A majority of today’s preachers and teachers of the gospel is stuck in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and even earlier. Their style and presentation are bland, unattractive and out dated. Many of them consistently use terms and jargon most people do not understand. Some of them even fail to recognize that sinners do not need courses in theology and Christology. Sinners need alternatives; solid concrete reasons why they should turn from their way of living and stand up for Jesus. Let’s face it, the gospel is adaptable. Whether we use music, art or any other method; the gospel should be easy to accept. Jesus used parables to get His audience’s attention.
A parable is a short story that illustrates a universal truth, one of the simplest of narratives. It sketches a setting, describes an action, and shows the results. It often involves a character facing a moral dilemma, or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences.
Parables appear in both the Old and New Testaments but are more easily recognizable in the ministry of Jesus. After many reject him as Messiah, Jesus turned to parables. When His disciples asked, “Why do you use parables when you speak to the crowds?”
Jesus replied, “Because they haven’t received the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but you have. For those who have will receive more and they will have more than enough. But as for those who don’t have, even the little they have will be taken away from them. This is why I speak to the crowds in parables: although they see, they don’t actually see; and although they hear, they don’t actually hear or understand. What Isaiah prophesied has become true for them:.
You will hear, but never understand; and you will certainly see but never recognize what you are seeing. And they’ve become hard of hearing.
And they’ve shut their eyes so that, they won’t see with their eyes or hear with their ears or understand with their minds, and change their hearts and lives that I may heal them. “Happy are your eyes because they see. Happy are your ears because they hear. I assure you that many prophets and righteous people wanted to see what you see and hear what you hear, but they didn’t.
Thank you for this post. I’m going to respond with a story. I’ll put the link here when it’s written.
Thanks so much for your comment nuvofelt. I look forward to receiving the link. God blesses.
Here’s the link. http://muchthoughtfood.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/i-want-to-tell-you-a-story/
More understandable, relateable, and relevant, surely, as long as it isn’t watered down pap made to pacify and appease so that they join in and yet don’t really care if they accept the Lord or whether they are just comfortable as part of a group that symbolizes the truth and yet really isn’t. Great post and needed conversation! God bless you Noel!
Thanks so much for your input Loopyloo. I totally agree with you. However, I believe the gospel can be simplified without watering it down. Jesus did not water down the gospel when He turned to parables. Too many of our preachers develop their discourse to appeal to the body of Christ rather than to sinners. Jesus made it clear in Luke 5: 32, “I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. In verse 31 of that same chapter, He commented as follows: “… They that are whole need, not a doctor; but they that are sick”.
I agree, and the parables themselves are wonderful teaching tools!!! Babies in Christ need the baby food, if they are truly in love with the Lord, they will be hungry for more substance soon!
Exactly my point, Looyloo. God blesses
But the body of Christ are sinners, one and the same. I agree with Loopyloo. If the Gospel can be taught in a simple way without watering it down that sounds okay. God Bless.
Thanks so much for your input Teresa. Sinners and the body of Christ are not exactly the same. There is a difference between the two. However, I understand your point. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. I am not for watering down the gospel. Nevertheless, I think preachers need to be creative. They should make their sermons more attractive to unbelievers. John 3:16 is a powerful scripture, but it does not mean anything to a person who do not know Christ.
Good post Noel. As one who “simplifies” the Gospel as much as I can, for my own better understanding of it, I can relate to this post. I do not “water it down” as I much believe in every single word in there. As one who at one time in my life, made God very hard, it was hard for me to truly be a “happy Christian.” I was always hard on myself and hard on others.
There is much to be said for “simple truth.” To me that is what the Gospels are, “simple truths.” The “simple truths” of the Bible do not have to be a “weapon” to be used in our own lives, or to “judge” others by. They simply need to be “lived” by us, and “conveyed” to others. (I think I am preaching to myself here:>)
Good post and God Bless, SR
No S.R! You are not preaching to yourself. Every Christian needs encouragement. Even our Pastors and Bishops do. I agree with you. The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple and straightforward to the believer because the Holy Spirit revealed it to him. However, it is foolishness to the unbeliever. That is the reason I believe preachers should simplify the gospel. The unbeliever needs to hear something he or she can relate to. That is the only way we are going to pull them into the body of Christ.
Thanks so much for stopping by and lending your voice to this extremely touchy subject. God blesses.
AWESOME POST NOEL! I agree! I also find agreement with the folks who have concern for the “watered down theory”, but I sincerely felt you made your point clear in the message & that we all stand in agreement with the “Gospel Truth”.
