In my last post I stated that we don’t feel that the churches in our town take the Gospel seriously. I want to try to explain why we feel that way.
First of all I want to state that I do believe most of the church leaders here genuinely want to see souls saved and their congregants growing spiritually. I also believe that there are many attenders of these churches who genuinely love Jesus and desire to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel. In fact, I’ve talked to many such people who aren’t completely satisfied with their church but continue to attend anyways because they don’t know where else to go.
The problem we see is that the messages preached in these churches often do not line up with the radical teachings of the Bible. The Gospel is often watered down to avoid offending people and to make it more appealing to the unbelieving visitors (unlike Jesus who offended people all the time with the truth). Not much is asked of the church either, other than that you put in your time in the nursery and join a small group. We rarely, if at all, hear messages reminding us that there is great sacrifice and toil in the Christian life. Taking up your cross and following Him everyday isn’t a walk in the park. We often are given more reason to treasure our BMW’s than we are the kingdom of God.
We’ve also found that politics and patriotism to America are often given more emphasis than proclaiming the Gospel, the only message that will truly change people’s hearts and minds.
We don’t believe the church’s job is to get unbelievers in the door, entertain us, make us feel good about ourselves, and encourage us to vote for the right politician. The church’s job is to proclaim the truth of the Gospel so that we believers may be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.” Colossians 1:11 and “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” IITimothy 3:17
In order to reach a lost world and see hearts transformed, we must first see and hear for ourselves the beauty of Christ’s work on the cross. We must be filled with the hope of God’s grace and goodness, so we can fearlessly go out into all the world and make disciples. How can we expect to impact society with Christ’s love if we haven’t been given the tools to do so?
This is the kind of preaching we get at Grace Baptist. We leave encouraged that Jesus is worth following, even into suffering and death. We leave reminded that all of the world’s goods and promises will never satisfy us like Jesus can. We’ve never left a single church service in our town that even came close to moving our hearts in this way.
What about you? If you attend church, do you leave feeling equipped for every good work, or reminded that in God’s presence “is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore?” (Psalm 16:11)