The Simplicity of the Gospel
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)
I have traveled all around the world and have preached in every kind of venue imaginable, yet I never cease to be amazed by the power of the gospel. Regardless of how educated or how illiterate people are, no matter how wealthy or how poor they are, whatever their circumstances, the gospel always connects.
People have sometimes come away from a Harvest Crusade commenting on how simple my message was. But that simplicity was intentional. As I am preparing a message, I reach a point where I start clearing away the clutter so that it is as simple as it possibly can be. Why? Because I don’t want anything to clutter the message of the cross of Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). I can’t emphasize this enough. The message is not Christianity; it is Jesus Christ. The message is not religion. I don’t want to make people religious. I don’t even want to be religious myself. In fact, if it weren’t for a relationship with Jesus, I would not be a religious person. Some people love the rituals of religion. Not me. I have no interest in them whatsoever. But I have the greatest interest in having a relationship with God.
I once had the opportunity to ask Billy Graham, “If you knew as a younger man what you know today after preaching the gospel all of these years, what would you tell yourself that you need to do more of?”
He told me, “I would preach more on the cross and the blood of Christ, because that is where the power is.”
I thought that was good advice. And I’ve tried to keep it.
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