- The Church Has Sinned By Misrepresenting Christ. The Lord Jesus called the first disciples and made them His disciples. His intent was to have a group of people that would be His messengers and representatives in the world after He has been received into the heavens after completion of His work on earth. In His selection, He chose people that would be ambassadors of the King, the Messiah. These people he first chose them to be with Him and to send them out (Mark 3:14). They would later be called apostles, the sent ones who bore the most treasured message of salvation and redemption to the world of the lost sinners (Luke 24:47). Not only were they to bring sinners to the foot of the Cross, they were also given a greater responsibility of multiplication, duplication and reproduction. They had to make disciples and teach them to observe whatever things the Lord had taught and commanded them (Matthew 28:18-20).
It is important to understand that when Christ first came into the world, the angels made it clear that his work was salvific. Christ Jesus would save His people from sin (Matthew 1:21). When he was born, the angels announced to the shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) Christ came as the promised Saviour, but, we have to ask ourselves, he came to save humanity from what? It is clear from the biblical record that Christ came into the world to save mankind from sin. The apostle John records that when John the Immerser saw Christ, he confessed, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) The problem with the world is not poverty, war or other chaos that prevailed or is still prevailing today. All those were the fruit of sin and the unfruitful works of a dark world stained by sin. The world needed a savior, a deliverer from sin.
Because of sin, the world has been under the sway of the evil one and humans have introduced the most inconceivable when they were sinning at their worst. There goes the record of Scripture, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8) Sin has been the major problem of humanity and God in his indignation has left humans to do as they please, not because it was right, but because as free moral agents, they chose to deliberately disobey God and turn away from His righteous requirements. And when one commits sin, he becomes a slave of it. “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” (John 8:34)
Solomon once wrote, “So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter” (Ecclesiastes 4:1) Sin enslaved and oppressed humanity. There was no way out as humans were sold to the slave market of sin. The only hope was for man to turn to the Lord. If man had to turn to the Lord, by what means? What could one use to atone for his own soul, for God had said that sacrifices and offerings were not pleasing to Him? (Hebrews 10:5-10). Thus, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
He came not to judge the world. His mission was not condemnation; He came to seek and to serve that which is lost (Luke 19:11). Even when He came to save the sinner, He neither approved of sin but gave it a sharp rebuke. Unlike the religious leaders of the day, Christ looked upon sinners with compassion. He already knew how lost, damned and vulnerable they were, hence, he was moved with compassion for the lost. The religious leaders knew the people were lost and damned, but they sought to condemn and not to help (e.g. John 8, the woman caught in adultery), for they too, were under the burden of sin, dying in their self-righteousness which is as filthy as unclean rags (Isaiah 64:6). Sinners stand in the eyes of God condemned for eternity unless through the mediatorship of Christ “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).
To this end, we are informed by the Holy Spirit, Christ has made the church to be his ambassadors, carrying with it His ministry of reconciliation and bringing sinners to faith. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21) Our mission and job as the Church is to represent Christ as the Saviour of the world. To this, were we called!
Sadly, over the past two millennia, the Church has dramatically shifted from its main task of presenting Christ the Saviour to the world. Like the Pharisees, the Church has concentrated on rituals and systems of religion that have ignored the main agenda on God’s heart. The church has engaged in many areas of society and religion, has influenced politics and all forms of social life. There is nothing wrong with that, and it deserves a great thank you from the world. However, have we been to that level where people have been so active in the Church doing everything in the name of Christ and for Christ and yet failed to present the true Christ to the world? When the world looks at the Church today, how does it view us in light of our acts and works as evidenced by history? The church is viewed as a humanitarian society, as a religion, or as a means of social and political change in some areas? How far have we been able to penetrate the social structures of our community and have we been able to permeate them with the Gospel of Christ?
