Years ago there was a pop psychology book entitled I’m Ok, You’re Ok. Along with many other such teachings, it has resulted in a nation in which everything is okay. Nobody should be judged unless they do something that really hurts someone else. And even then, he or she probably had a good reason for doing such a bad thing.
One of the casualties of such a belief is the concept of sin. Many churches have even quit talking about sin. It just sounds so judgmental! That practice is making it more and more difficult for Americans to accept the real gospel.
I say real gospel, because there is a gospel that is lacking in reality. It is a gospel that focuses solely on the love of God. But apart from an understanding of sin, that’s no gospel at all. Telling people that God loves them fits American culture. We believe we are all worthy of love and we all ought to love each other, and isn’t it good that God is in on this love thing too?
Romans 5:8 destroys this pop gospel. When we were at our worst and most unlovable, God’s amazing love stepped in. Without an understanding of ourselves as sinners, completely unlovable, we will never understand or accept the cross. The good news (gospel) is that because we are sinners, God, in the most daring act of love the universe has ever seen, sent His Son to take the penalty for our sin. Love for God and for our nation will cause us to proclaim the real gospel to those who desperately need to hear.
• Thank the Lord for demonstrating His great love for you by dying for you while you were still a sinner.
• Pray for the preachers of America to fearlessly proclaim the Word of God regarding sin and God’s love.
• Pray for a movement of God’s Spirit across America that opens hearts to receive the gospel.
Lord, I am in awe of Your amazing love that reached out to me while I was yet a sinner. Thank You for that good news! I ask that Christians around this nation would speak and live out the truth of the gospel daily. I pray for preachers who would stand fearlessly in their pulpits and proclaim the truth of Your Word concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. Help us never to separate Your love from our desperate sinfulness.
–Adapted from Desperate for Change: 40 Days of Prayer for America by David Butts