Saturday, October 6, 2012

No Stinking Gimmicks, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled "No Stinking Gimmicks," which referenced a sermon by our pastor. He recently hit some of the very same points as he has continued through the book of Acts. Even though he did not use the words "stinking gimmicks" in this sermon, he nevertheless very strongly reinforced what he said in the previous one. He emphasized repeatedly the tremendous truth that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not our human efforts and cleverness that brings sinners to salvation.

Following are a number of direct quotes:

... Jesus is the one who who was raised up from the dead and is now ascended ... Jesus died, He was buried, and He rose again, and this is the simplicity of the Gospel message. He died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again, and all of that is according to the Scriptures ... it is that simple message.

Now friends, there's nothing innovative, there's nothing new, there's nothing fresh, there's nothing hip, there's no better way we can proclaim it. We simply proclaim this message. Now God has given to us a message that transcends culture, transcends time, transcends language. This is the message of Jesus:  His death, His burial, His resurrection. It is not an American message that we take to the ends of the earth. It is God's message that we simply proclaim.

...I get so tired of all these new-fangled theologians, new-fangled seminaries, new-fangled missiologists, who think that they have figured out how we're going to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and come up with some new, innovative, fresh ideas ... Baloney! Jesus Christ dead, buried, and risen again is the only hope for people to come to salvation and eternal life, and it's this message that saves people from their sins. This helps and encourages me, because it's not my innovation, my fresh ideas, my creativity. It's not even by my power or by my passion. It's by the message of Jesus Christ that people get saved.

... We don't have to come up with some new way to do church so that we can have young people and the next generation ... All around me I have people who are saying, "If we don't change the way we're doing things, we're going to lose the coming generation." BALONEY! You reach that generation by preaching Jesus dead, buried and risen again. He is the message of our hope!

...It doesn't matter how old you are, how young you are, what culture you are from. It doesn't matter what language you speak. It's not about our innovation and creativity. It's about the message of Jesus who died, was buried, and He rose again. Jesus is the one who saves people from their sin.

Based on this wonderful, glorious message, the message that we go and proclaim ... Forgiveness has always been by grace ... Justification has always been by faith ... None of the law can justify you ...

... There is no way we can innovate, create, improve. There is nothing we can do to enhance and make the message better ... it is a sufficient message right now just the way it is.

... I have been direct and honest with you, and I have told you that Grace Bible Church is not ever going to be the hippest, coolest place in town. Matter of fact, we are so unhip and uncool that I am doing everything I can to hide any kind of technology ... If you can come into this sanctuary and not find a big screen ... if you have to look around and ask yourself, "Where is that projection coming from?" then I've accomplished my purpose, because I don't want to be the hippest, coolest place in town with all the new-fangled things and contraptions ... I'm not trying to be hip and cool, and I'm not trying to be innovative, and I'm not trying to think, "Hey, if we want to reach the college students, we've got to do something cool. Let's draw them in. Take off my tie." NO!...

This place is about one thing - faithfulness to the message God has granted to us, because this message is the only message that can turn people from darkness to light ... As boring as we are, we simply want to be faithful ... We just proclaim Jesus dead, buried, risen.

I praise the Lord for giving our church a pastor who is true to the Word of God and who gives God all the glory. If you are ever in Colorado Springs, come and visit Grace Bible Church. You won't be disappointed.

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