Is Your Church All About the Gospel?
The next three days I'm at a conference called Together for the Gospel. I first went to this conference in 2012 when I took it as a class for my seminary degree. It happens every other year and this will be my third time going. The list of speakers is (mostly) always the same and you are given a plethora of free books for attending. Each year there is a theme, but the gospel is always the focus. After first attending T4G in 2012, my life, perspective, and ministry was changed forever.
Jesus is the Point
I've attended several different churches after getting out of high school and no church does things exactly the same. However, one thing should be the same for all churches and unfortunately it isn't. Every single church should be unapologetically focused on the gospel. The death and resurrection of Jesus for sinners should drive their ministries and it should be the main point of every sermon.
The main point of the Bible is Jesus plain and simple. All of the Old Testament points toward Him and all of the New Testament points back to Him. Not only this, but Jesus is the sinner's only hope for a relationship with God and His Spirit is the only way we can follow God. If left to ourselves, we have no hope.
Unfortunately, there are many (popular I might add) churches that are not giving people true hope today. Some churches use the Bible to preach moralism aka moralistic therapeutic deism. This is preaching in a way that is more self-help than the gospel being our only help. I can point to several mega-churches that fall in this category. Then there are those preaching a prosperity gospel. This would be also known as "name it and claim it". If you give enough, pray hard enough, do enough, then God will bless you. The other side of the coin is a poverty gospel. Jesus demands everything so you should live in poverty, below your means, giving everything away you can to truly follow Jesus. All of these take away from the main point of the gospel: Christ died to save sinners.
This is Critical
This is such a critical issue because if we base our hope on anything other than the atoning work of Jesus in our place then we have a false gospel. We have a gospel unable to save. If I have to contribute to my salvation then I'm doomed because I can't. If I see salvation as a pass to do whatever I want because I prayed a prayer or walked an aisle then I don't understand the gospel. It's imperative we get this right. Jesus is the point, not me!
Does your church preach the gospel as your only hope? Is Jesus the focus? If not, then I'd urge you to find a church where that is the case. This life isn't about us. We can't fix ourselves by doing more or being better. The great news of Christianity is that Jesus paid it all and it's all about Him!
T4G is sold out, but you can watch the messages live online here. Everything starts at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, April 10, 2018.