By: Curt Williams, Founder & Executive Director
It is hard to deny that the trend in the American church has been to water down the Gospel message. It has not been the case in every church, but in an effort to be more “seeker friendly” and to populate bigger and bigger venues with potential tithers, many churches have sought to make the offense of the cross less offensive. Preachers have avoided the more demanding passages of the scriptures and have constructed feel-good homilies aimed at being more encouraging and less convicting.
In all of this, the question seems to be, do we still believe?
Do we still believe that the Word of God is still the unflinching and verified message of God preserved and given to man and that it retains its relevance as the authority for our lives? Do we still believe that there is an enemy of our souls, interchangeably called Satan, Lucifer or the Devil? Do we believe in the reality of an actual location referred to as heaven and an actual location referred to as hell? Do we still believe that the world fell with the original sin in the garden and that the only way to ransom man from the hopeless captivity of his sin is through the shed blood of Jesus? Do we still believe that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and that no man can come to the Father except through Him? Do we still believe that those who die in their natural sinful state, unregenerated by the sacrifice of Jesus, will spend their eternity in the torments of hell?
Or, has the slow creep of our culture tempted our hearts to water down the claims of the Gospel?
Have we bought into the fashionable thought that God is a god of love and that this is His only attribute? He is not ever angry, jealous or judgmental, but always kind and sweet and would therefore never send anyone to a place like hell. That is the gospel according to today. There are also those who, when confronted by the hard scriptures or any talk of judgment, answer with the retort of, “Well my God would never do that,” like we have the ability to design and create a God of our own choosing who fits comfortably into our paradigm instead of a God who makes demands and is unequivocal in His nature.
By this point, some of you may already be thinking that no, you do not believe these things, but for those who claim to still believe, I have a few questions.
If we still believe that those who die in their sins go to hell, how do we live with the fact that so many have yet to hear the Gospel?
I have traveled many times to Cambodia, a country where there is no semblance of the Judeo-Christian culture that America is steeped in. Less than 1% of the population of Cambodia identifies as followers of Christ, and the vast majority of the population has never heard the name of Jesus mentioned. They have no reference point to even consider the hope of grace found in Jesus Christ, yet we continue to build more churches. We hold more services, create nice music, and neglect the Great Commission to go into all the world.
It is like we have compartmentalized the reality of a lost world perishing without the opportunity to hear about Jesus, and set it aside so that it does not make us uncomfortable.
I choose to believe. I choose to hold on to the frightening reality of millions who have not heard. It is disturbing, but it affects how I think and how I spend time and money. It is not ok that the spread of the Gospel is not even keeping pace with the birth rate. We have faltered in honoring the last command of our Leader.
Youth-Reach not only seeks to raise up troubled boys into strong men, but we challenge them all to live a life of mission. Youth-Reach supports efforts around the globe that are aimed at sharing the Gospel in difficult places and lessening human suffering in the name of Jesus.
When you support the work of Youth-Reach, you not only support our efforts to make disciples here on our Houston campus, but then to send disciples out to reproduce around the globe.