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Consumer Driven Gospel

Is your church consumer driven or should I ask do you have a consumer driven gospel?

Many today try to sell the church of Christ as they would a product that is on the market. I pass Church announcement boards all the time that read something like this:

 

Have a better life, try Jesus.

Heaven or Hell, Your Choice.

If you would like to go to heaven, then come to Jesus.

 

These examples and many others are nothing more than advertisements for the consumer driven gospel. This gospel tries to appeal to the natural desires of men. It promises a better life, better marriage, or better way. This gospel promises to give the natural man what he wants without making a commitment to God. In other words natural man certainly does not want to go to Hell, yet he certainly does not want Christ either.

When I pass Church signs with their little slogans on it, I shake my head and laugh because I see that the sign is just an ad. It is no more than the beer ad that I passed before I got to the church. The beer ad promised a smooth, cool, refreshing drink. The church ad tried to sell the kingdom of God just by trying Jesus. What is the difference? They are both trying to sell something.

However let’s turn this around and place it back upon the Christian. I have heard many Christians speak of not liking a service because they did not get anything out of it. They complain because the Pastor never shook their hand. They complain that the music was not to their liking. I know that this has more to do with consumer driven worship, but what is similar in the two scenarios just given? There both centered on a consumer driven gospel.

I realize that what I have stated in this small post is simple, but that is my purpose. I do not wish that anyone miss what I am saying. The gospel is not to be centered on man. The gospel is not about how we may profit if we try it. Nor are we to come to Church expecting the service to be centered on ourselves. But we ought to center the gospel on Christ where it belongs.

The gospel has an object and that object is Jesus. His life, death, burial, and resurrection are the gospel. So the objective part of the gospel is about Christ. Nevertheless there is also a subjective element to the gospel and that is the benefits that we derive from it. In other words Christ lived, died, was buried, and resurrected, but he did not do this for himself, but done these things for his people.

Therefore we ought to think before we decorate our signs with ads of eternal bliss. We ought to think before we get into the pulpit and preach our messages. We ought to stop and ask ourselves several questions. Did Jesus have to die for this church slogan to be placed here? Did Jesus have to die in order that this message that I am about to preach could be preached? In other words what we do should bring glory to Christ and ought to bring glory to the gospel of which he is the central part.

Hershel Lee Harvell Jr.

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