What are some messages that people falsely claim are the gospel?

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What is the gospel?

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The gospel is the good news about what Jesus Christ has done to reconcile sinners to God. Here’s the whole story:

Should church services primarily be for evangelizing non-Christians or building up Christians?

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First Corinthians 14 provides us with some of the most detailed instruction about the corporate gatherings of Christians in all of the New Testament. In this chapter, Paul explains that church services should primarily be for building up Christians.

What are some weaknesses in current missional thinking?

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Historical revisionism. Many missional authors make a far bigger deal out of our culture’s move to postmodernity than a sober biblical assessment warrants. 

What are some strengths in current missional thinking?

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Corporate witness. Some missional authors rightly emphasize that the church’s corporate witness hugely impacts its faithfulness and success in carrying out the mission God has given it. Missional living. Missional writers rightly urge evangelical Christians to adopt a missional posture, gearing all of their lives around fulfilling the Great Commission.

What is the local church’s mission according to the Bible?

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According to Scripture, the local church’s mission is to proclaim, preserve, and display the gospel.

What is the missional church?

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The basic premise of the missional church is that mission is the very essence of the church. This is a larger claim than saying that every individual member of the church is a missionary: it is a claim that the church itself is a sign, a foretaste, an instrument, and an agent of God’s kingdom reign on earth.

Does the emerging church get the gospel right?

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The short answer is that some individuals identifying themselves as “emerging” get the gospel right and some don’t. And often it’s not easy to tell whether someone has “crossed the line” and denied the gospel. Some individuals affirm the right things but emphasize the wrong things. Others affirm the right things but entirely redefine them. Still others affirm parts of the truth and say nothing about the rest of the truth.

Is the main point of the gospel the transformation of culture?

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Absolutely not. The main point of the gospel is the forgiveness of sins through the death of Christ (Luke 24:47).  One promise of God that is bound up with the gospel is that one day God will graciously re-create a new earth in which his people will dwell with him in perfect harmony (Rom. 18-25; Rev. 21:1-22:5). So, one day there will be a totally transformed culture, composed entirely of God’s perfected people dwelling in a new earth.

Why are so many church leaders today talking about contextualization?

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A lot of people today are talking about contextualization because it’s a fancy way to justify targeting the subset of the population they like best. Some people argue that we have to “contextualize” the gospel and the church into punk rock culture, or elite urban culture, or artsy hipster culture, or rich suburban culture in order to reach such groups of people.

Must evangelism always be accompanied by social action?

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No. But…

How can a pastor develop a church’s corporate evangelistic witness?

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Preach expositionally. As your people hear God’s word every week they will increasingly reflect his glory to the world. Week by week their lives will become a more focused picture of their savior, Jesus Christ. Preach the gospel every week. As your people hear the gospel every week they will grow in their appreciation for it, their understanding of it, and their ability to share it with others.

What is the connection between an individual’s evangelism and his or her church’s corporate witness?

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A church’s corporate witness will either enhance or undermine an individual’s evangelism.

Why should we evangelize?

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Desire to be obedient. Jesus commands his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Peter says to all Christians, “Be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15, NIV). Peter says this to explain how we are to “set apart Christ as Lord,” that is, how we are to obey him. We should evangelize because God commands it.

What are the dangers of being too contextualized?

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Compromising our witness to the gospel. One danger of being too contextualized is that in attempting to adapt to cultural practices of those around us we adapt our way into sin or untruth and so compromise our witness to the gospel. Losing the sharp edges of the gospel. If we focus too much on making our message relevant, or appealing, or palatable to non-Christians, we may be tempted to adjust the gospel at those points where it is most offensive.