I’m of the belief that all born-again, on-fire, Bible lovin’, etc. Christians…
[Why is it that I feel I have to clarify and state the difference whenever I say “Christian”?],
… truly feel the need to spit out all lukewarm [compromised, “watered down”, etc.] living, having experienced the distaste of it.
With that being said, I was so REFRESHED by the sustenance of this message Noel. It clears away the chaff, the diversions, the religiosity that distracts & sometimes divides believers & not-yet believers alike, and gets us to the meat, the direction, the Heart and Truth of the matter; all the while making it acceptable for us to be creative in how the Holy Spirit evangelizes through us to the seeker.
What you describe to me is a bridge. Helping others to get from where they are to where He is and giving real life applications of how we got/get there. I have said this many times… “There is but One Way, One Truth, One Life to The Father [“Jesus”], but there are many ways we are found~ finding [& following] Jesus.” The thief on the cross next to Jesus who said “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”[Luke 23:42] did not walk one day in Christian service or was led through the salvation prayer, but having saw/experienced/heard Jesus is where? “And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” [Luke 23:42]
So where do we fit in? I believe we are to illustrate & connect with others by sharing the who, what, & where we’ve been, highlighting the way to the Who, the What, & the Where[for all] we are with now. And if the Lord can miraculously rescue & do for us, He can do it for all… as “WELL”.
“It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”
[1 Timothy 1:15-16]
Thank you again Noel! It’s like you read my mail [mind & heart]. You truly are Spirit-led. May the LORD BLESS you INDEED!
Thanks so much for your input Julie. I profoundly appreciate you stopping by and lending your voice to the debate. Many of my Christian brothers and sisters are worried about watering down the gospel. I get my Q from Jesus. He turned to parables when everything else failed. The parable of the Good Samaritan is a perfect example of how to simplify the gospel without watering it down.
Wonderful post, Noel! No more need be said. You made very clear the distinction between watering down the gospel of Jesus Christ, as opposed to simplifying it, as Jesus did when He spoke using parables! The comments were great, as well! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m glad I stopped by! May the Lord bless you, abundantly!
Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement Minister Paulette. The brothers, Andrew and Simon were fishermen. And Jesus said unto them, “Come after Me, and I will make you fishers of men”(Mark 1:17). Every fisherman knows that all baits are not equal.
Hello, Noel! Beautiful post here.
I hope this is an OK place for an announcement: You’ve been tagged!
Biltrix has tagged Water My Flowers Lord for the Blogathon Award. If you wish to partake, please check out our post for details. God bless!
Darn it! Copy past error… how embarrassing. Yes, I also tagged Water My Flowers Lord, but I meant to say in this comment (above) that the
Biltrix has tagged This Blogging Thing for the Blogathon Award. If you wish to partake, please check out our post for details. God bless!
Pardon my hastiness, please.
The heading had me a little concerned (although I knew YOU wouldn’t be saying we should compromise the truth).
The heading does reflect what many Churches are doing. Sadly, it too often happens that during a whole Church service there will be almost no mention of Christ, and nothing of His finished work of redemption. Too many Churches are becoming little more than a social club, more concerned about numbers than about people becoming blood-bought, adopted children of the living God with a change of life that glorifies Him.
I agree with you, however, that any way to make the Gospel more easily understood (without compromising the truth) SHOULD be used and that ‘Christian lingo’ should be avoided. Although only Holy Spirit can give spiritual understanding to the spiritually dead [1 Cor 2:14] we need to proclaim the message clearly and simply.
I greatly appreciate your comment Angela. Jesus spoke parables to His audiences because He knew they did not have spiritual understanding. When His disciples questioned His motives this is how He answered: ““Because it has been given to you to know the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it has not been given to them” (Matthew 13:11). Much of the information some preachers use in their sermons are more suitable for Bible study.
Thanks so much for stopping by. God blesses.
Thanks so much for stopping by. God blesses.
You’re on target here. We’ve been working to get long-time believers to understand this point as well. We must present the gospel in away people can understand and relate to. Thanks for writing.
Of course we should! That’s the very thing that Jesus did. I was reading about the mustard see parable the other day in a book called, Jesus For President. It talked about the mustard seed and how important it was for the Jews to keep it out of their gardens. Most of us don’t even know what a mustard seed is let alone how fast it can grow.
Thanks so much for your comment my friend. I am happy you have stopped by and essentially agreed with the central point of my post. The gospel should be simple and easy to understand….God blesses.