the gospel is more than evangelism.

I’ve been telling a story these last 8 blog posts. I got through August of 2012. But I have to interrupt myself. The story can wait.

Today, my pastor preached Christ.

and I mean he PREACHED Christ.

In his words, “TESTIFY!

Today, my pastor preached an evangelical sermon. Not one person left my church today without hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not one person left my church today without hearing how their lives could be changed by placing their faith in Jesus.

not. ONE.


I sought him out. I had to tell him:

I am actively praying that the culture of this church and the foundation of every sermon will be saturated in the core of the message you gave today. THANK YOU.”

but here’s the thing.

the gospel is so much bigger than a sermon.

one sermon canNOT change the culture of my church.

one man canNOT change the culture of my church.

Even if He tried to do it through sermons alone, not every sermon can be about accepting Jesus. Evidencing the gospel of Jesus Christ is much more straightforward within the context of an evangelistic sermon than it is in sermons addressing every facet of our lives as Christians.

The gospel is much MUCH more than evangelism.

I need to say that again, even louder.

The gospel is much MUCH more than evangelism.

I’m a reader. It’s a freakish obsession. And I’ve learned something I want to know more about.

Jesus can be found in EVERY. Book. of. the. Bible.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me” John 5:39


I want to hear more. I want to learn more. I NEED to learn more.

I want to dig DEEPER than what this kid can tell me in 4 minutes

I want to find Jesus in every nook and cranny of my Bible. EVERY WEEK.

I will NEVER tire of learning about the redemptive story of Jesus Christ.


To read the next post in this series, click here: “I do not think it means what you think it means.

jesus manifesto“Now, you may be thinking, Okay, the message of the Bible is Christ; I got it. But we have to talk about other things too. Didn’t Paul talk about singing, home life, master-slave relationships, and his coworkers in Colossians 3 and 4?

Yes, he did. However, he addressed all of these topics in the light of Christ. The other subjects were like spokes in a wheel, the wheel being Christ Himself…

So Christ is found in the big picture, but He’s also found in the smallest details. he’s at the forefront of all spiritual things, yet He’s present in the practical things as well.

How did Paul put it in Colossians 3:11? “Christ is all and in all.”

Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

[This post is the eighth in a multi-part series, written mostly in early autumn 2012, published now for the first time. Here are the previous posts in order by date:

1. “irreconcilable differences.”
2. “the assumption of Christ.
3. “desperate.”
4. desperate prayers. “mean” prayers.
5. the wisdom of the wise.
6. going through the motions.
7. metaphor for awakening.

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