The gospel message isn’t complicated. It doesn’t take rocket science to understand. Anyone can hear it, understand it, and follow it regardless of their cultural or educational backgrounds. I want to live a life simply devoted to Jesus. We need to stop overcomplicating the gospel and live simply for Jesus.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:3:
“But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent” (NLT).
I fear so many people overcomplicate the gospel message and ultimately “corrupt” their devotion to Christ by getting caught up in pointless theological debates, legalism, and other tactics that divide rather than build the kingdom.
For many people, their simple devotion to Christ has been hijacked by the enemy of our souls. Instead of running with opportunities to bring people to Jesus, so many people and churches miss out on these incredible opportunities simply because one church’s or person’s theological beliefs don’t line up 100% with the other. One denomination can’t partner with another simply because their views on certain passages of Scripture differ. Do you love Jesus? Do you want people to come to Jesus? Then stop overcomplicating the gospel, set aside any minor issues that hinder the body coming together in unity for the cause of Christ, and be the church rather than acting like a worldly organization.
The world is full of division. We must get back to the truth and understanding that the church isn’t a building or organization of any kind. It’s a living organism. It’s not a place. It’s a group of people who know, love, and follow Jesus.
Some of the things that corrupts our simple devotion to Jesus are the topics of tongues, miracles (such as “does God still heal?”), and what eschatological* beliefs a person has. Arguing about tongues and miracles and eschatological* beliefs are disrupting and counterproductive in The Great Commission.
For example, a non-denominational church can partner with a Baptist church and a Baptist church can partner with a Pentecostal church with the same mission of telling people about Jesus. Arguing leads to disunity and that shuts down opportunities to storm the gates of hell and introduce weary souls to the incredible love of God displayed in the gospel message.
Our pure and undivided devotion to Christ doesn’t have to be trenched in debates that only divide. It’s okay to differ on certain passages of Scripture. Think about it: If more churches joined together, setting aside their differences of doctrine, and focused on simply telling people about Jesus don’t you think there would be more churches growing and starting rather than churches dividing and closing? There are rib issues and spine issues. Most of the doctrinal debates are rib issues and salvation doesn’t hinge upon them. But why do so many of us act like they do?
Every week I go to the local freshman campus for FCA: The Journey where I partner with two other youth pastors with the goal of introducing students to Jesus. We are “simply devoted to Jesus” and want to tell students about Jesus. We come from three different churches that probably don’t agree with everything the other believes, but guess what? We haven’t let these “rib issues” corrupt our “pure and undivided devotion to Christ”. If we did, then we would be divided and reaching the students we have been reaching wouldn’t happen.
Unity brings natural growth.
We aren’t in competition.
We just want students in church. We are all on the same team. We are all part of the body of Christ.
4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” – Romans 12:4-5 NLT
I don’t say this to make us sound like some super Christians.
I don’t say this to sound harsh.
We are simply devoted to Jesus.
For us, that is enough to not just partner with other “brothers and sisters” in Christ but also set aside differences on certain passages of Scripture and build God’s kingdom.
Like I already mentioned, I want to live a life that’s simply devoted to Jesus. I want people to see that the gospel isn’t some overcomplicated theological mystery. It’s simple. The gospel is simple enough for children to understand. Look at what Jesus said concerning the greatest in the kingdom of heaven:
2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” – Matthew 18:3 NLT
If the gospel was complicated why would Jesus tell us: “unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven?”
What are your thoughts? Comment below!
*Eschatology, from two Greek words meaning “last” (ἔσχατος) and “study” (-λογία), is the study of ‘end things’, whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, the end of the world and the nature of the Kingdom of God.
All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Featured image source: Unsplash.com