Making disciples is the natural or better yet supernatural overflow of being a disciple. And claiming the love of Christ is the overflow of sharing in the life of Christ. And I’m convinced many people in our churches are just simply missing the life of Christ. And a lot of it has to do with what we’ve sold them as the Gospel (i.e., Pray this prayer; accept Jesus into your heart; Invite Christ into your life). Should it not concern us that there is no such superstitious prayer in the New Testament? Should it not concern us that the Bible never uses the phrases ‘accept Jesus into your heart’ or ‘invite Christ into your life’? It’s not the Gospel we see being preached. It’s modern evangelism built on sinking sand. And it runs the risk of disillusioning millions of souls. It’s a very dangerous thing to lead people to think that they are Christian when they have not biblically responded to the Gospel. If we’re not careful, we will take the Gospel—the lifeblood—out of Christianity and put Kool-Aid in its place so that it will taste better to the crowd. It’s not just dangerous; it’s just damning. Then, when we think about making disciples, we think “well it’s just about going out and getting people to pray the prayer.” We spread that. No, let’s give them the full picture of the Gospel. Let’s show people the greatness of God—Yes. He is a Father who loves us. He’s a loving Father who will save us—But, he is also a wrathful Judge who may damn us.
Quote is from a YouTube video of the Verge Conference.
David Platt is the Senior Pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Al., & author of Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream