Let the Gospel be the Gospel

Standing in sin carton
acaciacorner | The Acacia Corner

This past week while in the midst of performing and videoing some dramas, some of the actors asked, “Can we make it funny?” 

                “Yes!  But make sure the Gospel message stays the Gospel message.”

We were recording a drama called Sin Captures which can be found here. (Video to come later.)  In this drama, someone comes and sees something so tempting he just has to try it.  He puts one foot inside a box labeled “SIN.”   However, his foot can’t get out.  So, he puts another foot in. Maybe by having both feet in, one can push the other out.  However, this is not the case.  Eventually, he is completely stuck in a life of sin not knowing how to get out or who can help him.  What happens next is interesting.  One person comes along and says,

                “Well, you should have known better!”  then walks on.  Another few people come along and think that they can pull him out if only they are strong enough.  But all these efforts fail.  Still someone else comes along and says,

                “You need to change first and then come to church with me.”  And another person says,

                “There are consequences to that lifestyle.  You got what you asked for.  Sorry, I can’t help you.”

Isn’t this so typical?  What happens when we see someone living the life of sin?  How do we react?  Which of these people can we relate to the most if we had to choose?

What is the Gospel?

The sad part is that none of these responses is what the true gospel message is about.  A pastor friend of mine recently shared that while asking some of his Bible College students what the Gospel is, many of them did not know.  What is the Gospel?  The Good News?

John 3:16 – 18 says it this way:

                “For God so loved the world that HE GAVE his one and only Son, that whoever BELIEVES in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever BELIEVES in him is not condemned, but whoever does not BELIEVE stands condemned already because they have not BELIEVED in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (NIV Caps and Bold mine)    

Notice the emphasis on the word BELIEVE?  The Gospel is not something we do.  It is not counting how many times we go to church in our lifetime.  It is not even showing that we live a pure and perfect life.  The Gospel has nothing to do with anything that we DO or work for.  The Gospel is a message of salvation that God GAVE his Son.  We cannot save anyone with our strength or condemnation.  Only God gives salvation.  Then, none of us can attain salvation by our efforts alone.  It is only God who saves, through his Son Jesus, who died on the cross to be a sacrifice for our sins once and for all.  The only thing we must do then, which is of no works effort at all, is to BELIEVE AND FOLLOW Christ. 

“Let us not get distracted by a false doctrine.”

When we are working in our churches, at home with our families, or even talking with a friend, or perhaps seeing someone on the street, let us not get distracted by a false doctrine.  Nothing we do physically can save them.  We cannot condemn them enough, persuade them enough or force them enough.  In fact, the church is getting a bad name just for these types of efforts. 

Instead, Jesus tells us to speak the truth in LOVE.  Ask yourself, “How can I love my neighbor today?  If I was stuck in that life of sin, would I be truly happy and fulfilled?  Or might there be something I am searching for?” Maybe there is a lot of hidden hurt. Then ask yourself, “How would Jesus love this person?”

Put your grace foot forward!

During a leadership seminar last week, one of the speakers made a very powerful statement, “Put your grace foot forward.”  Grace means simply, giving someone what they haven’t earned.  It means, that no matter what they have done against us or against God, we are going to give them unmerited favor. Whatever we do this week and next, let us learn to put our grace foot forward.  Let us act and speak in grace and in truth.         

8 thoughts on “Let the Gospel be the Gospel

  1. Marilyn Grant

    This goes along with the book Everybody Always by Bob Goff that my Bible Study is using right now. Such a good reminder that we can choose to show love to others but only God can save them.

  2. Pat Carras

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  3. acaciacorner Post author

    Unfortunately I don’t know of any other blogs that deal specifically with children’s and youth ministry in the African church. However I have enjoyed The Gospel Coalition Africa

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