from a recent news article on a study of over 1,000 12- 19 year olds:
While many teens believe they will go to heaven
because of their belief in Jesus Christ, one-quarter
trust in their own kindness to others (27 percent)
or their religiosity (26 percent) as their means to
get to heaven.
Out of the 69 percent of the teens who strongly or
somewhat agree they will go to heaven because
Jesus Christ died for their sins, 60 percent also
agree that they will go to heaven because they are
religious and 60 percent also agree they will go to
heaven because they are kind to others.
That leaves approximately 28 percent of
[those surveyed] who are trusting only in
Jesus Christ as their means to get to heaven.
as i have stated frequently in several recent posts, i affirm and embrace the command and privilege to share the gospel. the gospel of the lord jesus christ is good news, indeed.
but what worries me is the content of our gospel presentation. not the content of the gospel, but the content of our presentation of it.
does our gospel include the fact that all men are sinful from birth and are in need of a savior? that without that savior, people will die and spend an eternity enduring the wrath of god in hell, and that is what everyone deserves?
does our gospel include the real jesus, who said:
"if you love me, then obey my commands" (john 14:15)
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and
the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are
many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the
way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find
it (Matt 7:13-14)
Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy
in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name
perform many miracles?'
And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you;
DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.
does our presentation make clear that true repentance is more than being sorry for sin and fearing consequences, but results in a turning away from sin... not a mere one time 'decision'?
does our presentation make clear that it is only by faith alone in christ alone that we are saved, and that it is entirely possible to walk an aisle, sign a card, or recite a prayer and still ***not*** be a christian?
the gospel is a gift beyond words from our lord, and it is a gift that is freely offered to all. but it is a gift that is meant to be accepted in its entirety.
a man centered shallow presentation of "how to be successful" or "how not to go to hell" is insufficient.
if this is the bulk of our gospel presentation, then our churches and families will continue to produce people who are sure that they are going to heaven while having no clue what it takes to get there.