A Tragic Truth

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord!" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, "Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?" Then I will announce to them, "I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!
~ Jesus from Matthew 7:21-23 HCSB

This has to be one of the saddest passages of Scripture ever penned. For many to think that they had been following Jesus because they had been doing all these mighty works in His name, but only to find out that they had missed the one essential thing: a relationship with God though faith in Christ.

This past week, I attended the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans. Prior to the actual convention was the Pastors Conference. There were many great preachers who delivered some great messages. One of those preachers was David Platt, lead pastor of The Church at Brook Hills. He brought up the point that we need to examine what we are calling people to when we share the Gospel with them.

The points that Platt pointed out were:

  • Spiritual Deception. Platt shared that we have to be thorough in explaining the Gospel to people. Too many times people have been called to "easy believism" saying that as long as they say a prayer then everything's okay between them and God. The Gospel calls each person who receives it to fully die to self and demonstrate their faith by repenting of sin. While praying is good, it must be backed up by the life that we live.

  • Biblical Conversion. Platt was quick to share that there is a mystery to a person's conversion (John 3:5-8). What we need is not superficial works; we need supernatural regeneration.

  • Global Mission. Platt shared that when we share the Gospel with people it should lead to a global mission - taken the Gospel to all people around the world. Many times, we want to sit around and debate how the Gospel is shared. We don't need to debate the Gospel; we need to be sharing it! Romans 10:13-15 tells us that people will not respond to the Gospel if they have not heard it. We (Christians) have this Gospel and the responsibility to share it.

To view a copy of the manuscript of this sermon, click here.

This message spoke to my heart as a Christian and pastor greatly. What are we teaching and sharing as the Gospel in our churches and in our evangelism? Are we calling people to pray a prayer like some magical incantation or are we sharing the whole Gospel that comes with a lifetime of discipleship? I pray that we might be more concerned with making disciples and not converts. After all, that is what we (all Christians) were commissioned with, right?


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