Last night, as I was lying in bed not thinking of anything in particular that I was aware of, these lines came to me; “My life is not my own and this world is not my home. Forsake things unknown there, we live for His glory alone here.” The thought made an impression on me, so I put it on Instagram and went to sleep.
This morning when I woke up, I was still thinking about those words. After pondering those words again, I remembered something I heard throughout my childhood, “some people are so heavenly minded, they’re no earthly good.” That statement is such lousy theology. So many of the cute little phrases we’ve come up with are terrible theology. Being so heavenly-minded you’re no earthly good has been used to get people to think more about life here. The purpose, I assume, was to get us thinking about reaching the lost or something, but the fact is, we’ve become so earthly-minded we’re no heavenly good.
This morning, I saw a quote from A. W. Tozer on Dawn Hill’s Instagram that complimented what I had posted. “I want my Christianity to cost me something right down to the last gasp. I do not want an easy road or a convenient ministry or something that costs me nothing.”
How opposite that statement is to modern American Christianity. We make our churches look like conference centers, our worship services look like concerts, and we’ve replaced preaching and teaching with a TedTalk style. We have become so earthly-minded in our presentation we have lost the gospel. I think that’s why we call everything a gospel issue because the actual gospel is nowhere to be found. Our testimony has pretty much replaced the gospel. We’re instructed on how to share “our story” in two minutes or less. Testimonies are good, but they aren’t the gospel, and even if you put a little gospel sprinkle in your story, your story is still the main ingredient.
A famous quote, “preach the gospel, when necessary use words,” is another phrase we use that is just bad theology. If you’re preaching the gospel, you’re eventually going to have to use words. People don’t think they are sinners; people think they are good. This is another problem with American Christianity; we assume everyone understands sin, primarily because preachers don’t want to teach the consequences of sin. An understanding of the need for redemption starts with understanding you’re a sinner. Paul spent the first three chapters of Romans on the fact we are all sinners.
The need for cultural relevance and the world’s acceptance has taken over many churches and driven many pastors. If you go to your pastor’s social media or your favorite well-known preacher, podcasters, or author’s social media, can you tell they are a Christian? If you’re a pastor, would a stranger be able to tell, “there’s something different about you?” It’s a funny, sad reality that “there’s something different about you” is used as the selling point in today’s evangelism, yet we are so much like the world; how could anyone tell the difference?
We are passing through this world; this isn’t our home. Our possessions, popularity, and position will not matter in eternity. Every believer should be about the business of winning souls. But here’s a question, have we allowed cute catchphrases to excuse responsibility?
“Preach the gospel, when necessary use words” excuses us from actually sharing the gospel with words.
Romans 10:13-17 ESV “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
“It’s not Father, Son, and Holy Bible” is one of the most dishonoring statements I’ve ever heard. This statement is used to get believers not to question “new revelation” or “the move of the Spirit.” We are told to test the spirits in 1 John 4:1. The Son is The Word; in Revelation, His name is called the Word of God (Revelation 19:13). The Holy Spirit points us to Scripture, not inward impressions or outward signs.
It’s time to be heavenly-minded again. It’s time to take the holiness of God seriously again. Uzzah went to steady the ark and was killed because he didn’t honor God’s holiness. You may say that’s the Old Testament. Acts Chapter five is in the New Testament, and a couple was struck dead in the Temple for lying to the Holy Ghost. Holiness and reverence are serious business, not to be taken lightly. Our lives are not our own; we’ve been bought with a price, we are slaves to Christ. Our passions have been crucified; our purpose is from on high. It’s time to lay aside personal sin. It’s time for the Church to put away the world’s ways and live as if heaven is our home because it is. It’s time preachers preach the gospel like it is humanity’s only hope because it is. It’s time we live like holiness is required because it is (Hebrews 12:14).