gospel is good news. It promises a new life beyond death; rich in joy, peace, love
and friendship. It’s the good news of a life in communion
with God, who loves you and wants you with him no matter who you are, where
you’ve been or what you’ve done.
gospel is not always presented that way. Sometimes it’s presented as a way to
get big houses, expensive cars and fancy clothes right now. Just “name it
and claim it,” people are told.
it’s presented as an austere set of rules and regulations, overseen by a temperamental
God who’ll roast you forever if you don’t measure up.
it’s presented as a desperate pyramid scheme in which the more people you
fast-talk into joining up, the greater your eternal income will be.
poorly, even the gospel can be misunderstood.
said, “Let your light shine before
men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”
(Matthew 5:16). Instead, some
believers let their pushy, memorized spiels turn people off to the gospel,
causing them to thank heaven when they can avoid Christians. Polls have shown
that most people would rather live next door to a used car salesman than to a
Bible-thumping evangelical Christian.
imagine if we could all share the gospel the way Jesus said to – by letting our
light shine in such a way that people are won over instead of put off. Imagine
what a positive reputation the good news could have. That would present the
gospel the way it really is – as a new life in Christ, a life of love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
– the way Galatians 5:22-23 describes it.
made it pretty simple. He said, “A new
command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one
another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one
another” (John 13:34-35).
we did that? Wouldn’t that win more people over to the real power of the gospel?
Testimonies certainly have their place, but it’s God’s love that overthrows
death and hell. And people can warm up to genuine, godly love a whole lot
easier than religious talk, pushy questions and judgmental frowns.
might say, the proof is in the pudding, not in reciting the recipe.
Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.