The finale of this series considers the basic difference between the church growth and Biblical models in reaching the lost. The church growth begins with human need. The Bible begins with God. The church growth intends to have the same message, but finds it harder to defend since human need—not God’s word—drives the approach. While Jesus often met human need, he never changed his message, whatever method his teaching used.
The church growth model puts unsaved humanity in charge. “If you start with us, you have to figure the best way to reach us, interest us, keep our interest, convince us that you have what we need or want at any particular time and, hardest of all, convict us of our need to believe God is the answer.
To eliminate human input, Jesus always started with God, persevered in staying with God and used miracles simply as an example of his authority to use his approach. Jesus said that God knows what our basic need is and won’t be deterred from it by our clamoring for things we want.
Thus, Jesus came as Savior because our basic need is to be forgiven. He came as Lord because he has the Right to order our lives because his Perfect sacrifice can forgive the whole world.
Jesus said that God knows how to interest us and satisfy us and provide for us, but it all begins with self-denial that repents of sin and receives baptism for forgiveness of sin.
Christianity’s ship of state has been run on the rocks by a generation of preaching seeking easy ways to influence the lost and encourage the saved, changing goals and procedures when nothing works as planned.
All the while the apostle Paul gave the solution: Preach the Gospel, Romans 1:16-17, because it is the righteous Power of God that creates faith in sinners that leads to their being convinced, leading to being converted, leading to repentance and baptism. In short, and mark it well; in short, and there is no long, only preaching Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord can raise the tide and re-float Christianity’s ship of state. And her guns can blast the myths men have erected to keep from admitting their sins, Christ’s Saviorhood and his right as Lord to direct their every daily activity.
We want to do it all for God in our way. God says he’s already done it all his way. And all we need do is preach the Gospel as he revealed it in Jesus Christ. –Fini-