Q: Yesterday, I heard Dr. Lutzer say that some Christian denominations are “not preaching the Gospel.”
Exactly what does he mean by that statement?
Asked by: Chris
A: Well Chris, indeed, many pastors don’t preach the Gospel.
They may be believe the Gospel and may even be converted, but they’re not preaching it.
I don’t have time to go into all the different ways that the Gospel is being subverted, but it is. For example, some people confuse the message of the Gospel with its implications. You have those who are preaching “the Gospel of the Kingdom.” They’re talking about social changes. But though social changes should be brought about by the Gospel, they aren’t the Gospel.
The Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15 is clearly defined—Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and was raised again. This Gospel means we need to humble ourselves and receive the gift of eternal life. We need to preach how God redeems man, the rescue program that God has for us in Jesus Christ our Lord—that’s the Gospel.
Furthermore, what you find is there are those who preach only the positive aspects of the Bible and its teachings, you know, how to be healthy, how to be wealthy, that’s not the Gospel (and in some cases, isn’t even the truth of what the Scriptures say).
In Texas there was a Muslim family that came to saving faith in Jesus Christ at great personal cost, and they went into a church on Sunday hoping to be blessed and encouraged and strengthened in their faith only to have their pastor preaching on the value of good nutrition. Now nutrition is important, but nutrition is not the Gospel.
Oh Chris, there are so many other ways that I could mention that the Gospel is no longer being proclaimed, and because it isn’t, the Church is weak. What you find are people coming to God hoping to reap benefits without knowing that they need to receive Christ in humility and brokenness because of their sins.
So, let’s pray, and let’s ask God that He still might raise up many pastors and many churches that preach the Gospel. It’s the good news for sinners, and because we’re all sinners we all need it.
- 1 Corinthians 15