Pray continually… 1 Thessalonians 5:16, NIV When Paul says “pray continually” he is not suggesting that we give up our jobs to pray on a full-time basis. In fact, he warned the folks who gave up their jobs against doing this. He is talking about an open-ended, warm, and loving...
Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. 1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NIV)
Deep conviction does not fit well with our culture today. The prevailing spirit of our generation is one of uncertainty. We have more questions than answers.
The person who speaks with any degree of certainty is quickly accused of being arrogant. None of us want to be thought of by others as proud, so it has become fashionable to reshape the gospel in terms of our questions and our searching.
We sometimes say, “You have your questions, we have our questions. Let’s take this journey together.” Notice how far this is from the spirit of the New Testament: “Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” The weight of Paul’s message came across in the conviction with which he spoke.
James Denney says Christians “have to be on their guard, lest familiarity rob the great words of the gospel of their reality, and they themselves sink into the worst atheism which is for ever handling holy things without feeling them.” We must be very careful that we do not speak and act in a way that makes the gospel seem like a small thing.
If someone goes away from a church service, a Sunday school class, or a small group saying about the gospel: “Is that all it is?” You have misrepresented the good news of Jesus Christ.
Have you ever experienced a misrepresentation of the gospel that made you wonder, “Is that all it is?”?