Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why Don't Christians Like the Gospel?

So I was in Red Letter yesterday and this friendly gentlemen recognized me because he knew my dad.  In fact he asked me "Are you Mike Bales' son?"  I responded yes of course and we started a conversation about people that we both knew.   We eventually got to the most important person that we know, being Jesus...
Now I have to admit, no matter how many times this happens to me I'm still shocked.  I don't know why I am, but it happens nonetheless.  I asked him how he came to know the Lord.  He gave me a brief generic answer, and that was sufficient I suppose, but I wanted more.  I wanted to know how Jesus entrances him with the Gospel.  So I said to him, "Since you are a follower of Jesus Christ, surely you enjoy to speak of Him to believers and non-believers alike.  Please tell me, when you stand before Him on the day of Judgment and (hypothetically) He asks you 'why should I let you into my heaven?' what would you say?"
His response?...  "Those are exactly the kind of questions that believers used to ask me when I was an unbeliever that made me not what to be a Christian.  Those type of direct questions turn people off from hearing you.  In fact quoting Bible verses and handing out Bible tracts damage people's ability to hear and respond to the Gospel."  I pressed him for what kind of evangelism he did, since he was pretty opinionated about it (BTW, never in the whole conversation was he willing to share the good news with me), and his response was that he does good things for people and eventually (he gave me examples of like 8 years) they will get curious enough to start asking him questions.  However it was on their terms, not his.  I validated the importance of living Godly lives in front of unbelievers and how that glorifies God, but was quick to point out how the Apostles preached the Gospel in the book of Acts.  Out in the open.  In the public.  It offended people to the point where most of the Apostles were jailed, tortured, and eventually martyred.  What possible message would incur such hostility?
The Gospel.
The True Gospel.
The good-news-towards-a-God-hating-race-about-how-to-escape-the-wrath-of-God-Gospel.
I challenge you to find one place in the book of Acts where the Apostles (the ones Jesus commissioned to preach the Gospel originally) preached a message of 'God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.'
You won't find it.
What you will find is the Apostles, who sought to glorify the Son of God Jesus Christ, proclaimed to the world that we are traitors to his kingdom.  We are enemies with the Lord of lords.  They further preached that God appointed his Son Christ to be crucified on the cross at the hands of the Jews and the Gentiles.  His name is the only name under Heaven by which any one can be saved.  In order to be saved, one must repent of their sins (turn away from them) and put all of their reliance or trust in Christ alone plus nothing.
Three days after his mutilation on the cross, Christ rose from the grave proving to the world that death and hell could not keep him, and he will return one day to judge the quick and the dead.  To His children He delivers them to a new heavens and a new earth where they will see the face of God.  To the lost He delivers them to hell which has been reserved for them and the devil and his angels because they hated God and chose not to honor him.
I know.  I know.  That hits our culture like the two planes hitting the World Trade Center.  The question is, "...is it true?"
Best News.
Worst News.
That is the best news ever if you are being saved.  It is an aroma of life.
That is the worst news ever if you are lost.  It is the aroma of death, and it is hated and despised.
So back to my original question:  "Why don't Christians Like the Gospel?"  Maybe a more important question is: Do you love the Gospel?  The Apostle Paul gave grave, dire warnings to those who do not love the Gospel, or rather the object of the Gospel:  "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha."  1 Cor. 16:22
But for those who do love him...
We will receive an inheritance that neither rust nor moth can destroy.  We will enjoy the perfect presence of our Jesus where joy will only ever increase, and pain and sorrow will be no more. "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"  Romans 8:32
Amen and Alleluia.
Please preach this gospel.
Your good life is NOT the gospel.
Jesus Christ and what he accomplished is the Gospel
Everything else is a false gospel.

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