We preach a gospel of salvation where we have people pray a Sinner’s Prayer and thus become born again or saved. Of course, the Bible states that there is no salvation without repentance so we hope that before we have a person say a Sinner’s Prayer that they understand the true Gospel and have been convicted of their sins, experienced godly sorrow with repentance and thus are true converts to the faith.
However, the gospel of salvation usually leads to someone thinking only about themself. Afterall, salvation is a personal matter and they did receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. This leads to their faith and religion being a private matter between them and God. This means they work out their faith in daily life as best they can and add some necessary tools to help them do so – Bible reading, prayer and going to church on Sunday.
However, this is not what the Lord planned nor what the Bible teaches. The gospel of salvation is, in many ways, a man-made gospel which has led many to thinking they are saved when they are not. Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and not the gospel of salvation. The Gospel of the Kingdom is much bigger than and has a different focus than personal religion and the salvation gospel.
When a person responds to the Gospel of the Kingdom and becomes born again it involves a lot more than simply a personal relationship with the Lord. It includes:
1> A commitment to and active connection with the body of Christ, the local Church. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 talks about each believer being a member of the Body and that each one has been placed in the Body where Jesus wants them and where they can experience their ministry and fulfill the call of God on their lives. You see, God deals corporately – and calls a people and not a person. A Christian without a serious connection and involvement in a local church is unheard of in the Bible and is simply not possible.
2> A commitment to being a true disciple of Christ and not simply a Christian in name only. A follower of Christ and not just a fan of Jesus. Jesus told us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19) and we can’t do that unless we ourselves are true disciples of the Lord. This is a life-time commitment and involvement with the Lord as you follow Him and become more and more like Him.
3> A commitment to and involvment with The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) to go into all the world and share Jesus as you go. Jesus spoke right up front that those who followed Him would need to become “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) and so we need to be out there involved in the lives of non-believers and seeking and saving the lost as Jesus did and still does (Luke 19:10). Afterall, we are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20)
4> A commitment to being trained for and involvement in your own ministry for the Kingdom in the world (not just to believers in the church). Every member of the Body of Christ is a minister (1 Peter 2:5) and every joint and supporting ligament must do its part to build the body up in love (Ephesians 4:16). So everyone must be willing to be trained and equipped…even mentored in the ministry.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is much bigger than the personal gospel of salvation that allows people to think that they are born again and thus safe even through they never become part of an active and alive Bible church or picked up their ministry as they follow Jesus and become His disciple.
It is time to peach the true Gospel and do away with this false gospel that has been preached for so long. Let’s end easy-believism and start asking for true commitment to the cause.