I became a believer as a teenager. Having been raised in church, I knew all the right things to say and do, but I didn’t make it mine until high school. Then I made it really mine. I became a passionate evangelist to all my friends. The Gospel was (and is) very personal to me.
I remember one particular encounter in which I tried to present the Gospel as easy and simple. I tried to explain: you just need to believe. But then my thoughts got all jumbled with a dozen or more “hafftoos” — you haftoo believe Jesus is God and that He died for your sins and that His sacrifice is enough to get you to Heaven and you have to pray to ask Him into your heart … AND you haftoo surrender to His lordship and read your Bible and go to church and get baptized and live a better life and … Well, that’s all you have to do. That’s all? Really??
Christians often try to present the Gospel in palatable, bite-sized steps. In doing so, we too often get it wrong. We present practical half-truths and then try to follow up with more complete (also bite-sized) addenda. In the process, those whom we try to reach feel duped. Instead of seeing joy and freedom in God’s grace, they see rules and lots and lots of strings attached to this “free” gift. Worse: they want little or nothing to do with our God. Don’t we want more for them? For ourselves?
Author Mary DeMuth has a new book coming out next month. It’s called Everything and it emphasizes this very point. Accepting the Gospel is only one step — SURRENDER — but that step is a doozie. It’s not easy to surrender, but that’s all it takes.
Learn more about the book (releasing October 16th) and read the first three chapters HERE.
For more thoughts on the Gospel and “all you have to do”, check out this post.