We planted a church from a youth group a couple of years ago, and as a result, many of our members are college aged men and women. Recently, one of your young women sent me an email telling me that she was about to participate in an AIDS TENT informational event at her university, sponsored by World Vision and Intervarsity. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate the love of God on her campus, and a great opportunity to talk about God with people who visited the exhibit.
Intervarsity had been out to her campus and conducted some training on possible ways to share the Gospel. They integrated the work of James Choung from his book, “A Christianity Worth Believing In”. Choung developed a three minute presentation of the Gospel that Intervarsity started to teach to college students in preparation for the Aids Tent experience. The presentation is called the Big Story.Take a minute to read through this and let me know if you think this is the Gospel of Grace. You can find a video of the presentation HERE.
Did you notice the shift in the Gospel Message? I played the video for our church and simply opened the floor for comments. An astute 16 year old girl observed, “The presentation says nothing about the next life at all. It says nothing about the judgment of God or the fact that we are sinners who are going to someday go to either Heaven or Hell”. I think she nailed it. This ‘New’ Gospel (actually a reformulation of older social gospels) is all about what God can do to help us heal the world today. It says nothing about our individual need for forgiveness and a Savior, or our destiny as eternal beings headed for a life beyond this one. It assumes that we are here to make THIS world better, and all we need is a little help from our friend, Jesus.
Imagine offering this version of the Gospel to someone who is dying from AIDS. Imagine telling them that Jesus came to ‘offer resources’ to us so that we can heal the planet. Does this sound like good news to people who are perishing? It certainly sounds fine for those of us who remain, but it is not a Gospel of Grace that offers much comfort to those who are dying and are coming to grips with their own need for a Savior.
As a Christian, I DO understand my role and responsibility to steward the planet. I take that responsibility seriously. I am concerned about the condition of the planet and more importantly, the people on this planet. And I expect that the individual transformation of lives that takes place as a result of hearing the Gospel will result in the slow transformation of our entire world. But I am acutely aware of the fact that throughout the Bible, God is calling us to INDIVIDUALLY understand our need for Salvation before Him.
And in the end, we need to remember that we CANNOT fix the planet. We can only steward it. We need to remember that the planet is hurling toward judgment and RE-CREATION, not by us, but by the God who originally created it. There is so much more that could be said. Let’s hear what YOU think…