“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.”
II Corinthians 4:1-5 NKJV
There is a temptation to take this great message of the Gospel and add lots of bells, whistles, signs and wonders to make it more attractive to the lost. Some churches seek to be seeker sensitive, offering cutting edge music and lots of really relevant teaching that appeals to the flesh.
Rather than disciples, such approaches reap a harvest of people yearning to be entertained. It also adds a lot of worldly heresy, misguiding souls, and achieves little beyond filling hell. People flock to the church hoping to have some kind of superpower, some supernatural gift, when all that they really need is salvation in Jesus.
I like the basic message of the Gospel: Jesus died on the cross, was buried and rose again on the third day. He appeared to many, prepared the foundation of His church and ascended to the right hand of the Father. That message, in itself, has the power to draw people.
I remember when I heard it. I sat in a church filled with ordinary people, flawed but forgiven, overcoming all manner of personal challenge and sin, and leaning on Jesus. There were no fog machines, no strange dancing on the platform, and the message was clear and basic. There was no need for some spectacular sign or satanic wonder. It reached my heart and pierced me to the core. In my conviction, I asked to be forgiven of my many sins and the Lord delivered me.
That basic message of the Gospel is powerful. For those blinded by sin and ensnared by the evil one, the message is like hot pokers piercing the flesh. I recently watched a video of a street preacher who entered the “belly of beast” in Portland. He lovingly shared the saving message of the Gospel in its most basic form. It was just he and two companions and a loud speaker. I watched as the crowd turned vicious and I could almost see the demonic oppression, as the faces of those who opposed him, contorted into grotesque masks of pain and misery.
There is no such thing as a seeker. God is the initiator of the divine transaction of sin for salvation. Looking back at my life, I can see all the times that God drew me to Himself, and all the times I turned away. But He persisted. He won. I won.
Believers, take that message out today to a world that is full of hurt. We are the bringers of the Gospel. We come with a basic message, a simple one, about a God/Man that paid for our sins and makes life new. We bring a testimony of His grace. We also tell of the destiny of those who do not avail themselves of such a great salvation. There is a hell. I want no one to go there. Not even my worst enemy.
Go, my people, and tell of Jesus, the author and finisher of the faith!
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