In The Gospel, Should We Emphasize Love Or Death?August 27, 2009
The answer is yes. The answer is both. It’s not that we talk about either/or, but both/and! In fact, the gospel could be stated this way: “Christ has loved us to death!” The gospel reveals God’s love for us because He died the death we deserved.
What I’m going to ask next is what most “churches” and “Christians” are too pansy to talk about these days. What was Christ not saved from? If you call yourself a Christian, you should know! The answer is God’s wrath. He was NOT saved from God’s wrath. The answer to that question is the same answer to another question. What is the believer saved from? We are ultimately saved from the wrath and anger of God for having sinned as we have not loved God with all our heart, soul, and strength, nor others as ourselves. What we are saved from (God’s wrath), Christ (God) was not saved from (God’s wrath)! This is the gospel that many modern “evangelicals” hopefully are genuinely saved by but don’t genuinely know. Christ loved us to death by dying the death we deserved. So He loved us to death… quite literally. And that’s the ultimate death that believers get to escape by grace.
Therefore, all sinners deserve God’s wrath. Jesus took God’s wrath for us on the cross. Thus, our greatest need is righteousness, death (through a substitute), and new life. Christ lived the perfect life we couldn’t. He perfectly loved God with all His heart, strength, and soul and He loved others as Himself. He was never selfish for a millisecond. Then God crushed Him and killed Him instead of us who deserve it. Kind of makes you think about how evil you are considering that that’s what you deserve because of your sin. Wipe that hesitant look off your face because that’s a GREAT thing to realize! Then, Christ rose from the dead proving that all of His work on our behalf was satisfactory. Of course it was. He was God! It was satisfactory for those who believe in Him and repent.
But now you should be able to understand Christ’s great love for you in doing all this which you utterly don’t deserve. Nor do I of course. Nor does anyone. This is true.
So what should we do as believers who won’t compromise on this great message of Christ? We ought to begin to do what many AREN’T doing today who call themselves Christians.
WE NEED TO PUT THE “DEATH” BACK IN “JESUS LOVES YOU”, WHICH WOULD THEN BECOME “JESUS LOVES YOU TO DEATH”!
That way Jesus’ “love” will really be love. It’s not enough to just tell people that “Jesus loves you”. The gospel is NOT that Jesus loves you in spite of your sin but that if you believe His message and receive Him as Lord (Boss), you will know that He did in fact loves you to death – and did on the cross.
What good news!
In my short lifetime, I have seen so many “gospel” proclamations by churches and evangelists which are a joke. Christians give alter calls via plays, puppet shows, and preaching, yet, all they end up telling you is that “God has a purpose for your life”, “your Creator wants to restore you and this world”, or that “if you have emotional problems in your life then God wants to help you”.
Then people walk down the aisle, throw the popsicle stick cross in the fire, or do whatever “spiritual” action is suggested and ______. Fill in the blank. I have no idea what happens next. I know they didn’t hear the actual gospel which is the power of God unto salvation. They weren’t clearly told how Christ is our Creator, how He is holy, perfect, and good, and we sinners are NOT! The real gospel wasn’t proclaimed to them. Our only hope in Christ wasn’t proclaimed to them. So what’s the use?
Proclaim the bad news, present the good news, then allow people to have a sobering response to the Biblical gospel. Not a psychological response which your stupid half truth gospel can’t save a soul with. If you have people’s attention and you’re trying to share the goodnews, then go ahead and do it.
What do YOU think?