Have you ever found yourself completely confused by the multitude of religious ideologies being "sold" in the market place? I'm not just talking about the different religions — Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity and so on. I mean the different ideologies within the Christian faith. There's quite a bit of diversity there. Many churches teach many different things — and to be blunt, some of them are a little off the wall. There have been times when someone has said to me, "My church believes such and such" and I will ask, "Where did you get such a crazy notion? There's not a single verse in the Bible that comes close to saying anything related to that!"

We're sometimes guilty of preaching what C.S. Lewis called "Christianity and Water." In other words, this means preaching Christianity and some other ideology, for example, Christianity and the Republican Party, Christianity and contemporary music, Christianity and Postmodernism, Christianity and one particular social issue, and on and on. If we're not careful we equate Christianity so closely with another custom or issue or ideology that the gospel message becomes watered down, and eventually, completely obscured.

I want our church to proclaim the gospel according to Jesus — not according to a religion or a church or a denomination —but according to Jesus. Jesus made this clear: it's not about church membership, it's not about religious rituals, and it's not about trying to follow a long list of do's and don’ts. It's about a relationship with him. It's about knowing him. Jesus said, "I am the door" (John 10:9). Some churches will say, "Yes, Jesus is the door, but we're the ones with the key." Don't believe them. Neither their church nor our church can save you. But Jesus can, and he will, and he has already has done all that it takes for you to be right with God.

You know how the story ends. Jesus died on the cross and on the third day was raised from the dead. While he was on the cross he paid the price for the sins of the world — he bought your forgiveness, your freedom, your pardon. It is in Jesus and Jesus alone. Jesus came to bring you to God; by his death he did that. He invites you to know him personally; by asking him into your life you can do that. And he wants it to be a day-to-day thing. Not just a religion that you look at from time-to-time, but a day-to-day relationship. A relationship is where you can find satisfaction, peace, fulfillment, and contentment. It's the ultimate relationship. This is the gospel according to Jesus.


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