27 July 2020
When our understanding of the gospel is fuzzy, this would spill over to our evangelistic presentations.
In sharing the gospel, Christ should be the centre of attention and the key to the meaning of life and not a figure in the background, brought in to answer some pressing questions of the listeners.
A sample of some of these questions: ‘How may I find peace of conscience, peace of heart and mind in the midst of pressure? How may I find true happiness and joy; how may I find power for living this life?’
In presenting the gospel, in trying to deal with these questions, we fail to communicate the necessity of faithful discipleship to Jesus and the demands of such a discipleship; we dare not bring into focus the cost of following Jesus (some would even caution against bringing out these issues as if they are not central in the message of the gospel).
The result: we ‘reap’ in a lot of unconverted individuals who think that Jesus is somewhat like a ‘santa claus’ or a ‘genie’ who can be called upon and be made use of as Saviour and Helper, while refusing to have Him and acknowledging Him as Lord. These individuals become ‘deadwood’ in our churches, as some Godly individuals term them, if they do not eventually drift away entirely from God and the church.
The one-sided glowing presentation of the gospel can bring in individuals who assume that Christ can be looked upon as a shield from all their major trouble in life. Such ones become traumatised when what they expect turns out to be the ‘opposite’; we end up with so-called believers with false expectations and no resources to cope when trouble strikes.
Let us refrain from ‘man-centred salemanship’ in our presentation of the gospel lest we be guilty of over-emphasizing the benefits of the ‘gospel’ and minimizing and downplaying the burdens of the Christian life, leading to results which do not honour the Lord.