I can’t help but feel that Christianity is in a mess. I am ashamed of what is done in the name of Christ. I am embarrassed by many who call themselves Christian. I believe when Jesus considers the situation, He weeps. It’s not our job to determine who the Christians are. It’s not our job to point out who the sinners are. (Since we are all sinners that would be a wasted activity, don’t you think?) We are not commissioned to raise buildings or empires. It isn’t complicated. We are called to tell.
I suppose it might be possible to list all the problems; but I’m not sure that would get us any closer to the solution. I think the solution is to simplify and remember, “Just Jesus.”
The word “gospel” originally described the word that was spread throughout the Roman empire when a new Emperor ascended to the throne. “Gospel” as used throughout the New Testament, refers not to a theology or movement, but to a person, now ascended to the throne as King of King and Lord of Lords.
Jesus consistently pointed to Himself. Paul, Peter, John, they all. preached Jesus. The gospel is the proclamation of Jesus—His Life, Story, and Work from Adam to the New Testament. Jesus of Nazareth is the good news.For this reason, the four Gospels were regarded as “the gospel” by the early church. And what story do the four gospels tell? They tell the story of Jesus. He is the gospel incarnate.
But even focusing on the historical Jesus isn’t quite right. Who cares about a man who lived 2000 years ago? What they care about is Jesus who is alive now and is changing lives still.
In twenty-five words or less, what has Jesus done for you? What’s He still doing? That’s the gospel for you to tell. That’s the news that makes them pay attention. That’s the story that will make a difference. That’s the story that saves.
Tell it and be blessed and forget the rest.