“The Gospel doesn’t need to be repackaged to be more palatable. It needs to be proclaimed in all of it’s raw form, straight from the Word of God.
‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.’ (Galatians 1:6-10 ESV)”
That is a recent post on Facebook by a friend of mine. It embodies the fervent zeal that I have been feeling lately, regarding the Gospel. I’m getting really tired of seeing posts with pictures of, and reading accounts about, brethren and their children be tortured and killed around the world, while at the same time, I am also constantly seeing “shampoo model” Jesus memes, knocking on a door, with captions like:
“Type YES If Jesus is Welcome in Your Heart!”
The Gospel is not some cute sound bite, accompanied by a wimpy, pretty boy Jesus, sheepishly begging to be let in, which then calls for a “Like” on some social media platform. As Paul says above, “If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be ACCURSED.” Paul doesn’t say it once, he says it twice, just to make the point stick.
I understand that people mean well, and that they feel compelled to present the Gospel in the most palatable way possible. But as my friend said above:
“The Gospel doesn’t need to be repackaged to be more palatable. It needs to be proclaimed in all of it’s raw form, straight from the Word of God.”
These memes are no way near what scripture describes regarding Christ and the “good news”. They ought to be accursed. People are going to hell. There is a future judgement coming… not a sheepish knock at the door.
You want a proper image of Christ?
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but Himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Such is the image that we need to pray for, that our brothers and sisters around the world have on their minds, as they face the horrific trials we are hearing about.
Such is the image that we need to pray for, that those we are evangelizing have on their minds, as they are given the Gospel and called to repent.
There will come a day when everyone, individually, must go before God in judgement:
2 Corinthians 5:10
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
For those who mournfully recognize their sin in light of a holy God, who then turn from ignoring Him, and then trust in Him (Jesus Christ, who is God) as their propitiation, such will have everlasting life:
2 Corinthians 5:21
“For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
What image are you offering?
Godspeed, to the brethren!
Here’s Voddie Baucham making the same point:
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Good stuff John… Thanks for your clear voice of reason in a world of confusion.
Thanks, Pastor. That’s encouraging!
Disagree because the Bible itself is repackaged. Language translation, genre and broadly the fact that we put it in writing are all attempts towards repackaging for palatability.
Perhaps the real problem is neither repackaging or palatability, but when such efforts lead to compromise?
I suggest that you do some research. The “phone tag” type of critique doesn’t hold up.
I’m not referring to phone tag.
Rather to good repackaging. It reaches people that the raw Gospel cannot or does not.
A repackaged Gospel is not the Gospel.
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