In our pursuit of the American Dream, we have watered down Christianity. We have molded Jesus into our image to make the gospel more comfortable. In our culture, we have looked at God only as loving Father and not as Judge or as any of His other amazing characteristics. We are neglecting the other glorious attributes of God to create a God that matches our American lifestyle without requiring too much commitment.
The truth is we have altered the gospel. Many of us aren’t even learning the gospel in our churches and if we do come out with a basic understanding, we aren’t sure how to share the gospel with anyone else. Instead of teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are teaching a gospel that only talks about loving sacrifice. Jesus’ loving sacrifice is key to our salvation but if we eliminate the fact that we are enemies of God, deserving of His wrath, then we are taking away the power of the cross and neglecting that we are in need of a savior. We are dismissing the fact that we were separated from God and only Jesus through His death could reconcile the relationship between God and man. Who are we to strip the gospel of its power and glory? If that is the case, then we are also robbing Jesus of his abundantly deserved glory and praise. We can no longer take glory from God because of our ignorance in not knowing the gospel.
Therefore, we must reclaim the truth of the gospel. The gospel can be summarized into four main points for our retention: creation, fall, redemption, and glory. First, we were created by God in His image to enjoy communion with Him. Then came the fall. Sin entered into the perfect relationship we shared with God. We became sinful human beings, enemies of God, in need of a savior. We were separated from God after eating from the tree of life and we were exiled from the garden of Eden. Our desire to be all knowing like God severed the intimate relationship between God and man. Over thousands of years, humans follow God then rebel against Him and this cycle continues until Jesus leaves the glory of heaven to come to earth on a rescue mission to save us from our sin. Jesus came to reconcile and redeem our relationship with God. He willingly humbled himself, having never sinned, to take the full wrath of God on our behalf. Jesus died the death we should have died. But He doesn’t leave us there at the tomb. Jesus rose to life on the third day, defeating sin and death. We see Jesus’ power in the resurrection and we now have hope that when He returns as promised, we will join Him in Glory.
Maybe that’s why some people say that the gospel of Christ is offensive. The gospel is offensive because we must admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior. We don’t like to acknowledge our own depravity and sinful nature in our comfortable American Christianity. After all, the gospel reveals who we really are.