Why do we forsake the simple for the impressive? The Gospel message is simple. The Word of God is solid. I have seen the gospel, the Word of God, twisted in such a way as to upmarket; making it more glamorous, upscale, and chic – to draw the crowds in. The critics may say that is how you reach the lost, by being more current, more cultured and thereby making the Gospel message more sophisticated. How does this happen? We do this by preaching and teaching that everyone deserves what they don’t have; they deserve success (without the work) and have a destiny in life. Rather than preach or teach on calling or vocation they speak about an ambiguous destination for life. In this life, we are promised eternal life with God, in Christ. The biblical destination for eternal life is either heaven or hell. Eternity with God or eternal separation from God. “Yes, Toto, there is a heaven and a hell. We are not in Kansas anymore.”
As Pastors, ministers of the Gospel, Counselors of Faith, we need to maintain the simplicity of the Gospel. Rather than use trendy words, we need to stay with words like calling, vocation, spiritual (vs. supernatural). Bottom line is that we need to stay biblical.
I have been reflecting on the purpose and message of the Church lately. One of the motivating factors is hearing the radio announcement of a popular Pastor. Many of my pastoral friends like to hear him speak. A few of my former military leaders like him as well. He is a great speaker, can articulate very well. However, I think of his message and for me, it does not fit well with biblical theology. It may for pop-psychology but not from the bible. In fact, he makes statements that I believe only God can make. So, what is the purpose and message of the Church.
The purpose of the Church is to make disciples of Christ, not of me or anyone else. Yes, twitter and blogs are fine—as long as the message points to Christ. Matthew 28: 18-20, (ESV) And Jesus came and said to them [the disciples], “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
That is the purpose of the Church, to make disciples of Christ. To teach them about Christ, about God, so that they can go out and tell others about Christ and disciple others to Christ.
The message of the church is Christ, the good news. Romans 10: 9-17 (ESV) if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
It is simple, nothing too difficult. It becomes difficult when we stray from teaching the bible. Peter, exhorts the Elders of his day [what can be the modern-day Pastors]. 1 Peter 5:1-4 (ASV) So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,[a] not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;[b] not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Let’s stick to teaching the Bible, not destiny, not promises made about success and wealth. The messages of success and wealth are not universal, but the Word of God, the Good news of Christ is universal. By the way, we are promised that God will meet our needs in his time, not ours. He alone is Sovereign
© Dan Kinjorski
Dan is in a second career, that of Counselor, but he is a pastor at heart. He desires to present the Word of God in its context and then challenge the reader in its application to our lives. It is the Word of God that brings revival to our souls. The psalmist writes, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.
Dan and Maribel Kinjorski
Dan and Maribel are Bible Teachers. They love to expound on the Word of God. Maribel has been involved in Church since an early age. A graduate of the University of San German, Puerto Rico, in Business Administration and Economy. Dan is a graduate of East Coast Bible College (now shuttered) and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity (1999) , Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2019), and now working on a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology: Counseling Education and Supervision.