EVANGEL: the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ for you and for the sake of the world.
ICALISM: other stuff; might be good, might be bad, but it’s not the evangel.
I received the quote above from a pastor friend of mine and thought it a fitting introduction to an important Catch. Here at the Catch, we are and will always be about the evangel — “the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ for you and for the sake of the world.” As for the “icalism” part? We could care less.
“Jesus Christ, the Righteous One … is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).
This is the message that changes the world whenever it is proclaimed. It is the glorious fact that it has already been done. The forgiveness of God is not a future transaction that is waiting for anything from us. It is not something we have to ratify. We don’t have to acknowledge it for it to be true for us. The redemption of Christ has already been accomplished. The sacrifice has been sacrificed. When Jesus exclaimed from the cross “It is finished!” He meant just that. It was finished. Forgiveness for the whole world has been won.
Our message is not “Come to Jesus; plead for forgiveness, and maybe — just maybe — He will forgive you. Hold that thought. Just a minute; let’s check and see if your name is on the list. If any of that is true then it was not finished on the cross and Jesus lied. But of course Jesus cannot lie and the truth remains: forgiveness is a done deal.
Therefore, our message to the world is that everyone is already forgiven. Their sins have been wiped away. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
That’s evangel. That’s good news. BREAKING NEWS: YOUR SINS HAVE ALREADY BEEN FORGIVEN.
Sins? What sins? All that’s necessary now is to believe in Jesus. Believe in Jesus, and receive. This is the message of evangel. And as for “icalism,” it is not relevant to the message. It’s just a bunch of other stuff. It might be good, it might be bad, but it’s not the evangel.