The greatest need of the church today is a strategic, full-orbed, robust, biblical grasp of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its transformative implications. We don’t need more glitz or glamour, better marketing or programs, snazzier décor or entertainment. We do need a whole-Bible grasp of the Gospel.
Heart. God speaks here of our “heart.” Perhaps you have been taught that the heart is the “center of the emotions.” That sense may dominate English poetry and songs and movies, but it isn’t the biblical idea. In the Bible, the heart is the fountainhead of the way we live (Prov. 4:23). It is the seat not only of our emotions, but of our calculated plans (Gen. 6:5; Prov. 16:1, 9, etc.), our intellect (Prov. 18:15), our values (Matt. 15:18), and our decisions (1 Cor. 7:37). Our heart is, in short, action central. It is where we do our thinking, cherishing, and deciding. So you see this...
My point: If there is to be a rescue operation for us children of Adam, aimed at bringing us to anything like God meant us to be, it has to overcome not only our sin and depravity, but the fact that sin makes us utterly uninterested in the solution. In fact, we would be repelled by it. C. S. Lewis spoke for us all: “Amiable agnostics will talk cheerfully about ‘Man’s search for God.’ To me . . . they might as well have talked about the mouse’s search for the cat.”11
We must deal with the fact: The Gospel is offensive to human pride. If what we preach as “Gospel” is not offensive, we’re doing it wrong. An inoffensive Gospel is a false Gospel, a damning Gospel—because the only Gospel that saves is the Gospel that offends (1 Cor. 1:18, 21, 23; 2:2; Gal. 1:10; 5:11; 6:12, 14).