Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Glorious Gospel of Me


As opposed to being told by someone where you'll end up if you don't become a Christian, wouldn't it be more meaningful to hear about how God loves you no matter what you think you've done and that God has been pursuing you to enrich your life and transform you into an unstoppable force for good in the world? 

The above interrogative (what we call a statement in the form of a question) was written to me in response to my article, “No Atheists In Hell.”  

Below is my answer. May God add His blessing to your reading. 

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You are confusing the point of the article. (I have a very specific, narrow point.) The article isn’t about evangelistic methodology. The article deals exclusively with the accusation that Christians who speak of hell are engaging in psychological manipulation, with nefarious motives (a hasty generalization lacking evidence). I am demonstrating that such isn’t the case. This is the whole point of the piece.
 
You ask: “wouldn't it be more meaningful to hear about how God loves you no matter what you think you've done and that God has been pursuing you to enrich your life and transform you into an unstoppable force for good in the world? 

No. What you just presented isn’t even close to the Gospel. A person could believe every word you just said and die in his sins. Your entire focus is on the sinner and how wonderful he is. (If this is the Christian message, why must the Church endure persecution? Who doesn’t want to be told such things?) A presentation such as yours would never encourage genuine repentance.  

The Gospel, however, is about Jesus Christ: Who He is and what He’s done for His people. The Gospel isn’t about the greatness of sinners. The Gospel is about the Grace of God in Christ saving sinners. The Gospel is the good news that though we are sinners Christ has lived the perfect life and died an atoning death in the place of sinners; procuring for sinners everlasting life. 

We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord” (2Cor 4:5). 

Here’s my challenge to you: Read all of the sermons preached by the Apostles in the New Testament book called “The Acts of the Apostles.” These men preached Christ. Pattern your message after them, not Joel Osteen.

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