“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” – Romans 1:16
The nature of power is that it has force, a force to either pull or push. Think of a magnet. Magnets have power. A power to push or to pull. Depending on polarity objects are either drawn or repelled. That is unless a magnet is stripped of its power. Then it is like salt that loses it saltiness, it is good for nothing but to be trampled on.
The true Gospel is like a magnet. It has two forces, a push and a pull. When one comes in contact with it they are either drawn to Jesus or pushed away from Him. The best picture of this, in my opinion, is John 6. It is an amazing picture of the Gospel in action by the greatest evangelist ever to exist, Jesus Christ.
In this text Jesus has the people eating out of his hands…literally. He just finished feeding the 5,000 and the people want to make Him King. So what does he do? He drops a Gospel bomb. He says, “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:54). He also says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44) and “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father" (John 6:65). These are words Jesus spoke right to the faces in the crowd, the average Joe. So what do you think happened next?
“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God." Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil." – John 6:66-70
The Gospel, with all its power, and all of its Calvinism (Limited Atonement and Irresistible Grace) pushed away “his disciples.” However, those who left Jesus were not true disciples. They were posers. These are the people who some day may stand before Jesus and say, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” In which Jesus will respond “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:22-23) These were people not chosen by Jesus. These people who “turned back” had chosen Jesus, and they had chosen Him for the wrong reasons.
Does this not beg the question, “Was this a misstep by the Son of the Living God? Did Emmanuel make a mistake and let slip the Doctrines of Grace (Another name for Calvinism)? Absolutely not. Why did Jesus do this? Why did he drop a Gospel bomb? Because Jesus had a bride to rescue, the Church. His goal was not to fill the seats of some building; it was to ransom everyone whose name was “written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” (Revelation 13:8).
The question I now pose to you is what Gospel do you preach? Is it one that has power or one that is powerless? Do you make the Gospel so easy that it would be unrecognizable to Christ? Do you peddle cheap grace or do you love people enough to proclaim the cost of discipleship? For the most unloving thing you can do is to lure a man into believing a false gospel that leads them to Hell.
“As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:9-10
Let us lay down our business strategies and pick up the Gospel that Jesus preached. Let us not put confidence in the flesh, but in the might of God’s Word. Let us cast the net that is woven by Christ, not mended by men, and let our Churches be full of true disciples, not enemies of the cross tarnishing the wedding dress of the Bride.