Do you remember that old Coca Cola commercial where they used the motto, “things go better with Coke”?
Some today have used the same idea as a Gospel presentation where “things go better with Jesus.” I cannot imagine a more unrealistic position from which to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Consider the price Jesus paid to pay for sin for all believers for all time. He became one of us, subject to the same desires as us, and lived a perfect life under God’s law. If that wasn’t difficult enough, He willingly gave up that life and died in our place to pay the price for our sins. Things certainly didn’t go better for Jesus – and He told us that because the world hated Him, it would also hate us.
This doesn’t mean that the Gospel of love and grace cannot create true converts to Christ. God can and does use it for His purpose. If someone has been brought by God to such a place where that kind of approach will win the one He has already chosen, it will be irresistible to such a one. However, at least in my experience, this is not the majority of cases. The broken have no need to hear the law and how they cannot meet its demands – they already know this – so when God regenerates their heart, they respond to that love and grace.
The majority of people are more proud, and as a result need to be shown they are sinners. Liars need to have that commandment pointed out. Murderers, adulterers, thieves, and idolaters likewise need often to have this revealed to them before they understand that their behaviour will not win them salvation. There is literally nothing that any human can do to earn salvation from God’s wrath. For one who has come to this realization through exposure to God’s law, the grace of God will be irresistible when God regenerates their heart to save them.
Neither of these scenarios present a “things go better with Jesus” view of the Gospel. The group that does seem to benefit from such presentation are the heretic prosperity gospel bunch. These “clouds without water” never bring refreshing in a true sense, and are only interested in your wallet and its contents. Their eternal destiny has already been set, and they will meet it, unless God has mercy on them, which can happen (and has in Costi Hinn, Benny’s nephew).
So how is your Gospel? Which one are you presenting? Are you proclaiming the eternal and irresistible grace of God or are you peddling a modern take that only presents a meaningless “love” motif? Or are you presenting the Gospel at all? (You should be. )
We have been called to preach the Gospel to everyone (Mark 16:15). We are messengers of God when we do so. We need to take care that we present His gospel and not the cheap grace of the world.