"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen." - Matthew 28:18-20
The Lord Jesus has commanded all who believe in Him and follow Him to make disciples of all nations. This command, according to Mark 16:15-16, includes the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ:
"And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.""
So many Christians, despite being passionate in doing this, fail to deliver the complete Gospel of Jesus Christ. They believe in and preach an incomplete Gospel that is not enough to change lives. At one time this was the only message I believed in, but later on I realized that it's lacking in depth and power. This message is summarized in just three words:
"God loves you."
You might be surprised that I consider this powerful three-word sentence as something lacking and incomplete. In this article I hope to briefly explain why I believe it is not the Gospel of Christ.
1) Focusing on God's loving nature alone makes us ignore His holiness, righteousness, and justice
So many Christians today see God as a loving Father, but do not accept the fact that He is a holy God who expects everyone who calls himself a "Christian" to be separate from the world. Let us not ignore 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 which says,
"Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
2) Focusing on God's love alone makes us forget that we were by nature children of wrath
So many Christians believe that Christ died because "God loves them." He died to show us God's love - a love that emphasizes our sinfulness and His grace.
We must never, ever forget that because of our sin we were "by nature children of wrath" (see Ephesians 2:3). God's holy, righteous and just person demanded that we be punished for our sins, but because of His love He sent Christ to earth as a human. We must never forget that we deserved the cross, but Christ took our place on it.
God's love provided for our salvation. We receive this salvation when we believe in Christ's atonement for our sins. Our belief in His finished work, however, should result in repentance.
3) Focusing on God's love alone makes for a man-centered Gospel
Many Christians tend to overemphasize God's love and simply adopt a man-centered Gospel.
Some think of God as a lonely being who can't stand being alone in heaven, and thus gave up all that He had to pursue man. This is so wrong.
Others picture God as a being who's hopelessly devoted to mankind that He would be willing to shed His blood on the cross just for a "chance" that "maybe, just maybe," we would respond to Him in kind. This is even more ridiculous.
Did you know that Christ died in obedience to the Father's will? Jesus Himself said that everything He does, He does in obedience to the Father (see John 6:38).
And God's will, Jesus said, is "that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:39-40)
If you ask me, Christ's coming wasn't about us; it was about God. Christ's death and resurrection wasn't about us; it was about God. And our lives today aren't even about us still; they're about God.