Has The Gospel Lost It's Power?
"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." ". . . I declare unto you the gospel . . . by which ye are saved . . ." (I Cor. 15:1-2). Paul said the Thessalonians were "called" to salvation by the gospel. (2 Thess. 2:13-14). Jesus said those who come to Him are called by God. He then states the manner of that calling -- "Every man that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." (Jno. 6:44-45). One is called to Christ, to salvation, by God; and that calling is by the gospel. There is the same power in the gospel now that was present when Paul preached it and wrote it. If souls are not being saved in this present generation, it is because they are not "hearing" and "learning" the gospel. The failure is not in the gospel (the power unto salvation) itself, but is rather in those who possess it and know it -- their failure to teach others.
In the present, there is frequently more emphasis placed on devices and schemes conceived by men to attract the populace than there is on the gospel-God's power to Save. Some resort to the construction of an eye-catching, "million dollar" edifice in which to meet; some to their plush carpets; some to recreational facilities for all ages; some to preaching which simply scratches the itching ears of those who fill the pews; and others to "women's circles" and such like. There is almost no limit to the list of gadgets and gimmicks used to beguile the multitudes with the hope that a little truth might he taught in small doses.
Brick and mortar, though many may be attracted thereby, leads few to "mortify the deeds of the body," becoming dead to the world and putting on Christ. Deep-piled carpets offer little testimony to produce conviction in the sinner's heart. When recreation is emphasized, many fail to understand that "Godliness is profitable for all things . . . the life that now is and that which is to come." And so with all concoctions of men that de-emphasize the gospel of Christ.
When a church must continually employ humanly devised schemes to draw others, it is overlooking the greatest scheme of all - the Scheme of Redemption, the drawing power of God.
Truth Magazine III:5; p. 23