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November 19, 2012
Jesus is more than a ticket to heaven.
posted by UrL Scaramanga
| Comments (8)
The purpose of...the how to...the reason for the Gospel all presented in a less-than five minute presentation.
My only wish was that I was as articulate.
Nicely done Skye, nicely done.
Posted By: sheerahkahn | November 19, 2012 11:28 AM
You make some great points, Skye.
"If you don't want God above all things then you have not been converted by the gospel."
I quite often don't want God above all things. So often I forget about God and get caught up in all sorts of things that have nothing to do with Him, but are all about the projects that I have going on that revolve around myself, or my family, etc..
For us, that gospel Word is a Word that comes to us, from outside of ourselves and our wants and feelings, that says, 'I know that you are often not up to it. I know that you are often faithless and self-obsessed. I know that I am so often a problem for you. But I am for you, anyway. I love you and forgive you all your sins, and will not hold your past against you.'
It is that liberating Word of acceptance spoken into our lackluster obedience of love for God.
This keeps the onus off of us, and where it belongs, onto the One who for our sakes did give His life on that bloody cross.
For us...that is the gospel.
Thank you, friend.
Posted By: Steve Martin | November 19, 2012 11:47 AM
Posted By: Karen | November 19, 2012 3:43 PM
I suppose I question why so many people these days feel like they have to reinvent "the Gospel". Is it just to have some kind of platform for their next book? Is it to drive people to their sermon series starting next Sunday? Is it to counteract the last big guy's redefinition of "the Gospel" that suddenly got 1 million retweets?
I just don't get why preaching that's been happening for the first 1900 years of Christianity suddenly isn't good enough any more: believe in Jesus and you will have eternal life. What more is there? Christ himself said "For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." Obviously not believing in Him then bring perishing, but believing brings life. Shouldn't that be what we are offering? Life, and it more abundantly, forever? Instead of perishing? And that's what the classical Gospel is.
Posted By: Steve | November 25, 2012 10:01 PM
Great job Skye. So many people misunderstand what the Gospel really is all about. Jesus being the Way, the Truth and the Life is far more than fire insurance He is the source of redemption which means a truly changed life. It is far more than raise your hand easy believism. It is to repent and to allow the Lord to be Lord of all. Anyone can believe but belief without surrender and allowing God to change us is not redemption.
And Steve this is not reinventing the Gospel. This is the Gospel that Jesus and the Apostles taught and preached. Paul says it so well in Eph. 2:8 and 9 "For we are saved by grace through faith. That faith is a gift o fGod not of works lest anyman should boast." For we are God's workmanship created to do good works." You can believe in Jesus but has the Gospel changed you life so that you are capable of doing good works? We love the believe and Jesus thing and the we are saved by grace thing but we really are lacking in the changed life thing because many do not want that. The trouble is if your life is no different after you have met Jesus then you are not truly saved.
Keep up the good work Sky. You hit this one right on the head.
Posted By: Jeff Fairchild | November 27, 2012 4:27 PM
Steve writes: "I just don't get why preaching that's been happening for the first 1900 years of Christianity suddenly isn't good enough any more: believe in Jesus and you will have eternal life."
Doesn't this all hinge around what the meaning and implications of the word "believe" is held to be in that statement? I suspect *that* has changed quite a bit in some modern Christian communities from the kind of teaching and preaching that inspired people like St. Anthony of the Desert to sell all and seek God in the Egyptian wilderness (such that his life became so Spirit-filled miracles flowed from his prayer), and which has inspired so many of the martyrs and confessors of the faith during the age of the martyrs and to the present day (for martyrs are still being made). I suspect that often the part in the Gospels about denying oneself and taking up one's cross to follow Christ and losing one's own life to really live gets left out a lot.
Posted By: Anonymous | November 27, 2012 9:40 PM
Jesus IS the goal - I agree 100%.
Look around at the body of Christ do you see people who are Christ followers living out their every breath being a witness for Christ? The answer is NO! Jesus is deep, He is rich, He is glorious, He is life and light and truth. We need to KNOW Him, intimately know Him. Jesus said, " If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." Have you seen Him? "My sheep hear My voice." Do you hear Him?
The point is yes, we need to tell people Jesus is the way to heaven but we can't stop there.
Posted By: Linda | November 28, 2012 7:46 AM
I like Skye Jethani's focus on the whole of Jesus as the way, truth and life. Jesus did indeed always make himself the center of his message.
Given Skye's good focus on Jesus, it is very unfortunate that he erroneously says in this video (beginning at 02:45): "Nowhere in the New Testament do you see the Gospel proclaimed with any reference to heaven or hell because it's about proclaiming Jesus." Wooooo!!! A quick search of even just the gospel of Matthew shows the following examples of Jesus speaking very clearly about future rewards in heaven: Matt. 5:12,22; 6:1,20; 8:11; 19:21; and in addition to that, Matthew reports Jesus speaking just as clearly in ways that should cause us to fear the ravages of hell: Matt. 5:29; 10:28; 18:9. And what I thought the Bible's whole point is about heaven is that it is all about being with Jesus for eternity.
I conclude then that (1) heavenly rewards and avoiding hell are in fact very much a part of the Gospel and should therefore be elements of our total conversations and proclamation about the Gospel, and (2) Skye is, for what reasons I haven't the faintest idea, failing to take into account the whole of Scripture --- which therefore puts his exegesis into serious question.
This video clip is therefore yet another example of the all-too-common confusion between the total Gospel message and how we talk about the Gospel at any given time; it is also an example of the common confusion that alternatively either improperly muddles together or improperly separates, the Kingdom of Heaven as God's rule in the present world, and the future Kingdom of Heaven which is about living in the fullness of God's presence and the kind of relationship with him that has always been his desire.
It is therefore extremely unfortunate that this sort of teaching is being promoted thru online media as something really great. Indeed, the Gospel is not *merely* a ticket to heaven, but it is about getting to heaven and not going to hell, while at the same time being much more than that because it is also about the Kingdom rule of Jesus as Lord and Savior right now in this present world as well as for eternity. Let's stop preaching in ways that make false distinctions.
Skye also disses the biblical preaching of others which God has clearly used. (Starting at 00:25 in the video.) Let's be straight about this: Putting down clear Gospel preaching is very self-centered and dangerous. Let's refuse to go down that path (or repent of having gone down it already), and instead, appreciate the variety of preaching that God has used and is using. Let's see ourselves as merely part of the great stream of those God has raised up to help others understand the way the truth and the life, rather than talking as if we have some kind of insight that God has never given to anyone else. Let us also be forgiving of those who don't always preach everything about the Gospel every time they talk about it. The Gospel is so huge that the best any of us can seem to do is to talk about one piece of it at a time. If we're smart, we will let our hearers know that there is still a lot more to it.
Posted By: Ed Beach | December 5, 2012 10:57 AM
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