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KYLE IDLEMAN: I CHEAPENED THE GOSPEL


"Many of the fans turn to go home. I was struck by the fact that Jesus doesn't chase after them. He doesn't soften his message to make it more appealing. He doesn't send the disciples chasing after them with a creative handout inviting them to come back for a 'build your own sundae' ice cream social. He seems okay with the fact that his popularity has plummeted. As I sat in the sanctuary surrounded by thousands of empty seats, here's what became clear to me: it wasn't the size of the crowd Jesus cared about; it was their level of commitment. I put the Bible back in the chair in front of me. I cried, 'God, I am sorry.' Almost as soon as I said it to him, I knew it needed to go further. A few days later on Easter Sunday, a crowd of thousands gathered and I began my sermon with a choked up apology. I told the crowd that I was wrong for being too concerned with what they would think and how many of them would come back. I think would the years my intentions were good; I wanted to make Jesus look as attractive as possible so that people would come to find eternal life in him. I was offering the people Jesus, but I was handing out a lot of free bread. In the process I cheapened the gospel."


(Idleman, Kyle (2011-05-24). Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus (p. 13). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.)

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