For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 1 Thessalonians 2:3 NIV

The summer before I left for college, I led the youth in weekly bible study. I would start each lesson with attention games found in books. One game was to place a $5 bill at the toes of a person standing against the wall. Without bending their knees the person was to try and bend over to pick up the money while staying flush against the wall. As you lean forward your weight shifts and you fall away. Unless… you are in middle school with a strange growth spurt. I had a boy who could slowly reach down and get the money. I lost $5 that night.

When Paul arrived at Thessalonica, he did not use any games or gimmicks to present the gospel. Pure motivation is revealed during persecution or ridicule. When times are tough there are some who abandon their faith, because it was not resting on the truth and relationship with God.

Why do we feel like we have to dress up the gospel message to make it more palatable? Is it okay to develop a slick presentation in order to keep someone’s attention? Are we a little embarrassed by the simplicity and foolishness of the gospel message that we pick and choose what we think people would like to hear in order for them to become followers of Jesus?

The Essence of the Gospel Message

  • There is a God who loves us and can be known by us
    • Communism teaches there is no God, only science can be trusted
    • For those who are atheist or don’t believe in God, we appear foolish to believe in a God that we can not see, hear or touch
  • All men and women are sinful (violaters of God’s holy ways to live life), which means we will have to give an account for our actions before Him.
    • Everyone knows they have lived imperfect lives. No one likes somebody else to point it out.
    • The relativism of truth says that you can’t impose God’s value system upon one another. Each person can believe what they want.
    • It’s sounds foolish to believe that this God of love you talk about will judge people for their sinfulness and find them guilty of eternal death and pain
  • God made provision for the salvation of our lives through Jesus Christ.
    • We believe that Jesus was God in the flesh, 100 percent God and 100 percent man at the same time.
      • As the God-man he lived on the earth, walked around doing good, healing the sick, and teaching about God’s kingdom being present.
      • As the God-man he felt all the emotions we feel, and was tempted but did not sin
      • As the God-man he was betrayed, tortured, crucified on a cross, buried and rose again from the dead in 3 days.
      • As the God-man, He is presently sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for those who have become believing trusting followers of Him.
  • The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is the only pathway to a restored relationship with God.
    • His death was a sacrifice for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and made clean before Him.
    • It sounds arrogant and foolish to believe that there is only one way to get to God. Jesus made this declaration of Himself in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one gets to the Father except through Me.”
  • Each person must respond to the conviction and leading of the Holy Spirit to place their believe-trust in Jesus.
    • Romans 10:8-10 NLT 8 In fact, it says,“The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.”And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: 9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
    • To become a follower requires both belief in the heart and a confession before God and others.

It takes less than 5 minutes to hit the highlights of the gospel message. It sounds foolish that a person who believes-trust in Jesus as to make Him Lord of their lives is making an eternal decision. God makes you His child. He takes you from the kingdom of darkness which you think is reality and brings you into the kingdom of His light and truth. God does all of the work, our part is to respond in faith to believe that He loves us and will forgive our sins.

No gimmicks, and no $5 bill. Have you placed your belief-trust in Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life? It sounds foolish to do this, but it is real. Jesus died for you and others have been persecuted for preaching this message. Why? Because your eternal life hangs in the balance for how you respond to Jesus as Lord or looser.

Keep preaching and witnessing about Jesus.

Blessings Love y’all