Supply and demand – patio furniture sale in October

clearanceI just got an email from Walmart telling me that patio furniture is on clearance.  Two years ago someone from the church built a beautiful deck on the parsonage.  The United Methodist Women bought furniture for the deck and left it up to Diane and I to buy it.  We bought it this time of the year and got unbelievable deals.  Very few people in our area are thinking about patio furniture.  We’re thinking about leaf blowers and they are not discounted.  Stores have to discount patio furniture to get rid of it so they can make room for what is now in demand.

This is how too many in the American church are treating the Gospel.  Because our society does not want to hear about sin and their need to repent of sin, much of the American church is running a clearance on the Good News.  We act as if we will find people more receptive to a discounted, perverted, false gospel that says all people should be loved and celebrated just as they are with no need to change.

The truth is that the Word of God tells us that we are all broken and in need of change.  And it is only because we are loved that God’s Spirit makes us aware of our need to repent and be forgiven.  If we were just made aware of our sin without a remedy, that would be cruel.  But that is not the case.  Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from the dead has made a way for the repentant soul to be reconciled to Him.  And this is the Gospel, no matter how the enemy of God and even the well intentioned, yet mistaken, try to present it otherwise.

“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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