One thing that the evangelical protestant church thinks it knows well is the gospel. After all, it is part of their name. “Evangelical” comes from the very word good news, which is really what gospel means. I wonder if any in our world would consider evangelicals to be good news?
Sometimes, however, familiarity breeds contempt. In much of Christendom, I fear the gospel has become a small statement of facts that must be intellectually agreed upon in order to be welcomed into the club. The world is not enticed by a list of historical facts, what they need is real good news, and that is something far more dynamic and holistic than just Four Spiritual Laws.
In most cases, if you believe that Jesus died for your sins, and rose from the dead, you’re in! What does it mean to be “in”? It means that you now have eternal fire insurance and are a Christian. But is that truly what it means to be a Christian? Is that all that the gospel is? Is the gospel some sort of litmus test of who is in and who is not?
I want to challenge us to see the gospel as more than a few facts (as sacred as those facts are) and see it as a living and powerful presence that does more than grant us a “Get out of hell free card.”