We hear the gospel at some point in our lives and we do two main things: accept it or reject it. Christians are people who have accepted the gospel. The problem is, us modern day Christians fail to see is that we still needs the gospel in our daily Christian walk.
The Satan Strategy
“We begin our discussion of strategies with the case of patients who still live within our magnificent darkness. Perhaps something has piqued their interest to the point that they are willing, even eager to entertain the thought of becoming a child of the Enemy. But one fact always works in our favor: hypocrisy is repulsive to them. The bipeds flee from it as if escaping the foulest of odors.
We witness this phenomenon often, as the church is considered by many to be the ultimate embodiment of two-facedness. They speak of love yet go on backbiting. They speak of forgiveness yet wallow in bitterness and shame.They even speak now and then of the Work itself yet seldom act like it is real.
Those who belong to us can smell their hypocrisy from such a distance that they have no desire to approach the scene, much less inquire of anything substantive. As long as the church is centered on the feeble proclamation of moral principles and ethical standards, we will maintain momentum in casting them as hypocrites.
Today’s prominent messages of behavior modification and self-improvement within the Body breed the very accusations of hypocrisy they work to dispel. And when they are blinded by us to the way of the Work, they cannot being to fathom where they err.”
This is an excerpt taken from the book “Operation Screwtape” by Andrew Farley. The book is a real, decoded message from a strange device. The message is an encrypted set of instructions passed on from one demon to another. If you notice, it is some sort of strategy that the demon is passing on.
The capitalization of the first letters of some word in this message is not mine. It is meant to be so – I believe because it holds a deeper meaning. The book is an eye-opener to what is happening behind the scenes in the spiritual realm.
The Lost Message
If you notice, the instruction tells of the way of the Work. It’s true that some churches today delve on messages about self-improvement and doing good. This is not at all wrong. However, if we lose the gospel somewhere along the way, then this begins to cloud what is really important.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” – The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:2
Paul focused on just one simple thing: Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This is the gospel. Often as Christians we think we no longer need to hear this because we’ve already accepted it. That’s a strategy of the Devil – to make us think we’re past that and skew our direction in life to the way of the Work.
In my company we reiterate our mission/vision statement because it dictates our values and goals as a team. Without it, we do not have direction. The gospel is even more important than a vision/mission statement. It is your way of life.
The Devil has complicated things even for us Christians – when the gospel is really simple to behold:
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.“ – Romans 10:9-10
There are only two things you need to do to be saved. Declare Christ is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead. Declaring Christ as Lord means He’s your master. The God who gets to call the shots in your life.
This is what’s really important. This is the heart of the gospel and the message that should be remembered and lived out – especially as Christians. That we are forgiven by grace, saved through faith, and called to carry our cross daily and follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We won’t live perfect lives and we shouldn’t declare to do so. The way of the Work can seem so appealing. We ourselves need that forgiveness everyday. We need that love everyday. We need to show the world that we are vulnerable and that only Christ’s love gives our lives direction, meaning and purpose.
You and I need the gospel more than we are led to think or believe. Don’t look past the cross.