The modern Gospel is a self-help pill enabling you to do great things.
The Modern Gospel saves your marriage, makes your kids grow up smart, keeps you rich and wealthy and oh yeah, after all this blessing you get to go to heaven! The Gospel guarantees you nothing but good times now and forever, just like Walt Disney dreamed.
In the end, this is no Gospel at all. When you can have Christ all else is dung, yet the Church continually tosses Christ out and offers the world piles of dung as the answer to their longings.
Christ did not save your soul so that you might “do great things,” Joel Osteen and Rick Warren not withstanding.
When we tell the world God has a wonderful plan for your life and wants you to do great things, the world hears “God wants me to be awesome! Which is awesome, cuz I also want me to be awesome!” God wants us all to be rock stars, living rich, standing before packed audiences of eager fans, and rolling in power, wealth and luxury.
The Gospel is about dying. We die with Christ and are raised up to a new life, a new life that has no interest in the old life or the old life’s affections and lusts. The world can never satisfy a man who wants Christ. Never.
The Gospel is not about doing great things; it’s about doing the only thing worth doing–serving God. This rarely looks like a great thing and typically looks like mundane plodding. We run with patience because it’s a long, hard race with little payoff until the finish line.