Long winded title, but I feel that it really captures what I want to talk about today. Do note that “we” may or may not apply to you. Throwing it out there that this is however, probably true for a majority of the North American Christian population. The title of the post is “I think we sometimes forget, but I’m sure that we’ve forgotten.” What have we ‘forgotten‘ as North American Christians? And I feel that the most basic form of the answer is simple. We’ve forgotten about God’s Holy Spirit.
I don’t mean that in the sense that we’ve forgotten The Holy Spirit himself, but rather we’ve forgotten about The Holy Spirit’s power. I’m running into this problem where my entire life, while growing up I was told that, “When you believe in God, all your problems will go away and you’ll have a great life.” When that’s not true at all. Heck, that line even made me suffer because I thought I was following God wrong when bad things happened to me. I grew up listening to something that is called the “prosperity gospel” saying that the Christian life will be easy, everything will be laid out in front of me, and all will be well. This is definitely not true. I’ve gone through a bunch of stuff in my life, and I’m sure you’ve been through a lot in your own. The world was advertising Christianity like any other ad that I saw on T.V. “Buy our product, it’ll make you happy! As an added bonus, you’ll go to Heaven! Best of all, it’s free.“ But what does Christ say? He says in the bible countless times that we will suffer, that we will be persecuted, and that the world will rejected. What else did He say? He said that in order to follow Him, it will cost us everything we own. I struggled with this a while back, always wondering why there was such a discrepancy.
I didn’t really share my answer when I found it, but I’ll share it now. It’s for the exact reason that I mentioned in my first paragraph. We’ve forgotten the Holy Spirit’s power. I guess we were scared. We were scared that the “full” gospel would be too strong for people. That it would scare them off. So we dumbed it down. We made it sound short, and we made it sound sweet, just like commercials! And we made it free. And yet, many are falling away from the faith, and not many are coming to it. We forgot one important aspect. It is not our power that brings people to Christ, but rather the Holy Spirit’s power. He is the one that will give us words, and He is the one that will move the hearts of those we speak to. In acts, we hear amazing numbers. Someone starts preaching in the public, and thousands are saved. Yes, there’s contextual and cultural differences to the situation back then, but I believe the biggest difference is that they were willing to let God’s Holy Spirit
That was the more important thing that I wanted to talk about, but I feel that we’re making one more big mistake. I believe that we’re underestimating people. We feel that if we give the entirety of the gospel, we’ll scare people away, so we need to “dumb it down” a bit. Make a “PG13” version or something. But I don’t think we need to. People are searching for meaning. There was this story that I heard about someone who had committed suicide (I don’t know if it’s true or not). Her family wasn’t poor, her family was actually quite well off. She had apparently lived a fairly good life. The note she had left behind when she went to kill herself said something along the lines of this, “You gave me everything to live with, but you never gave me anything to live for.” Friends, people are searching for depth and meaning. Why are we giving them anything less? Jesus Christ’s message was life, and life to the full. A difficult life, but a fulfilling life. Yet we speak of a “spoon-fed” life, an easy life. Why? The Good News is Good News. Why are we trying to change it?
Please comment below if something’s unclear or you have any comments/ questions! I’m going to leave this link to this song here.