There is nothing wrong in building schools and hospitals as part of a missions mindset, for we not only have a sense of duty and service to the Lord, but also to our fellow men. Our good works should shine and men should praise our Lord. But what use is there is we build schools and hospitals, improve the physical lives and conditions of humans on old mother earth and fail to prepare them to meet their God? Of what good use are all the charitable works of the Church if at the end, we fail to present Christ as Saviour to the world? Are we peddling a new kind of gospel of a Christ who no longer gets angry at sin, who is so powerful to bring social change, improve physical conditions and bring joy to people but fails dismally in saving them from sin?
Many countries claim they are Christian countries, but there is an ever exploding rate of sin, crime, moral vice and all forms of ills that pervade such countries. Is the fault with the people or the church in the community? The church should let its light shine, but when it turns to darkness, it’s of no use. The church should be holy and separate from sinners, in the world but not of the world, with its worldview and value system totally separate, but here we are, compromising the holy standards and making them common so that we may look acceptable to the world. When the world seeks the voice of the Church today, it is to engage it in social change and not in matters of spirituality that addresses the problem of sin and God’s solution.
We are aware that many preachers have sold their spiritual birthright for a piece of bread. They can no longer preach against sin and unrighteousness in their churches because they are not pleasant subjects. The hell fire and brimstone sermons were long eroded by the gospel of prosperity, joy and love. The preacher who speaks against sin and calls people to come to Christ and be saved from sin is judged as irrelevant and lost. Those who sell false of hope of a better future and life without salvation from sin are judged as preachers with the passion for souls at heart. Such churches command larger audiences because it’s were everyone feels free and comfortable in sin, not in the presence of the righteous Christ, whose bright and shinning eyes are more pure than to behold iniquity. When we come in direct confrontation with Christ, we will like Peter say, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Luke 5:8)
The prophets and apostles never condoned sin, neither did they tolerate it. We are messengers of Christ and God, and the Lord is coming to judge is people. The Church should not betray its Lord by preaching easy and comfort gospels that fail to bring people to the savior. If our messages brings people to meet Christ the healer, Christ the miracle worker, Christ the giver of prosperity, Christ the “other”, etc., and fails to give Christ the Saviour, then there is a hole in our Gospel. There is something that is lacking and presenting Christ in various forms and neglecting Him as Saviour is a misrepresentation. He came to save the world from sin, and the Church should preach that. The ministers should preach and the music of the church should reflect that. What is the use of the great doctrines we have in the Bible if they miss the salvific plan of God and the power of the resurrected Christ who can save man from sin?
How long oh Church should we continue to falsify Christ and misrepresent Him to the world? If the world will come to the knowledge of Christ and be saved, then it needs preachers of the full gospel of Christ which not only presents Christ as the social reformer and transformer of social needs, he is the Saviour that saves people from sin. Unless this truth dawns in us and transforms our preaching, our conduct and character, then we are still presenting a false Christ to the people and giving them false hope while ushering them to eternal damnation. There is no salvation apart from Christ. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Oh preacher, what are you preaching in your church? What are you giving your people and what are you sharing with the world? Do we not need to do great heart searchings and re-examine our preaching and see what we have preached to the people? Have we made them get salvation for their souls or we have been the blind guides leading the blind? The Lord wants to save the world from sin and unless we preach Christ the savior, the world will not be saved. Preach healing alone, and they will be healed but not saved. Preach deliverance alone and they will be delivered from whatever you promise them but not sin. Preach prosperity and material wealth, they will prosper in their sin! But remember, the Lord stands at the door, the Judge of the whole earth will soon come to reap his harvest. Today is the day of salvation and if we do not give the people Christ the Saviour, they will awaken to a new realization, there is Christ the judge and it will be too late.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14) Will you take the challenge today to take the real Christ, the Saviour to the world? Or, shall we continue to misrepresent Christ because we have to preach for a salary? Is this not the time to turn to the Lord and say, “Here I am send me again with the right message to the people?” The true Christ of the Bible is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, and if people are not introduced to Him, they will never be saved!