A Christian friend of mine once told me that we, as Christians, should NOT go around telling everyone “Jesus loves you” in our evangelism because then they will think “If God loves me so much, how (or why) would He send me to Hell?” Then they won’t come to faith in Christ, because they think they don’t need to be Saved from anything.
How would you respond to this?
I think that’s an extreme rebound response to the social Gospel we have today.
We need to present the message, in full, in balance, exactly as Scripture presents it, without compromise, spin, marketing, watering down or salesmanship.
Adam sinned and sin entered God’s creation (Rom 5.12). All men are sinful as a result (Rom 3.23). Sin is any act, thought, motive or choice that is not perfectly Godly. We can know what sin is because God’s Word, Law, Commandments, Statutes and Principles tell us what is holy (Psalms 19). We can know what is sinful, because the Holy Spirit of God convicts all men of sin (John 16.8). There are none righteous, none worthy of salvation by their own merit (Rom 3.10). The just penalty for sin is eternal death (Rom 6.23), which God warned us about before we sinned (Gen 3.3) God knew that He alone could pay the penalty for us (Acts 4.12) and His only Son was punished in our place (John 3.16). God’s perfect justice has been satisfied through the innocent, voluntary, substitionary death of His own perfect Son (John 19.30). With our penalty paid by Jesus Christ, God now offers the free gift of pardon, salvation and eternal life (Rev 22.17). Anyone who accepts God’s offer of salvation on His terms will spend eternity with God in Heaven (John 3.16; 1Tim 6.12; Rom 6.22; Gal 6.8) Anyone who rejects God’s offer of salvation on His terms will spend an eternity in hell (2Thess 1.8-9; Matt 25.46)
That’s the simplicity of the Gospel message in balance, with no compromise.
This is the Gospel as it is manifested on the human level, so please, no lectures about Calvinism, no lectures about eternal security, no lectures about Baptism (notice the words “obedient faith”) and no lectures about Lordship salvation. I will leave it to others to continue all the debate, controversy and rhetoric concerning each particular doctrinal emphasis.
My only intent here is to demonstrate that we are to NEVER try to “spin”, modify or “package” the Gospel simply because the world, or the Church, has gone off on some tangent or had an extreme reaction to some portion of the Gospel.
Man, in his attempt to improve on God’s presentation, frequently gets lopsided on one point another. Some emphasize Baptism to the detriment of the role of belief; some emphasize love to detriment of God’s fearful wrath and hell; some emphasize “Jesus will improve your life” to the detriment of “you’re on your way to hell”; some emphasize God’s providence and sovreignty to the detriment of man’s participation.
The simplicity of the Gospel is beautiful. We’re all separated from God by our sin. Jesus paid our penalty for us. Cry out to God to be rescued from your helpless and lost state, accept the free gift of salvation His terms – and God will save you -because Jesus died for you.