We had just left the drive through at McDonalds. Driving to the park for a picnic and some play time in the sun, I smiled at the nonstop chatter and laughter of my children.
When we sat at a table and opened our orders, my children quickly noticed that there were some food missing. “Where are the fries?” asked my five year old son. The fries that he claims is the best in the world is nowhere in sight.
Yes.. this mum made a rookie mistake by not checking our orders immediately upon receiving them. You might be rolling your eyes at my first world problem. You’re right. (Or at least partially right!) Half a fast food meal is not the end of the world.
I can definitely think of one thing that’s worse.
Preaching half the gospel. No way, you say? Read on..
Bits and pieces
There are some of us still living in Old Testament tents. And we also have the other group of people feeling all woke with their New Testament knowledge.
We quote half a verse about a holy God sending people to hell for sin (“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans chapter 6, verse 23)). If only we would consider sharing the rest of the verse too (“…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”))
There is always a lot of talk about loving people the way Jesus does (“Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (Matthew chapter 8, verse 7)) However, we seem to skim past the words that Jesus spoke next about repenting of sin (“Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” (Matthew chapter 8, verse 11))
Oh and don’t forget Christians, you have no right to judge anyone! Remember the Bible verse that says, “Do not judge anyone, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew chapter 7, verses 1 and 2) But wait a minute. Here’s a surprise from the Bible: “Do not judge by appearance but judge with right judgment.” (John chapter 7, verse 24)
There’s also the prosperity gospel boat that a whole bunch of Christians have jumped into. Sure, Jesus blesses and heals. (“I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John chapter 10, verse 10)) But remember, that He also said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew chapter 16, verses 24 – 26)
We only need to look at how the lives of the twelve disciples ended to know that the Christian life is not all sparkly bubbles and dancing unicorns. And if you think that was only in the Biblical days, read about the persecution (even to the point of death) that some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing today in 2021:
Jesus, when tempted by the devil to turn stones into bread, quoted the words in Deuteronomy, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew chapter 4, verse 4)
He did not say this word. Or that word. The word in this chapter. Or the word only in the New Testament.
And if we truly believe that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 16 – 17), then we need to start living that same way.
We need to stop preaching half the gospel.
We need to start digging deeper when reading the Bible.
Let’s live on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Mussita Ng is a follower of Jesus Christ from Wellington, New Zealand. Her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mussita-ng.html