Over the past several weeks I have run into several men who are questioning or even lost their faith. I’ve noticed a similar theme running through the discussions.
Every one of these men were raised in a church. Mostly Catholic. I too was raised Catholic and understand the perspective. I too was an alter-boy (don’t laugh!). I too went through First Communion. I too walked away from the church because it didn’t make sense. There didn’t seem to be a purpose. I never understood the confessional thing. There were too many unanswered questions that seemed to be answered with “it’s the priest’s role”… The system of the church didn’t make sense. Something just didn’t click for me. I hear the same themes in talking with these men.
Flash forward 10ish years and God grabbed my heart. First he sent Sheri into my life. Then he sent His message of the Gospel. Things have never been the same…
Looking back, I now see that God had a plan for my life. God used my time in the church as training and softening of my heart for the Gospel. The problem is that many (probably most) Christians don’t understand the Gospel. They embrace, live and teach the Gospel And…
What is the Gospel And…? Simply put, it’s anything beyond the message of Christ.
What’s the Gospel? God created man. Man sinned and fell. No man is good enough to save himself. Jesus came and paid the price for all men’s sins. Period. That’s it. Nothing more. To be saved from eternity separated from God, all you have to do in your heart is admit you are a sinner and accept Jesus work and the free gift of salvation. That’s it. If you accept that, you’re saved. No need for church, or check lists, or systems, or money, or anything. Just you and Jesus.
The And… is the danger statement. The And… is the Gospel AND a system, program, payment, method to salvation etc. This is where the confusion lives. There’s a huge difference between: Severing to be saved vs. Serving because you’re saved. Let me repeat this…
There’s a huge difference between: Serving to be saved vs. Serving because you’re saved.
This was the heart of the matter for me. Once I dropped the AND statement. I got it. God delivered my soul through the work of Christ. There’s nothing else. Only this.
Do I serve? Yes. Does my family attend church? Yes. Do I follow a set of guidelines? Yes. Do I give? Yes. I do these things out of my desire to serve God and bring others to know Christ. Not to be saved or viewed as someone important in my church. I live My Life Manifesto out on this blog for this reason. I share my life story so others can see I’m broken and in need of God’s grace. I cannot save myself. I’m never going to be good enough. Only Jesus can deliver me.
If you get nothing else from this. Please remove the And… statement then reconsider the work Jesus did on and after the cross for your salvation. Read John’s Gospel. Answer your questions without the And… statement. I pray through this God will reveal his true nature and you’ll embrace his love.
Sorry for being preachie. I felt I needed to share this. I pray all these men and their families embrace the Gospel and nothing more.
What “And” did I miss?