26Oct

So whose gospel are you really preaching?

Many of us are hunting mice while lions devour the land. ~Leonard Ravenhill

 

by Toni Birdsong
It may come as a shock to some Christians to discover that Jesus wasn’t (and isn’t) a registered Republican or even an Independent. He didn’t check the Caucasian box on the census. He wasn’t patriotic, didn’t crusade for baby seals, picket against poverty, or pin a colored ribbon to his chest. In fact, as perfect as he was, Jesus probably didn’t recycle (gasp!).

It isn’t that he didn’t care about these things. He just cared about heaven more.

Since redemption of sin is the only way to get there, redemption of sin is what He preached. Jesus came to rehabilitate and ready us for heaven. His allegiance, His crusade, and His colors were tethered to His hometown. If anyone looking on doubted that, the cross soon clarified His affiliations.

The enemy is a gambler. He’s betting against you today and every other person aligned with the cross. He’s betting you forget; get sidetracked. Like Peter, you’ve cleaned up your act, and pledged your allegiance. But the devil sees you as stupid, weak, and wishy-washy. He’s gunning for you. He’s expecting you to misplace your affections before lunchtime. He’s wagered with his minions that you will pass by the crown jewels and buy a knockoff from the guy on the corner. He wants you to get wrapped up and worked up—about everything but Jesus.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. ~Peter 2:23

Does following Jesus mean you abandon all other passions? Absolutely not. Just abide in Him—first. Lift His message—higher. Let the message of the cross be what you stand up for and the only message you bow down to. Exchange your prejudices and points-of-view for His.

There’s a lot of chatter in the world, especially online. But when you follow Christ you are marked by and for the message of the Gospel. Your message is to exalt the Lord and proclaim the good news of salvation through Him. Your words, actions, and passions bid others to turn from their sins and come to Christ as Lord and Savior.

Do you have to scream it? No. Just live it.

As we show up online—or anywhere—Calvary is the flag we lift highest; the first passion that prevails. All other flags, including even the “good stuff” like grace, goodness, service, our politics and principals—all position themselves beneath the cross.  Hopefully, we too, like the Apostle Paul might someday say:  . . .  for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

What are the things (beliefs, affiliations) that identify you to others online? Do those passions ever edge out the gospel?


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  • http://lifeandbuilding.com/ kyle

    It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t affect social change in His first coming. He actually resisted it in John 6:14-15 when the people wanted to make Him king by force. So many Christians are focused on political or social change, but Christ Himself left these human institutions untouched.

    Paul was the same in 1 Corinthians 7:20-24. He didn’t attempt to change the slave system of the day but emphasized instead a higher goal- using whatever situation and status you have for the advancement of the gospel and the expression of Christ.

    In a sense these other messages can become psuedo gospels or at least distractions from what truly is at the heart of Christ’s teachings.

    At Christ’s second coming all these political and social systems WILL be radically changed or even abolished. There will be no war, money, government, etc. because the kingdom of God will be manifested on earth. Until then the kingdom is a seed of life in us that we need to let grow. This is what will make the difference in the world around us.

  • Anonymous

    @openid-109857:disqus … won’t *that* be a day! I love this comment — it could easily be part II of the blog post. Thanks for reminding us of the way Jesus rolled it out and the way both He and Paul were mission-centric. They didn’t major in the minors (although issues like slavery, were issues both cared for because they involved people). They chose the “higher” cause that arched in authority over all causes. Thanks for adding such dimension! Both knew their life on earth was brief compared to the ground to be covered. That’s always a great perspective that gets sidelined in everyday life. 

  • http://twitter.com/PetsPlaceTweet Eileen Gibb

    Although I’m an animal-lover, I’m glad Jesus didn’t devote his life to saving animals, or He might not have saved ME! Animal-lovers like myself shouldn’t get so absorbed in saving animals that we have no time for God. He created the animals, and we do well to honour Him above animals.

  • http://twitter.com/PetsPlaceTweet Eileen Gibb

    I was just about to submit a comment when the doorbell rang with a pet-related distraction. This blog is SO right!

  • Anonymous

    @twitter-66596562:disqus … I think I’ve waited my whole life to hear that comment. Thank you SO much, I couldn’t put it into words but you did! You rock! I think I will share your comment on our FB page today! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Kmac4him Kimberly McCarthy

    I
    think more than anything lately, in this season of time, I have realized that
    my 1st call is to JESUS.  The
    only way my heart with its human condition can keep in a Holy Alignment with
    Jesus, in Alliance with His Kingdom 1st is to start that way every
    day as I bow before HIM, acknowledging the AWE of HIM, respectfully-submitting
    my life to HIM, humbly-reverently surrendering to HIM completely.  I ask Him to direct my steps according to HIS
    heart passions for that day and pray for the Holy Spirit to stir me up with an
    all consuming fire for God, knowing my 1st call is to HIM always and
    forever
    I pray for God to reveal Himself in my day as I deeply desire to step into the
    Kingdom Purposes HE has in play all around me and use my life as a sacrifice,
    an investment in His Kingdom. I hope huge to make every divine appointment He
    has ordained for me. I want  to hear,
    HIM, to say what He says, do what He asks the 1st time and be all He
    has shaped me and envisioned me to be. 
    Being His is my 1st call, everything else is a cause that
    roots me here to this earth.  I want to
    be deeply rooted in God’s Kingdom, be all about stepping into His Kingdom
    purposes in play and to be so in AWE and in LOVE with God, clinging to Him so
    tightly that I can’t breathe anything but HIM! AWE-GOD!