The Appealing Gospel
It was during one of my many conversations with my dad a few weeks ago that an idea so profound to me that I had to sit down was presented to me. Our conversation was on the church and the drive or push to make the church relevant. This push has led to crosses being taken out of churches and the bright, ever inviting smiles backed by toe deep theology of the Joel Olsteen’s of the world. We want to make church relevant so we do our best to not offend anyone, after all, Jesus never stepped on anyone’s toes, especially not the Pharisee’s.
What was the idea? It was an idea that my dad touched on in his last College Commitment article titled “The Hard Words of Jesus.” That is that our responsibility is not to make the gospel or the church relevant. “The Gospel is already relevant” he said in our conversation “Our responsibility is to make it appealing.” Essentially:: the purpose of Jesus Hard Words is to give us a standard that when lived out will make others want to know and study the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And that is not a half gospel, or “another gospel” or a watered down, non-offending gospel. This is the gospel in its full breadth and depth. This is the gospel, unchained, uncensored, with every challenge from Adam and Eve and the creation account to the very last words of Revelations. The Gospel not adulterated by opinions of worship or baptism or whether or not we should follow the Old Testament Law or not. Jesus tells us: “Until heaven and Earth pass away, not one iota or dot shall pass away from the law” (Matthew 5:18).
Dallas Willard said: “We should live in such a way that makes others want to become apprentices of Jesus.” This again can translate to, “We should live in such a way that make people want to know God and love Him more” and to do that we need to know and live out what’s in the gospel of Jesus Christ. But we cannot stop there, if we simply stop and go and do then we have stopped short of the gospel message.
The reason that we can now live in this manner is because of grace. We have to emphasize grace because grace is the attracting part of the gospel. Without grace, none of what Jesus did makes any sense and everything Jesus did is nothing more than principles to live by. But infused with grace these principles become a way of life. When led by the power of the Holy Spirit these ideals become a part of us and when we put these things together others want to follow and know all they can about Christ. Friends and neighbors see grace and are attracted to it and want to know more about your friends new found faith and before you know it there’s a revival the Earth can’t contain.
And that my friends, is an impact