The power of the gospel is clearly seen when the preacher of the gospel clearly presents it. Too many times, in America, pastors in the pulpits present Jesus as a western version of a middle class idol. While our churches wonder if they can get new lighting equipment, projectors and nicer pews, millions around the world are dying who have never heard the name or gospel of Jesus. We may say we believe men who do not know Jesus will go to eternal damnation, but we sure do not live like it. We are too busy chasing the American dream and wasting our time and finances on the foolish and lustful pleasures of this life.
When others in foreign lands hear about our Jesus, they do not want Him. And that is good, because most of the time, if they get their understanding of Jesus from religious TV, they are not hearing about the Jesus of the Bible anyway. However, when the simplicity of the gospel is presented, the Holy Spirit is powerfully present to arrest the hearts of man to respond in faith. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Here is a letter sent to me a couple of days ago from a man who attended an outreach meeting in a village in East Central, India. I spoke, via telephone, and presented the basic gospel from the creation, the fall of man, promises of God and the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It was very basic as I spoke via a cell phone, through a sound system, and then had an interpreter. They heard English and then a translation.
“My name is P___. I never desired to know Jesus because I was thinking that Jesus is the God for white people in USA. I was very strong idol worshiper. I use to worship trees, monkeys and snakes. Those were my gods. As I was passing road, I am hearing sounds from community hall. I go just to find what is happening there, people are worshiping. Pastor J___ is leading them in worship. I too went inside. I feel someone is saying lift up your hand to me. After that I was hearing such powerful Word from Pastor Terry. His words and the story of creation, Gods love and His death and resurrection. I am so blessed. As I was hearing the Word, I repented before the Lord. I was very bad man. Terry said he loves me. Please pray for me. I received water baptism and gave my life to Jesus. Before, I wanted to destroy the Christians and pastors because they are changing religion. But now that I came to Jesus, who is the true God, I want share this wonderful news to many of my friends who are in sin. Brother Terry, I want see you. Please come to India. I need a bible to read and know more about Jesus….”
This new believer did not want a Mercedes, or a new suit or luxurious home. Because of the new birth in Jesus, he just asked for a Bible to read and learn more about the real Jesus. P___ is the man in the middle in the photo at the top of this article just before he was baptized. No more an idolator. No more a persecutor of Christians and pastors. Now he is a brother! Walking by this community hall, the simple gospel changed this man’s life forever.
Pastors, preach the gospel. Preach it clearly, preach it simply, preach it accurately. Gimmicks create gimmicky converts. Strange tactics create strange children. Whatever we draw people with becomes their view of God. Let Christ and Him Crucified be the only message we set before men. After all, that is the New Testament pattern! (1Cor.2:1-5)
One final note: Because of those who are helping with PROJECT INDIA, P___ will get his bible this week.