The Great Disconnect of Christianity: “God Loves Me” is Not the Message

 

It’s why the Church is so crippled, so impotent.  It’s why 75% of Americans claim to be Christians, and yet our culture doesn’t reflect that influence.

I stayed home Sunday and listened to David Platt as he expounded on this truth in a way that forced me to examine my own motives.

” ‘God loves me’ is not the message of biblical Christianity.”

Wow.  Interesting the cliches we adopt as theology.  (Which is why I recently started #theologicallysoundmemes on my Generation Cedar Facebook page.) He admits that this truth is completely counter-culture.  But how often we adopt the vision of the culture rather than that of God.

Look at the object of that sentence…”ME.” And “Me” is not the object of Christianity….not even close.

“God loves me so that His grace and His love and His glory and His majesty may be made known among the nations through me.”

It doesn’t end with ME.  He didn’t just die for ME, but so that I could make his grace and forgiveness known in the world.  That’s why salvation is only the beginning.  After that, we are indebted to a Savior and all we do in life is supposed to exalt Him.  Convicting anyone?

“So, God had an ulterior motive when He sent His Son to die?  ‘Yes.’ ” Platt says.

So that through His redeemed, He would be glorified.

“How could any of us be so arrogant to think we are at the center of His universe?  GOD is at the center of His universe.”

And so it’s not about what I want in life, really….a true disciple is sold out (“at once they left their nets and followed Him”), surrendered to the call of Christ on his life–a lump of clay, willing to be conformed to the shape of His Creator.

God help me…I am so self-centered.

“We can only have a God-centered mission when we have a God-centered God.

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4 Responses to “The Great Disconnect of Christianity: “God Loves Me” is Not the Message”

  1. Andrea says:

    Been convicted left and right the past 24 hours, thanks! I sort of mean thanks, sort of not!!! 😉 Constantly asking myself what am I doing? Is this living for Christ or for self. Of course it isn’t about us. Of course. But why is it so easy to live like it is? Thank you very much for this simple reminder. Simple in that it makes so much sense, not so simply in implementation.

  2. I agree with you, Andrea! Not that simple. I guess that’s why Paul said we must crucify our flesh daily.

  3. Laura says:

    Sometimes though I think that people are so afraid of “oversimplifying” the gospel, that they end up adding to the finished work of Jesus. The gospel IS simple. It is easy to get saved, a child CAN understand it. The gospel is: God loved me too much to leave me in my sin and sent His son to die for me. Discipleship, taking up one’s cross are of course important but they won’t save you. They are things you learn as you grow in the Lord. I mean honestly, if it’s not a simple message, then what about death bed conversions? What about the thief on the cross? Also, I think it’s biblical to think of oneself in terms of “God loves me.” Didn’t John call himself the disciple whom Jesus loved? Just some thoughts because I get concerned when people add to the simple gospel message. In Acts it says ‘believe in the Lord Jesus christ and you will be saved’ not believe, take up your cross, become a disciple and be saved. I got saved at my mother’s knee when I was seven. It wasn’t until I was much much older that i knew what that meant and was able to truly start living for Christ. But i was 100% saved that day at 7 years old.

  4. D. says:

    Hi Laura,

    I agree that the Gospel is meant to be simple, for any age, culture, language, etc… The wonder of it all is how it can be so simple, yet so deep and endless. I am sure that when we are truly saved, the Lord begins His work in us, which eventually does lead to an understanding of suffering and sanctification. You are right that a child may not fully understand all of it upon salvation, but make no mistake, if it is true salvation (not emotionalism), then we can be sure God will bring about all the other truths He has purposed.

    I think what Kelly means is that today seeker friendly churches and shallow Christianity wants to spread a message that simply says, “God loves you.” Isn’t that just what our egos want to hear? We already love ourselves so much and leaving a half message like, “God loves you,” is why so many believe they can continue in sin and yet still have God’s favor. I wonder if what Kelly wants to make a point of, is that it doesn’t end there with God loving me. He loves me WITH THE INTENT to deliver me from sin and it’s wages of death. He loves me WITH THE INTENT that I repent and make my life about His glory.

    We wrongly assume that if we just tell people Jesus is all about love that they will flock to Him. But you cannot lead people to a loving God, if they first do not understand the depths of His love – that He gave up His life because my sin sent Him to the cross. The Gospel message is not a complete message if it only focuses on ME and how God loves ME, yet doesn’t address my offense against Him. But I’m pretty sure you agree with all of that. 🙂

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