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How Urgent is the Gospel?

Today is Thursday and Thursday is for thinkers.

Are you ready to think?

This post is mainly for those who have trusted Jesus as their Savior.  You know Him and the longing of your heart is to know Him more and glorify His Name with the whole of your life just like Paul (Read Philippians 3:7-11 for Paul’s passion).

If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, consider it today.  I would love to connect with you…

In recent years I have seen consumerism, psychology and the worship of self rise to the top as the most important values inside evangelical local churches.  Read that again.  Inside.  Of course, there will always be attacks on the outside, but this is on the inside.  Some pastors, church leaders and authors are on the inside preaching, leading and writing on areas that are not faithful to the Biblical Scriptures.


The default of this is toward what makes me happy and what feels good, not to what is absolutely Truthful according to the Word of God even if it does not always feel good.  Can you since my intensity?  When we are focused on consumerism, my psychological health and it is “all about me”, we begin to try to find local churches that “feel good” rather than ones that lift up the marvelous Name of Jesus Christ and the GIGANTIC God of the Universe who created every star and who knows the number of hairs on each of our heads.  We loose our Worship of a HUGE God!  The glory of God should be our focus!  

The Word of God (the Bible) used to hold the weight, but now it seems individual felt needs rule the day.  Understand, I believe there is a place for psychology and personal feelings, but not at the expense of larger, deeper, broader, absolute Truths of the Faith.  Marketing savvy, sensitive communication, topical sermons focused on felt needs cause us to shrink back from the complete Truth that Jesus Christ is the only possible means for reconnection to a loving and compassionate, yet completely holy and just God of the Universe.

This softens the message of the Cross and the eternal salvation of souls.  

Having a thinking that is focused on feelings over God’s Truth downplays Truths of Scripture like there is a very real eternal, everlasting heaven, but there is also a very real (feelings included) eternal place of punishment called hell.  Even to right those words makes me sad, because of course I would love to have everyone come to a saving knowledge through Jesus Christ and God’s heart’s desire is for the same, but we know from history and the Biblical narrative that this is not the case.  Many have not accepted Christ as Savior and even denied Christ and thus the wrath of God is still against them.  They have no atoning sacrifice for their sin.  No one has paid the penalty against God on their behalf.  Thus, the judgement of God still holds against them (Read Romans 1-3).

But,


the Good News is that we have good news and here it is…  If we personally believe that Jesus Christ died for all of our sins so we can be back in right relationship with God, we are saved.  This is God’s Great Grace!  …because God’s holiness can’t be in the presence of sin, even one little temporal sin.  This causes his wrath to be against any sin thus against us.  This is why we need a Savior, not only to save us to a real heaven, but save us from a real hell.  This is serious.  If we do not take this view we do not understand the whole Biblical record (including God’s love and wrath) and Historic Orthodox Christian foundation of faith (where communities of believers agreed).

There is so much more I could say here (and probably will later), but I will focus on one area that is at stake if we loose the Truth that Jesus is the only way to be saved for all of eternity and thus if someone does not declare Him their Savior from their sins against God they will spend eternity in an eternal place called hell (Jesus spoke much about separation from God without accepting Himself).

Think about this.

Everywhere in the world where the Gospel (good news about Jesus coming to earth to save us) is not spread, people are suppressing the Truth about God and are blinded by a real enemy named Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4).  The answer to blind eyes is to see and delight in Jesus!  His cross and resurrection are the manifestation of his love for all who would accept Him!  It is loving to share this news about heaven and hell.  Actually it is the most loving thing anyone could do because their soul hangs in the balance.  I know thinking about hell is not a fun feeling, but we can’t shrink back.  We must declare it, because the Biblical Narrative declares it.  This is why God sent Paul to proclaim the message to a world blinded to Jesus.  He was sent to open eyes (Read Acts 26:17-28).  God opens the eyes to the blind when a faithful person portrays the beautiful life of Jesus according to the Scriptures.

The glory of Jesus Christ is at stake if He is not the only way to have relationship with God the Father. We can’t afford to downplay the significance of the Savior to a blind and dying world.  It is that important.

But, what do you think?  

What else is at stake if we do not believe in the absolute necessity of believing Jesus in order to be saved from eternal punishment?    

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jeffbaxter@churchleaders.com'
Jeff Baxter's passion for helping the next generation know and love Jesus led him to pursue his Doctorate in Youth and Family Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. Jeff has been a frequent speaker in various settings including the National Youth Workers Convention. Jeff lives in Littleton, Colorado, with his wife, Laurie, and their three children where he is an associate pastor at Foothills Bible Church. His most recent book is Together: Adults and Teenagers Transforming the Church (Zondervan). Jeff blogs at sacredoutfitter.blogspot.com.