I’ve been praying through what it means to “let what you heard from the beginning abide in you” (1 Jn 2:24) and it reminded me of an excellent explanation given by Mack Stiles in an article he wrote about how easy it is to lose our grip on the Gospel.
Second, you don’t need much more than a cursory scan of history to see that solid Christian organizations can easily lose the gospel if they are not attentive. Losing the gospel doesn’t happen all at once; it’s more like a four-generation process.
The gospel is accepted –>
The gospel is assumed –>
The gospel is confused –>
The gospel is lost
It is tragic for any generation to lose the gospel. But, as Philip Jensen says, the generation that assumes the gospel is the generation most responsible for the loss of the gospel.
My church is getting ready to seek our direction through prayer and fasting in the coming year, which I’m somewhat ambivalent about (who is really ever excited to fast??), but I am looking forward to sharpening my focus on the beautiful good news I’ve been given. I pray that God will keep me from assuming the Gospel in my life, and that Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection will take root at the center of my heart, my marriage, and my church.