I’ve been downloading free ebooks. They are free…and they are short usually. And they are concise. I know some of the free stuff are a teaser for the real book they want you to buy but that’s ok with me. I like getting an overview and if I like the topic I will in fact buy the book. I love books.

I like printing out the downloaded ebook, it’s easier for me to read that way. Maybe if I had a Kindle or tablet, I may not do that. But it’s not a pleasant experience to read a book on my iphone or on my laptop.

This Primer by Bill Hull and Ben Sobels gave me a lot of insights into the gospel that I had thought of and also many I had not thought of. Naming the different kinds of gospels (which in some ways isn’t the gospel at all) convicted me about how I communicate the gospel to people and inadvertently gave them the wrong gospel. Well, maybe not wrong, but incomplete.

The 5 different false gospels are: Forgiveness only; Gospel of the Left; Prosperity; Consumer; Gospel of the Right. There are more false gospels of course, but these may be the most prevalent in our society right now that get confused as the true gospel. I was convicted by the Forgiveness Only gospel because that is the one we tend to teach the children. The gospel tracts we use are based on forgiveness, which of course if a main component of Jesus’ message, but it would be incomplete if we don’t teach that salvation is about following Jesus. So based on this understanding, this past Sunday I gave a sermon to the children that we are not saved simply by being sorry for our sins. We are saved when we join God’s family and follow Jesus as his disciple. The way to join God’s family when we are far from him is to repent of our sins and believe in Jesus.

I also liked the book outlining the 7 Essential Elements of the gospel. They are: God’s Kingdom is here; Jesus is the Christ; He died for our sins; He was resurrected; repent of sin; believe the gospel; follow Jesus. The first 4 are content of the gospel, the last 3 are the call of the gospel.

The book makes it clear that these points are not the gospel, but if the gospel we teach people do not contain these elements, are we preaching the complete gospel?

The conclusion of this free ebook makes it clear that the full length book will go into more details with a link to buy it. But I don’t need that book right now. Maybe later if I want to go deeper. For now, the insights I gained was already very extremely helpful.

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