I prayed for someone dear to me: “Jesus, he needs You. His life is such a mess. He is so angry and he makes so many foolish choices. Lord, he just needs You to straighten his life out.”
Very quickly the impression came upon my heart, “He needs Me for salvation not just to change his behavior. He needs me for eternal life, not for a better life.”
Paul declared, ” . . . but we preach Christ crucified . . .” (1 Cor. 1:23). But are we? Are we preaching the Gospel – or “Your best life now?” Are we concerned because our loved ones are making wrong decisions or because they are heading in the wrong direction? Are we telling them they need to “straighten up” – or they need salvation? This one hits home for me: Are we praying for our sons and daughters and grandchildren to behave or be saved? Do we want an easier relationship with them or a right relationship with God? Are we offended by their language or grieved because they are lost? Let’s branch out wider: Are we praying for revival in our nation because we don’t like the way it’s being run or because people are lost and bound for hell?
Maybe the reason evangelism is waning is because we are not drawing lost souls to Jesus, we’re telling people to change their ways. We are preaching a “gospel” of behavior modification, not salvation and eternal life. And maybe that’s the reason so many reject the message – in their estimation, they are behaving just fine thank you. But Jesus didn’t die so that we would be better people – He died so that we would be saved people – redeemed sinners bound for heaven.
At the heart of the Gospel is the honest truth that we are all condemned sinners separated from God and destined for hell, not because of our behavior but because of the sin nature we inherited from Adam and Eve. Jesus – the Son of God – shed His blood to cleanse us of our sin nature – and make us acceptable to God. That is the Gospel.
Your lost loved ones need a Savior, not a divine life coach. Beloved, what will you tell them about Jesus?