Summary: A simple sermon on the nature of the gospel. Plucked the 3 main points of this sermon right out of a sentence in Rick Warren’s "Purpose Driven Church."
Sunday AM – Lynn Haven – 01/06/08
• The Core Gospel
• The Main Thing: Helping the church realize that the main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing.
B. How’s the weather? ... It sure is starting to feel political out there, isn’t it ;)
1. Brace yourselves, folks: 2008 is a Presidential election year.
a. Soon our roads will be littered with political signs
b. And our TV & Radio airwaves will be polluted with political ads telling us who we should & should not vote for.
2. Do you ever wish that it was easier?
a. You know… that we could extract all the politicking out of politics.
b. That we might be able to say to the candidates, “Okay, sum it up for me. Give me a word, or a phrase, that would convince me why I should vote for you, and that’s it. Not a speech. Not an argument. Just a word or a phrase.”
c. If only it were that simple.
C. How would we?
1. Ever wonder if the world feels that way about us? Christians? The church?
a. Ever think that they wish that we could take all the grandiose religiosity out of religion.
b. That they might be able to say to us, “Okay, sum it up for me. Give me a word, or a phrase, that would convince me why I should subscribe to your ideology… to your faith.”
2. How would we sum up our message?
D. There is a word: “Gospel.” And its meaning is the phrase, “Good News.”
1. 1st Corinthians 15:1-5
2. And getting that message out there, letting it ring from shore to shore, is our commission.
a. Not our differences between the other religious candidates: Baptists, Methodists, etc.
b. Not doing smear jobs or attack campaigns against those institutions
c. But sharing the core message of what the church is all about & was all about from the very beginning:
Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world
3. So what do we share when we share this Gospel?
4. As you might suspect, I have a few suggestions… ;)
I. The Gospel ASSURES OUR PAST
B. We no longer have to worry or wrangle over our mistakes anymore
1. Anything we have EVER done wrong in our lives does not have to haunt us anymore.
2. All of our sins are covered over & forgiven.
3. Isn’t that wonderful? That’s good news.
C. So often, we go out to share bad news
1. “You homosexuals are immoral, wrong, & a big brood of sinners.”
a. “You drunks are on a path straight to hell.”
b. “Your worldly ways are going to be the end of you.”
2. I ask you: Is that good news?
a. Whatever we share with the world, first order business is sharing GOOD news
1) We can share bad news, too. But not without framing it in good news.
a) We are experiencing the fall.
b) Human Nature is full of folly
c) Hell exists!
d) But we better make sure we let folks know that we’ve found the way out, and that they can, too, & that that way is GOOD…
2) When we share our message, what the early Christians called “the euangellion” – “The Gospel” – it needs to PRIMARILY be GOOD news
b. We don’t focus on folks’ flaws; we emphasize the way out.
c. That’s IMPORTANT
D. Living under “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2), living in the Kingdom that shares the Gospel means that we don’t have to live a life in shame about what we’ve done.
1. We’ve been freed from the shackles of debilitating guilt.
2. We are free to pursue relationship with God now.
E. The Gospel assures our past: we don’t have to worry about it or fret over it anymore!
II. The Gospel SECURES OUR FUTURE
A. John 14:1-4
B. We no longer have to worry or wrangle about what’s going to happen to us after we die.
1. No matter what happens in this life, so long as we remain in the covenant, we will one day live in Heaven with the whole Kingdom of God.
2. We have the ultimate insurance plan.
a. And we don’t even have to pay for it!
b. Christ paid it for us
3. THAT’S GOOD NEWS!
C. So why in the world would we go talk to the world about Hell?
1. Our motivation isn’t to just avoid the other place; it’s to GET to Paradise!
2. To get to enjoy that rest, that peace, that bliss.
3. For some reason, we get frustrated with people we love & share the Gospel with, and so we threaten them with Hell.