The Gospel Must Be Proclaimed, But Properly

“For the appeal we make does not come from error or impurity or with deceit, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we declare it, not to please people but God, who examines our hearts. For we never appeared with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed – God is our witness –” 1 Thessalonians 2:3-5 NET


The mission of every Christian is the Great Commission. It is the purpose of the church, which is the children of God. The Great Commission seeks and saves the lost to teach them obedience to everything Jesus has commanded. It is the only thing we will not do as a church in the future Kingdom of God. All will know Him in the kingdom to come through building up one another in our most holy love for Jesus will likely continue forever. So then, all of us are responsible for leading everyone to faith in Jesus so that we all obey Jesus. Our world problems reflect the need for this work and the great opportunity remaining for the church. Yet how are we to do this work? When it fails to do it God’s way, the church has done so in at least three improper ways. First, it promises people health and wealth as though God were a cosmic Santa seeking to make everyone healthy and wealthy. While Jesus did not live this way, and most, if not all, the Apostles were martyred, and most of the church today suffers at the hands of hostile governments, this false message continues with too many believing it because they want it so badly. Second, the church has promoted a legalism that leads to an austere judgementalism creating separatism from the rest of the world. This legalism misses the relationship our God came to establish with His people, whom He calls children and before whom He desires to be called Father. This relationship is based upon love and not fear, His grace, and not upon our works. Finally, the church has failed when it promotes ritualism that requires participation in certain church functions and particular ways lest we fail to please God and so are kept from God. Ritual religiosity is deadly to a personal relationship with God, like legalism, and maintains a religious class of elites between God and everyone else. This, too, is a false proclamation of the gospel. The gospel that God approves is the one that honors Him, Jesus, His work, and His life and that stays true to His teachings. The gospel elevates Jesus, Who draws all people to Himself. We proclaim this gospel properly when we stay with the words of God recorded in the Word of God, for He has revealed Himself there perfectly and for our making Him known in the world according to His will.

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