Thursday, June 13, 2019
The Unchanging Power of the Gospel
"Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27)
We are living in a time described as the postmodern generation. And in church circles today, there is a lot of talk about how to reach postmodern people. But here’s what I think: The gospel doesn’t change. Whether it’s for the ancient culture, the modern culture, or the premodern, postmodern, or post-postmodern culture, the gospel never will change. The same message that Peter gave on the Day of Pentecost to people in the first century is relevant for us today in the twenty-first century.
I hear people saying today, “I want to reach my nonbelieving friends, so I just need to hang with them. I need to kind of be like them and not be too holier-than-thou.”
I am with you on that. I don’t think we should ever come off pious or as though we don’t care about people, because we should care about them. But sometimes in our attempt to build a bridge, in our attempts to relate, we end up becoming more like them than they end up becoming like us. They are bringing us their way more than we are bringing them our way. So we need to be very careful in this area.
The rationalization is, “Well, Jesus hung around sinners, so I will hang around sinners.” Jesus didn’t really hang around sinners, however. I’m not saying that Jesus had no contact with sinners. He had plenty of contact with them. But he didn’t hang around them. He hung around His disciples for the most part. When Jesus was around sinners, they were changed.
We must always want to bring unbelievers to faith, not end up being like them. Be careful that you don’t overcompromise. Because sometimes we lower our standards in order to extend our reach—and we end up reaching no one.
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