Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hearing the gospel...

in a winsome manner is never tiresome to the one who truly loves what God has done on her behalf. Hearing that old, old story of Jesus and His glory causes one to remember again what He has done in love, what He still does in love, and what He will continue to do in love unto perfection.

I have heard the gospel countless times in my life. Being raised as a Southern Baptist, I certainly knew an altar call and was the child who would earnestly pray that someone, anyone would please go down front to the pastor so we could quit at the 12th verse of "Just As I Am". He looked so sad down there.

I have been in services where the gospel is given passionately around a campfire setting. Literally. Between the chocolate, the graham crackers and the burnt marshmallows, the question is asked, "Do you know where you would spend eternity if you were to die tonight?" Even around a stuffed mouth I would answer, "Yes". The fear of burning forever was enough to drive me to buy the insurance.

I have been in services where I knew an attempt to share the gospel was the intent but the presentation was so muddled that confusion and error occurred. When you know the gospel and this happens, it causes you to cringe. How it should also cause us to stand and state the truth.

I have been in services where the gospel is presented as a formula for good living. Read this, pray this, believe this. Presto change-o, mark another one down, Bob. The gospel stripped of its power and placed in the pamphlets of men causes many to struggle with guilt over not wishing to tell the gospel in this manner.

I have been in services where the gospel is covered over by the Law so loudly shouted that the gospel loses its winsomeness in the attempt to make the Law more fearsome. The Law does its work to point us to the gospel. The bad news/good news is effective when rightly presented. The Holy Spirit must needs do the work of conversion. Man can not. And never will.

Today I heard the gospel, again. It was presented with a vibrancy that reminded me to continue in its gift, and to not let the dailyness of life rub out a humble gratitude for the blessed news that God sent His Son to die on a cross.

Simple but not simplistic. Beautiful without histrionics. Dramatic without contrived drama.

1 comment:

  1. We were challenged to look at the simple gospel again today in our service too...