Inquiring Minds Want To Know: Is “God Loves You” The Gospel?

Ray Comfort

I sometimes watch those videos that pop up on my feed when I see they have been posted by Living Waters. Those videos are always interesting. For those of you who are not familiar with Ray Comfort, the man who started Living Waters, he’s popularly known as an evangelist who does the very intimidating work (I’m personally terrified of doing anything like this) of sharing the gospel with anyone (and I mean ANYONE) on the street. He usually records each interaction (with the permission of the person/people interviewed). Then he posts the videos for the benefit of other Believers. Comfort takes the exact same approach with every person. But can you guess what he never, ever starts off with? I have never heard him begin an interaction with “Did you know, God loves you?” Never.

Rather, he starts every conversation with, “Do you think you’re a good person?” I’ve watched several of these videos. For about 99% of them, each person answers, “Yes, I’m pretty good!” Some have given the more humble response of, “For the most part I’m good, but not always.” Or something similar. But honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say, “No, I’m not a good person.”

Painful honesty

After each person answers, Comfort gently dismantles any shred of confidence that this person is “good.” And he does this based exclusively on their own admissions. He specifically uses the law, or the 10 Commandments, to expose their sin.

What’s awesome is that of course, Comfort never leaves them in a desperate state of, “Wow, I’m actually a really, really bad person.” That’s not the point. Instead, he shares with them the Good News or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Comfort tells them that even when we were dead in our sins, Christ died for us (Ephesians 2:1-7). Jesus did this because He is not only a just and Holy God Who must punish sin. He also loves us. He therefore stooped down to save us by dying on the cross and taking the punishment for our sins.

So yes, we are dead in our sin and are not good. But because of His amazing love, Jesus makes us alive in Him when we trust Him as our LORD and Savior.

And THAT is Good News. The BEST news, actually.

Hell’s Best Kept Secret

Ray Comfort teases this out beautifully in his book, “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” He essentially puts words to His actions by delineating how we have forgotten the gospel. Although I read this book several years ago, I still remember how Comfort shares how rather than share the hard truth of the current depraved state we are in, many of us would rather not offend. Starting off with “Jesus loves you” sounds so much nicer! However, we have the 10 commandments, which are “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” We can use them to expose sinfulness and point us to God. He is the only One Who can help us.

Again, telling others God loves them seems so much more palatable than pointing out how we all fall short and are dead in our sin. However, we first need to know who we are. We can then appreciate Who God is and what He did for us.

When we pick apart the gospel and share only parts of it (such as “God loves you!” exclusively), we are not doing anyone any favors. It would be like telling a friend there’s this man who really wants to be their good friend. They’d love to spend time with your friend and develop a relationship with him/her. However, I think I can safely say that we all can get so caught up with the friends we already have and the busyness of life, many, if not all, of us, wouldn’t value the offer being made. We would ignore it at best, or refuse it at worst.

However, when we find out that we are walking around with a fatal disease that will kill us at any moment and the only cure known is with that man who wanted a relationship with us, that would change most of our responses, wouldn’t it?

Just as in the above example, we need to know that although we may seem healthy and fine, in actuality we are not. We are all “sick” and in need of a Savior.

Don’t give in to the temptation

By ignoring the depravity and sin that clearly lies in the hearts of each and every human being on this earth, we are only fooling ourselves. The truth is that God loves us not because we’re good, but in spite of us not being good.

Putting the cart before the horse may sound more compassionate to be sure. But this will get nowhere with most people. Not that telling someone they are sinful is going to win you a whole lot of friends either. Just watch a few of those videos by Ray Comfort. It’s always amazing to me how the people you would least expect to be open to the gospel will actually walk away, promising to read God’s Word. They are oftentimes excited about the interaction they just had. While others who seem so sweet and kind, reveal they don’t like to be called out for their sin. They are clearly resentful and offended.

But as Believers, we must all come to terms with the fact that the gospel is offensive. However, praise God, it is good. He calls us to freedom from ourselves by placing a light yoke of service to our King in exchange (Matthew 11:30). Christ taught us in His Word why He came. We do not have the prerogative to share only what we think is appropriate because we think we know better.

No one is good. None of us are “enough.” But that’s OK! Christ is. Praise God, He loves us despite who we are, and He is good! Amen?

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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