Christians have sometimes been guilty of the old “bait and switch” when it comes to telling people about Christ. It’s like we’re marketing a cool new product that everybody should have. If you have that product, you’ll feel good, you’ll be happy and your messy life will be all fixed up.

The problem is that we don’t have confidence in the actual Gospel message and we think we need to “nice it up” to make it palatable and attractive.

But let’s not forget: God’s Word tells us that the reason we need Jesus is basically this:

  1. God is completely HOLY and perfectly JUST (or “fair”).
  2. As a completely holy and just God, He is going to hold each of us accountable for our lives – and His perfection is the standard by which we will be measured.
  3. He requires from each of us moral perfection and flawless obedience.

This is all GOOD NEWS for anybody who is completely perfect. These people don’t need Jesus. But for the rest of us … well, we have a problem. If God DEMANDS perfection, and I’m unable to be perfect, then I will face punishment from a Holy and Righteous God. Sounds like a set-up, doesn’t it?

Let’s just take a quick look at how the Bible “markets” becoming a follower of Christ:

  1. ROMANS 3:23 “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” No one is excluded – we all blow it.
  2. ROMANS 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, when we sin we “earn” a wage, and that wage is pretty unattractive. But God’s gift to us is forgiveness and eternal life.
  3. ROMANS 5:8 “… God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  4. ROMANS 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”
  5. ROMANS 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”

I need a savior. Jesus offers to be that savior. This is the marketing plan.

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  1. Angela says:

    I agree, but don’t you think the idea that a “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” is a principle of human nature that we should embrace? I don’t thin you mean to downplay the positive stuff and just scare everyone into accepting Jesus with threats of fire and brimstone, right? I, for one, was really drawn to the joy that I saw in a particular person (who was a believer) and that’s how I made my first steps toward accepting Christ.

  2. Cshore says:

    Good post, and thanks for the scripture references. I’ve actually run into a lot more “God will smite you unless you repent” in the church and not so much what you’re talking about (although I’m aware of it). Both approaches are off-center. The truth is well expressed here in your article. Thanks! Charlotte

  3. Vin Lewis says:

    This is great stuff. We seem to think we need to make the gospel sexier and more appealing when we in fact we really just need to tell it more *clearly*. Your last line sums it up beautifully. Thanks Scott!

  4. Terry Vaughn says:

    God’s “fairness” is always a hard thing to get across. I think you’ve expressed our dilemma and Christ’s solution in a simple and beautiful way. I’m going to share this.

  5. andy reynolds says:

    well said.

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