Is it likely that in any church service, there are many present who have not had a life-changing conversion experience?*
They may carry Bibles;
they may call themselves Christ followers;
they may believe they are ‘saved’;
they may speak fluent “Christianese”;
but they have never truly placed their trust in Christ as their atoning sacrifice for sin?
Scripture: Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Why wouldn’t you find a way to preach the gospel in every message?
Isn’t it paramount that we follow Paul’s dictum and “determine to know nothing … except Jesus Christ and him crucified”? (1 Cor. 2:2)
How can we fail to preach the one message that will change both temporal and eternal destinies?
* Tim Keller has said that if this thought primer statement isn’t true, the preacher is even more responsible to “preach as if non-Christians are there” so that the congregation will get in the habit of inviting their friends and family members who need to hear the gospel.
Revised re-post from the archives (September 2010).