Gary’s New Book Introduction: Part 1

The Gospel, Discipleship, and The Church in America – Let’s Chat

An Introduction and An Invitation – Note: I hope to have the book out by this fall. Here’s the first of three parts of the Introduction

I have a concern about the condition of the gospel, discipleship and the Church in America.

There, I said it. Now let me tell you why.

Let’s say a Chinese citizen stands up in the public square in China and shouts, “I am a Christian!” An American citizen stands up in the public square in America and shouts, “I am a Christian!” Which person are you more apt to believe is a real Christian?

Honestly, the person who publicly professes Christ in China is more credible than is the person who publicly professes Christ in America. Why? The person who would announce his or her faith in China is risking everything – their livelihood, their life, and their family’s lives. In America, you might get some blowback, but not much else.

Why is this significant?

Christianity has been accepted in America since before its founding. It cannot be denied that America was founded on Christian values. And while our values have served this nation well throughout the years, there is a dangerous unintended consequence for authentic Christianity that has resulted from our freedom.

Not only are we free to be right, but we are also free to be wrong. We are not only free to speak the truth, but we are also free to distort the truth and call it the truth. We not only live in the era of “fake news”, but we also live in a time of “fake gospels”.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: The purpose of this book isn’t to bash people, pastors, churches or any other ministry. In this book, I hope to unpack the gospel, discipleship, and the church from Scripture, the way Jesus intended – from His words. Then, I will do a comparison to what I believe the gospel, discipleship, and the church have become in America.

I write this book, not as one who even pretends to know everything. Also, I am aware that I am sharing truth from my experiences. This is not to say that I have my truth and you have your truth. No, no. There is only THE truth. By the way, truth is not a concept, truth is a person, and His name is Jesus Christ.

There is only one way to the Father, one truth from which all truth originates and there is only one life – Jesus Christ. Jesus was clear. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

As Christians, we have had the same spiritual birth, but we all have a different story of how God reveals the truth to us. We also have had different experiences in the church. We all tell the good news of Jesus from our own perspectives. This is a powerful reason why we need one another. You see, I don’t get a full understanding of God until I have heard about Him through the eyes and stories of other Believers.

Your story is important for us to hear. After you read mine, write yours. I’d love to read it. Please share your story with me and with others!

And before I begin, I want to thank you for taking the time to read this book. I hope it is an encouragement to you. Well, in the end, I do hope it is an encouragement to you. But, first, I hope it causes you some level of angst. No, that’s not strong enough. I need to be totally transparent. Spiritually speaking, I hope reading this book rips you up to the point that you can’t sleep at night. I hope that you see God so clearly that you can no longer live as you do. That’s what I went through when God began to show these truths to me.

Then, finally, I hope you reach out to me and to others who are tired of the same ole, same ole. Let’s band together. Let’s see a real heaven-sent revival in God’s people. Let’s lift up the name of Jesus through planting churches across America and around the world. Let’s equip the next generation, and the next, to make what Jesus said, recorded in Matthew 24:14 a reality. “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Coming up: Introduction, Part 2

I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at gary@reachamerica.org.

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