“A DILUTED GOSPEL – One of the biggest problem of evangelical Christianity today is that there is that the gospel presentation is being diluted. There’s little or no presentation of repentance of sin and surrendering your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A lot of those who present the Gospel ask people to make Jesus their Savior, but do not emphasize that when becoming a Christian is a complete and total surrender of their lives to Jesus Christ. Hence we see a lot of alleged conversion when the truth of the matter is a lot of people never really understand that being a Christian is a life commitment for Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said this that if anybody wants to become his disciple he is to deny himself, take up his cross and follow him. He asked the rich young ruler who was asking him how to obtain eternal life to acknowledge his sinfulness and follow him. Everywhere you read in the Gospels, Jesus preached a Gospel of commitment, a Gospel of complete surrender to his will. This is the Gospel Jesus preached, this is the Gospel the Apostles preached. Sadly this is not being emphasized at all as we only ask people for Jesus to be their Savior but never ask a commitment from them if they are willing to submit to his Lordship. Jesus himself said that there will be only few who will enter the narrow gate which leads to a narrow way and one of the reasons why is because the narrow way is a way of commitment a way of suffering for the cause of Christ and people do not want that.
Hence it will be no surprise that in judgement day as Jesus in the sermon on the mount that many will think that they are saved because they thought that one day they prayed a “sinner’s prayer” or they walked down the aisle, or they signed the card or raised their hands but there was never any fruits or that any chance that can be seen in their life, to these people Jesus said that he will then say “I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity.” It is therefore incumbent upon us those preaching the Gospel to make sure that we are presenting the Gospel that Jesus, the Apostles and the early church fathers preached and not some form of diluted, easy-believism Gospel with no commitment for the cause of Jesus Christ.
And if it will help correct a misconception and an error we should not count into our statistics the thousands or millions that supposedly raised their hands or prayed the sinner’s prayer as “saved” or count the number of “souls saved” but rather label them as “professions of faith” as only God knows if they have been regenerated within their hearts and only time will tell after they have allegedly made their profession of faith if it can be seen in the change in their lives and if they produce fruits in their lives can we truly say that at the time they made the sinner’s prayer that they had truly been saved.The Gospel is as Jesus says it is. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” Mathew 16:24. When the rich young ruler asked how to inherit eternal life, Jesus gave the same consistent answer.
It is not what theologians or would be theologians describe what it is. Jesus requires complete and total surrender to Him period. Its not works, it complete surrender and without His grace and mercy we would not even have the capacity to surrender to his will, so its still not our works lest we should boast about it. It’s still through faith by grace.”
2ndly. You have to understand what it means when Jesus said “I never knew you”. You must read the passage of scripture in matthew 7. The issue here is this: the people who were condemned were actually serving but they were not doing the Father’s will. The Father’s will is defined for us in John 6. That is to believe in Him. The people Jesus was referring to are unbelievers trying to go into the kingdom by works: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/when-jesus-says-i-never-knew-you-and-when-jesus-says-i-will-never-cast-you-out/
“When the emphasis becomes human-centered rather than God-centered. In more conservative contexts, you hear it as exhortation: “These are God’s commandments. The culture is slipping away from us. We have to recover it, and you play a role. Is your life matching up to what God calls us to?” Of course there is a place for that, but it seems to be the dominant emphasis.
Then there is the therapeutic approach: “You can be happier if you follow God’s principles.” All of this is said with a smile, but it’s still imperative. It’s still about techniques and principles for you to follow in order to have your best life now.
In both cases, it’s law rather than gospel. I don’t even know when I walk into a church that says it’s Bible-believing that I’m actually going to hear an exposition of Scripture with Christ at the center, or whether I’m going to hear about how I should “dare to be a Daniel.” The question is not whether we have imperatives in Scripture. The question is whether the imperatives are all we are getting, because people assume we already know the gospel—and we don’t.”
Why do people think this is the Gospel?
“It’s our default setting. No one has to be taught to trust in themselves. No one has to be taught that what you experience inside yourself is more authoritative than what comes to you externally, even if it comes from God. Since the Fall, it has been part of our character to look within ourselves.”
For Michael this is the Gospel
“The gospel has nothing to do with what I do. The gospel is entirely a message about what someone else has done not only for me but also for the renewal of the whole creation…. Paul calls the gospel “the power of God unto salvation,” and I don’t think he meant the power of God just unto conversion. The gospel remains the power of God unto salvation until we are glorified. Calvin once said we need the gospel preached to us every week, and the Lord’s Supper to ratify that promise, because we are partly unbelievers until we die.”
On the point of having to do this and that, Michael says this:
The gospel is not even my conversion experience. If somebody asks me what the gospel is, I’m not going to talk about me; I’m going to talk about Christ. All of the testimonies we find from the apostles’ lips are not testimonies about what happened in their hearts. They are testimonies about what happened in history when God saved his people from their sins. That’s the gospel. Although the gospel makes all sorts of things happen inside of me and gives me the fruit of the Spirit, the gospel itself is always an external word that comes to me announcing that someone else in history has accomplished my salvation for me.
Someone comes with instructions and says, “Here’s what your life could be like if you do x, y, or z.” Good news is, “Let me tell you what has happened!” The gospel is not good instructions, not a good idea, and not good advice. The gospel is an announcement of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.”
The phrase “making Jesus Lord and Savior” does not appear anywhere in Scripture (any more than does “personal relationship”). It assumes we are the ones who make God something. It is hard to imagine a Jew saying he made God his liberator and Lord in the Exodus. No. God made the Israelites the recipients of his saving and lordly work. So we don’t make God anything; it is he who makes us his people. The Good News is not that Jesus has made it possible for you to make him Lord and Savior. The Good News is that he has actually saved and liberated you, and that he is your Savior!