Archive for January 27, 2008

Rico Tice, co author of “Christianity Explored” writes

Time and again in the evangelical world we get the gospel wrong. We seem to be preaching that the Christian message is ‘O Lord, my life is empty, fill me’, rather than ‘O Lord, I am an offense to you, rescue me’.

This is something that has been bothering me for some time now, hence the reason I previously wrote about baptism testimonies. This seems to be the main message of what we call ‘the gospel’ these days. We have reduced God to a spare tyre that we can pull out when we need him, when our career path is not going as it should or when we are feeling low. Sin is no longer an offense against God or a transgression of his law but are now just ‘mistakes’.

To see come case studies which come under the O Lord, my life is empty, fill me‘ heading, click here.

You will notice that there is something distinctively missing in them, namely an acknowledgement of their sin. The problem with this type of gospel is if you are not going through any problems in your life, you are doing well with your job, you have a lovely family etc, then what reason do you have for receiving Christ? This is where the modern gospel falls short.

Now I will say the same thing that I said on the baptism testimonies and that is I am in no way saying that these people are not sincere, nor am I saying that they are not saved. But there is a larger problem here and that is another gospel is being preached

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8 )

I fear that this gospel has breeded a lot of false converts because their motives for coming to Christ were not right and that they do not have a correct understanding of salvation.

Mark Dever from 9 Marks Ministry, on his arrival at the church not only did he decide to interview personally every new member, but also to work through everyone already in the church – to ensure they had all responded to the gospel. He has this approach to ensuring his people are genuinely Christians. Before a person can become a member, he asks to hear their testimony and for them to explain the gospel in 60 seconds or less. If not, then he takes steps to ensure that they know it before they become a member. He describes his motivation for this process by referring to 1 Tim 4.16. This may seem radical to some but I can definitely see where he is coming from.

Now watch the following video

Can you see the difference? Going through what this person has gone through, she could said have easily said O Lord, my life is empty, fill mebut instead cried out O Lord, I am an offense to you, rescue me‘.

I will leave you with a quote from Mark Dever:

…when we assume the Gospel instead of clarifying it, people who profess Christianity but don’t understand or obey the gospel are cordially allowed to presume their own conversion without examining themselves for evidence of it- which may amount to nothing more than a blissful damnation…..being a Christian in name only has spread in our churches like gangrene, and misunderstandings about the gospel abound among professing evangelicals.

Related Post:

Another Gospel?