The statement is meant to provoke the hearts of believers to examine our presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In short, “Are we preaching the good news found only in Jesus, or are we merely offering the world His stuff; His Heaven?”
The Bible adamantly declares that the treasure of the gospel is Jesus. When we respond biblically to the gospel, we get Jesus… and that is more than enough. And by the way, we also get to go to heaven one day, because that’s where God’s home is.
From his prison cell, when Paul penned his letter to the Ephesian believers, he wanted to ensure there were no misunderstandings regarding their identity. He wanted them to know who they were.
In his first chapter, he assures them that they are already blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ. We should take note; the blessings all believers currently possess are spiritual… Paul wasn’t concerned with fancy new cars, homes, and boats. Material blessings are insignificant in the light of these blessings.
Paul wants his brothers and sisters in Ephesus to grasp that if they truly have experienced God’s grace, they can rest assured of two things. First, they now have a right standing before God. They have been justified… and their sins are forgiven. Second, they are no longer who they once were. They have experienced the regenerating power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have been changed, and they are a new creation in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 1; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15
So why the big push on the statement that this article began with from our community leaders? Because there is an alarming and growing number of professing believers clinging to a half-true gospel… which is no gospel.
Many are proclaiming that forgiveness is possible without the radical life-changing work of regeneration (new birth; born again). In other words, they want a home in heaven, an escape ticket from hell, but they don’t want Jesus. They don’t want to surrender to His Lordship, and they certainly don’t want His rules.
The Bible teaches the two provisions of the gospel are inseparable. When a person is born again, because the Holy Spirit takes up residence in their body as a guarantee of inheritance, good fruit will be produced and perseverance will be demonstrated. True believers will do the work of their Lord.
So as we share our faith today, let us remember, “What we win them with, we’ll win them to.” Will we proclaim to them Jesus, or will we offer them His stuff?