Sermons

Summary: The Gospel of Christ calls us to live boldly, not safely. God calls His people to stand firm in this holy Faith rather than seeking to make people like them.

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore, God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” [2 THESSALONIANS 2:1-12]. [1]

A satirical Christian newsletter published an article entitled, “Progressive Criticizes Jesus For Not Being Very Christlike.” [2] The article cited evidence of Jesus when He wasn’t Christlike. He devoted entire seconds of His sermons ranting about archaic religious concepts like hell and the last judgement. He didn’t affirm people in their sins. He did not advocate for government subsidies or women’s abortion rights. According to the fictional article, Jesus needed to spend more time asking Himself, “What would Jesus do?” and devote more of His time to social justice. The article is a caricature of contemporary Christendom—a group of inoffensive people who meet regularly to teach themselves to be nice to one another. They promote the “Gospel of Nice,” telling nice people to be nicer still.

If we truly love people, we will tell them things they don’t want to hear. For instance, we will warn them that suicide is not something to celebrate. A tragic news item describes how a husband and wife deliberately ended their lives. What was stunning about the news item was that their family knew about their plans, and yet, made no effort to prevent the couple from carrying out their plan to take their own lives. Two evenings before their deaths, they went out on a last date to a favourite restaurant. The next night, they bid farewell to twenty people gathered for a “bon voyage” dinner hosted by a daughter. Present at their deaths were their children and their spouses, two doctors who would administer the drugs that would take their lives, and the Dean of Toronto’s St. James Cathedral. The Dean enthusiastically supported their plans by ensuring that the couple would have an Anglican funeral. [3] What is obvious to thinking individuals is that the culture of death was being normalised with the assistance of religion.

The gospel of nice will provide a blessing for suicide. The gospel of nice will encourage the discouraged to quit, to give in to despair. The Gospel of Christ will reach out to the weary traveller, endeavouring to lift up the individual with a broken spirit. The Gospel of Christ will strive to encourage the discouraged. The gospel of nice is based on sentimentality, not on love. The gospel of nice prioritises short-term happiness instead of what is good. The gospel of nice leads to blessing self-murder rather than offering the hard, but loving, words, “This is wrong.” The gospel of nice will exalt the individual’s personal desire over the welfare of others.

Taught by the Gospel of Christ, we love people. Because we love people, we seek their welfare. The love of Christ compels us to warn people that abortion takes the life of a child. Abortion is not something to celebrate; abortion is an act to grieve. It is not hate that leads us to counsel a woman to spare the life of the child she is carrying as she struggles to cope with a pregnancy she didn’t anticipate in the aftermath of an illicit affair. It is love that leads us to counsel the young man who impregnated his girlfriend that he must support her and the child, accepting responsibility for his actions. However, progressive churches have raised the gospel of nice to an art form, blessing abortion clinics and even same sex “marriage.” [4] The gospel of nice seeks to make sure people feel good about themselves rather than honouring God.

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