ourselves. By faith, we are changed by the love of a gracious Savior.

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What good is a baked potato without sour cream and butter? Steamed broccoli becomes edible with a good dose of shredded cheese. What good is cake without icing? A hotdog ought not to be legal without a good spread of Miracle Whip. Some things in life simply need a little extra to give it a flavorful boost.

Our faith in Jesus has to be more than just an additive to our lives. When sharing with people the need to trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior, many have admitted to me, “Yeah, I’ve done that too.” My translation to that statement is “I am trying to live a good life, help others, be a good citizen, be successful, and do just enough religious stuff that I have all my bases covered.” I am not judging that these people are lost, but Jesus did warn, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

There are too many people that believe that to live a good life on earth and have the promise of Heaven, you just need to add a little Jesus. This means a little time on Sunday morning, a little money in the offering plate, a little prayer at supper, a little time with a charitable organization, or a little walk down an aisle is enough. Jesus did not die on the cross so that you and I could have a little extra “spice” to our lives. He came so that we could be forgiven of our sins and follow Him. Vance Havner accurately explains, “A wife who is 85% faithful to her husband is not faithful at all. There is no such thing as part-time loyalty to Jesus Christ.” The problem with having a “little bit” of Jesus is that one is only willing to give a little of themselves.

When a person realizes who he or she is in light of the glory of God, there is natural response of unworthiness and surrender. If we understand that God is our creator, we will embrace the fact that we belong to Him and exist to bring Him glory. If we understand that God is holy and just, we will realize that we have sinned greatly against him and deserve punishment in hell for our sins. We can understand that God is loving and all-powerful by the fact that Jesus took our punishment for sin by His death on the cross and overcame death by His resurrection. We can accept that He is forgiving, for the promise of eternal life is granted by God to all who make a decision to turn from the love of sin (repent) and trust (believe) in Jesus.

In presenting the Gospel, people need to come to the reality of who God is, what we have done against Him, and how He has provided a way for us to have a relationship with Him. We should agree with A. W. Tozer, “We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, or the world of sports, or modern entertainment. We are not diplomats, but prophets; and our message is not a compromise, but an ultimatum.”

Have you trusted Jesus for salvation?

One Comment on “THE GOSPEL”

  1. cardaddy
    July 25, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Thank you for providing this information. It is really helpful for me.

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