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Why the Shocking Message of the Gospel Is Our Only Hope for Reaching an Increasingly Anti-Christian Culture

Just a few days ago, Bill Perry, Chief of Staff for InterFACE Ministries, told me, “Guilt makes you feel bad for what you’ve done and shame makes you feel bad for who you are. The Gospel is the answer to both.”

In a culture that is longing for healing, wholeness and purpose, the gospel is the only genuine solution. When we share this explosive message with humility, charity and clarity, it is shockingly powerful.

2. The gospel is shockingly simple.

“…for the salvation of everyone who believes…” 

The gospel’s power cloaks itself in a veil of simplicity. It sounds too good to be true, but instead it’s too good AND it’s true!

We believe it (the gospel) and we receive it (salvation). That’s it. There are no pre-conditions. There is no small print.

Now some would say that this is “easy believism” (as opposed to what, “hard believism“?) But in a way there’s nothing “easy” about it. We are trusting someone we’ve never met (Jesus) to take us to a place we’ve never been (heaven) based on an event we never saw (his crucifixion) and proven by a miracle we never witnessed (the resurrection)!

It’s so easy a child could do it. It’s so “hard” a religious person could choke on it!

When we present the gospel clearly and offer the gift of salvation to all who simply believe in Jesus, we will be bringing a breath of fresh air to the performance-driven culture most of our young people live in today. Once they breathe God’s grace in, they’ll get their friends to do the same.

3. The gospel is shockingly inclusive.

“…first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

The gospel was offered first to the Jews and then opened up to the Gentiles. This may not seem like that big of a deal to us today but it should. Two thousand years ago, the relationship between Jew and Gentile was a hate-fest. The Jews viewed themselves as God’s chosen people and the Gentiles as “dogs.” And Gentiles, generally speaking, hated Jews. They viewed them as the weird monotheistic group of religious people who thought they were a cut above everyone else.

But the gospel obliterated this dividing wall between Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:14) and made them one in Christ! And it’s not just Jew and Gentile who can be united in Jesus. According to Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

From racial tensions to economic injustices to issues of gender, the gospel can bring unity on the deepest level. The gospel brings transformaton out of deformation, unity out of division and wholeness out of brokenness.

In light of Romans 1:16, what is our role? It’s simply to be shockingly bold. Let’s declare with the Apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel,” and then demonstrate it by living bold, Gospel-advancing, disciple-multiplying, God-honoring lives.

It’s all about the shock and awe of the gospel. The shock of the gospel is in its power, simplicity and inclusivity. The awe of the gospel is when that message is shared with our lives and lips in front of a watching world.