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I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God
that brings salvation to everyone who believes
Many scattered far away from the cross of Christ that first “Good Friday”,
and many still do today, including much of the religious engine that calls itself the “Christian Church”.
Consider an end-cap in a local Hobby Lobby
which on one hand reminds us to cling to the old rugged cross . .
but on the other hand, announces a 50% off sale.
While many preachers have tried to remain true to the Gospel and the centrality of Christ’s cross,
many local churches and Christian media outlets have gotten sloppy, even careless . .
and sometimes reckless with the Gospel . .
and in word and deed message that the cross is not enough.
How does this happen?
Here Are 5 Ways To Know You Are In A Church Where The Cross Is Not Enough:
Experience – in an effort to create a local church culture
that leads us deeper into the manifest presence and anointing of God,
these pulpits once again elevate “supernatural” manifestations
and experience over Christ Himself.
It’s time to repent of caffeinated Christianity
and let God define the terms of divine/human engagement
and reveal Himself as He so desires
Excess – the pulpits behind the latest versions of a false prosperity gospel
are attracting thousands but their promises ring hollow
and cheapen the unparalleled benefits eternally secured at the cross of Christ.
It’s time for this generation’s spiritual descendants to come clean of their addiction to “more”
and quit amassing junk and junk-filled expectations like we’re here this side of Christ’s return
to party like there’s no tomorrow
Esteem – these pulpits want people to “feel good”
because there is so much negativity in the world
and rarely if ever mention the “sin” word or the cross of Christ
because they are too focused on a junk-food variety of self-help religion that loses sight
of the priority of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment
in a life poured out in such a way that we become the conduit
for someone else’s breakthrough (vs. our own) . . into the Kingdom of God
Elevation – these pulpits confuse influence with celebrity
and build local churches on a marketing platform that are lead-personality obsessed
where all of the combined energy is leveraged to create a cult-like following
around the construction of a singular Hero Pastor vs a “hero-making” swarm
of equipping pastors and leaders (thank you Dave Ferguson)
Exception – these pulpits believe they have reached a level of success and/or influence
that negates the need for true transparency in money management
and for true local Biblical elder-led oversight and are often led
by an isolated and very much unapproachable lead pastor
The common denominator with these five “E”‘s in America’s pulpit
is the dangerous drift from a singular focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ –
a focus that seeks nothing more nor anything less.
Can you identify other ways this happens?
On a personal level, have not all of us in some way or another been tempted,
when it comes to sharing Jesus with others, to cheapen or shy away or simply steer clear
of the confrontation of the cross and replace it with a more appealing
and attractive knockoff or discounted message?
God has a better idea,
let others know how desperately you need
the sin-erasing and life-giving work of the cross –
let them know how you, now more than ever,
would be completely lost without the love of a Savior . .
and let them know His name is Jesus . .
the sinless One, the crucified One, the buried One, the risen One . .
the One who is alive in you forevermore.
Share that message and you separate yourself from the dangerous trend of . .
“Father forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Amen”
– Galatians 6:14
How is God encouraging you today?