Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hearing the glorious gospel

Back when I was in college I used to be continually frustrated in chapel services. This is for a few reasons, but the one that bugged me constantly was the "invitation" and gospel presentation at the end of their sermons.

At the time, I thought it bothered me because we were at a Christian college so why did we need to hear this multiple times a week. I just want some more meat.

Now as I look back I realize how wrong I was. The real challenge I was having and didn't realize it was that the gospel most of the people were sharing was a weak and pathetic gospel. It wasn't a call to repent and believe in Jesus. It was a call to "pray this prayer" and "accept Jesus." Like Jesus was the nerdy kid at recess that needed friends desperately (trust me I know the feeling).

It was like some voodoo for salvation. The magic formula or words (abrakadabra pull the savior out of the hat). To prove how weak it was, people were to close their eyes and raise their hands because no one was looking around or to bring a friend down front with them if it made the more comfortable. How is this the radical life changing gospel of Jesus Christ?

I'm not saying that if you said this prayer you weren't saved. I'm saying you weren't saved by the prayer, but by repenting and turning to Christ.

The real way I came to understand this was that I heard the real, powerful, true gospel. I heard the gospel that was not about me and what I was to do but about God and what He had done for His glory to reconcile a people to Himself.

It was no longer about a God that was helpless and begging me to come Him, but about Christ who had DEMANDED that I come to Him not of my own power of will because it is completely sinful, but by His sacrifice and Spirit.

This is the true gospel. That we daily seek after Christ by His power and He brings us continually closer to Himself.

Salvation is not a one time thing. Its not a "I done did that" deal. It is a continual looking to Christ for only He can save.

Examine yourself to see if you are truly in the faith.

The gospel is gloriously and never can one who know its power tire of hearing it.

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