“You can’t really administer the gospel in a life-changing way unless you also, like Paul always did, discern and expose and challenge the idols of your place… If you’re trying to communicate the gospel to anybody you need to know what their idols are, because the gospel is [that] you’re saved by grace, and the idol is that you’re saved by something else… Do you realize how many different forms of works salvation there are? ” – Timothy Keller
Jesus makes all of us uncomfortable.
For those who idolize a church, he calls us to be willing to leave it.
For those of us who have idolized the family that said they would leave us if we leave Mormonism and become a born-again Christian, he calls us to “hate” our family (Luke 14:26).
For those of us who idolize money, he calls us to sell everything we have and follow him.
For those of us who idolize our self-righteousness and pride, he calls us to reach a desperation and declare spiritual bankruptcy (Romans 4:4-5).
For those of us who idolize a nice and tidy top-down human structure that governs our lives, he calls us to endure and serve the messy Bride of Christ.
For those of us who idolize human authority, he calls us to rebuke them for their sins.
For those of us who idolize human relationships, he calls us to be lonely for a season.
For those of us who idolize the scoffing of those without truth, he calls us to learn compassion by getting intimately involved in others’ lives.
For those of us who idolize ourselves as gods-in-embryo, he calls us to worship the only God that will ever be.
For those of us who idolize food, he calls us to fast.
The gospel is about looking outside ourselves to trust the righteousness and exaltation and provision of another, Jesus Christ. Only then will we be made righteous, sanctified, and glorified.
Friends, the Lord is ready and willing to save you and to immediately forgive all your sins and give you eternal life! Declare spiritual bankruptcy and stop trying to earn your own forgiveness or prove your own worthiness. Stop worshiping a false God who was once a mere man before he became a God. Worship the God who always was, is, and will be God for all worlds. Stop showing up at the “temp agency” where you think you can earn your own wages with divine assistance, and instead show up at God’s gracious welfare office for free forgiveness and a transformed heart.
Jesus gets all the glory that way!