Many people who call themselves Christians do not believe in the essentials of the Gospel of the Christ. What is this gospel? Paul defines it for us: Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if […]
“All praise and thanks to God The Father now be given, The Son, and him who reigns With them in highest heavâ€™n The one eternal God, Whom earth and heavâ€™n adore; For thus it was, is now, And shall be evermore.” (From â€œNow Thank We All Our Godâ€ by Martin Rinkart, 1648)
Testimonies are popular because preaching Christ and the gospel has become not just unnecessary, but “boring” to many evangelicals.
In contrast to the prevailing view today of a pastor being a CEO and a team leader living comfortably with all kinds of perks and benefits from his church, Paul describes his office and his work very differently. Instead, he is well aware of the special ministry given to him by Christ. He knows his sufferings are for his Lord and for the sake of the church. But he is confident, even in his struggles, that Christ himself gives him power to persevere in his work as a minister of the gospel.
The Bible is not a manual for living and for helping the poor in the world. You can get the same guidelines from Confucius or Gandhi or Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen. But these guidelines are not the gospel that Christ has promised to bring you to maturity.
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that twe may present everyone umature in Christ.
But if Jesus was a pastor of an evangelical church today, would he drive people away with his teachings? Unfortunately, the answer is that most would reject them, and like the Jews, even vehemently hate them.
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So if you want to be uplifted, affirmed and loved, “come as you are” to a megachurch. They’ll shower you with God’s “unconditional love” from the get-go with love songs to Jesus and with a “God is good all the time” mantra.
What are we to fear when Immanuel, God with us, dwells among us? Nothing! Not even wars and the worst economic crisis in history are to shake our foundations… In that heavenly city of God, there will be no more wars and no more economic crises.
The emergent movement is the clearest example today of what Paul calls in our text as an appeal that â€œ[springs] from error or impurity or any attempt to deceiveâ€¦ with words of flattery,â€ all with the intention to please man and not to please God.” This is not any different from the â€œseeker-sensitiveâ€ movement that caters to the â€œfelt needsâ€ of the people, the only difference being that the caterer offers a smorgasbord of â€œChristianity a La Carte.â€