It’s hard to believe, but in reality the United States can no longer be called a Christian nation. Yes, there are pockets of Christian majorities on various parts of the map, but overall the influence of believers is almost gone. I believe this is because we have lost sight of the true message of the Gospel.
I was recently reading a post about 5 issues the church will have to deal with over the next ten years. It was by Ed Stetzer, the President of Lifeway Research. In it he made some startling statements that I may comment about from time to time.
The issue that caught my attention, was that the church of this generation needs a clear understanding of the Gospel. It wasn’t many years ago that the flames of renewal and revival were sweeping across many parts of our nation. How have we fallen so far from the message of Christ?
Where has the Gospel of Jesus Christ gone? In many churches we are taught how to be “good people.” There are messages on how to live a great life – overcoming depression and other negative qualities. It’s almost as if the modern church has become a group emotional-therapy session.
Paul’s words should bring us a much needed wake-up call.
2 Timothy 2:8
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel…
We wonder why our impact on society has diminished. This just might be the key. The Gospel is not about New Year’s resolutions or turning over a new leaf. It’s not even about wanting to be a better person, spouse, or parent.
The true message of the Gospel is not about what I do. It’s all about what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. He died, was buried, and He rose back to life on the third day. The Lord accomplished this so that we could receive His life and become a new person in Him.
Anything less than that is not the Gospel.
In his post, Ed Stetzer made a statement that I have turned into a question in order to check myself. As a pastor, I’m responsible for the message received by the people under my care. I’m going to be accountable for what I preach to them each week.
The question I must ask myself is this: Would the message I’m preaching still be true if Jesus hadn’t died on the cross? If so, then I’m not proclaiming the Gospel. It might be good and helpful to the listener, but it isn’t the Good News of the Bible. The Gospel is life-changing.
The church in America needs to return to the true Gospel message.
Question: How do you perceive a need for the Gospel in our generation?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013