A friend wrote on facebook recently "Do you edit the Word of God, or does the Word of God edit you?" This is a question for the ages, since it has been an age-old problem that people have dealt with the ramifications of their sin, and questioned if there was a God who saves.
We live in a day and age when the Word of God is edited and undermined, and what culture says goes. We are told we are "on the wrong side of history." As Barry Phipps stated recently: "Being on the right side of history will ultimately be determined by whether or not you have chosen the right side of eternity." Ultimately, being on the right side of history depends on whether we have a short or long view of history. Nations come and go, but the Word of God remains forever. I would add, it's not even about being on the "right side of history." It's about a God who so loves the world, that he gave everything to reconcile people to Himself. If we recieve that love and compensation from heaven, history doesn't hold quite the same value. All that matters is the beauty and magnitude of Jesus.
We live in a day and age when denominations have moved away from the core message of the gospel, and are embracing temporal values: giving license to sin to people in the church as well as to church leaders. In becoming all things to all people, they have lost power with God, because they've moved away from His gospel. As if Christ died for nothing. As if we need saving from nothing. Yes, all have sinned, but who in their right mind (or claiming the mind of Christ) would tell us repentance is no longer relevant. When any denomination moves away from the core of the gospel, God moves away from them. And within a short time, Christians who have experienced the grace of God will move away from association with them as well. I wouldn't be surprised if one specific denomination in the US with 5 million adherents will have only 5,000 adherents within 15 years.
The power of the gospel is in proclaiming it as it was handed down to us by Christ Himself, through the Word. When we edit the Word, we lose the power. When the Word edits us, we change history.
What we don't understand is that there is a blessing from God for every command of God. He lets us in on the secret of living well, as the One who designed us. And the gospel is never "to condemn the world, but to save the world through Christ." (John 3:17). Christ gives us authority in the Church "to build up, not to tear down." (2 Corinthians 13:10) So we have to wield the gospel wisely.
The simple gospel preached does something profound to the human heart. It doesn't seem like it should make sense, and Paul talked about the seeming "foolishness of preaching" this gospel (1 Cor. 1:18). But for some reason, God chooses to move through the story of His Son. When we talk about who Jesus was, and what He did, and His great love and covering for sin - God takes it and drives it supernaturally into the human heart, and the Holy Spirit draws people into faith in Christ.
The gospel shows us that God is not running after us to smite us, but to save us. "God so loved the world" should be enough to drive this point home, and any fear monger who wants to talk about the exclusivity of God's love for themself only has to go through this verse first.
I hope you understand how much God loves you today. And how He has made a way for you through great loss to Himself. I believe He is still searching for you, to forgive your sin and to give you peace. Trust in Christ's cross.