(written July 6, 2020)
This book is the result of years of experience with churches and research into why most of them worship a narrow, incomplete gospel.
In February 2020, the final draft of the book was being formatted for pre-publication and distribution planned for mid-April 2020. Then America and the world changed.
What America will look like in the years to follow is unknown, it will not, however, be anything like it was before March 2020.
The coronavirus brought America to her knees. The effects of this virus are still racing through the world. The only clarity is that the virus will be controlled. After that, there is great uncertainty about when, how, and what the cost in lives and interruptions will be before we get back to normal.
There is also a pandemic in every other aspect of society here and around the world. Global economies are in free-fall. The speed of this collapse has left governments, businesses, workers, the unemployed, and the poor in disarray.
In America, we are finding the threads of our society fraying, yet holding. With all of us “on our own” physically, institutional leadership is largely absent from our lives. Goodness and kindness still exist, shown by individuals as they care for and about their neighbor.
What the other side of this will look like is very much in limbo, even the timing of when we can feel normal is in great doubt.
What we do know is that the kingdom of God on earth is still being established by those who believe that that kingdom, in any faith, first comes in the individual’s life, then ripples out to the lives of others, until it becomes a wave of goodness and kindness.
If this disease has shown us anything, it is that the spread has been one-person-to-one-person, rapidly creating epicenters where critical mass is reached spiraling toward disaster. The same thing can happen for good, not evil, with the kingdom of God on earth if we reclaim the Forgotten Gospel of Jesus.
The kingdom of God on earth has always been a one-person-to-one-person process. This present time is reminding us that we must concentrate on only that which we can control individually, relying on the goodness and kindness of others to add to the kingdom, for all our sakes.
In writing “Reclaiming the Forgotten Gospel of Jesus” my goal has always been to start a conversation, a debate, even a movement that would lead to Christians living as Jesus showed us.
One of the casualties of the effect of the last few months will be the churches. They will not be the same. The good news is they can be the church that Jesus intended. One that turns the world upside down. The church that looks, sounds, and acts like Jesus.
If it will take its intended role in society striving to usher in the kingdom of God on earth through its teaching, training, encouragement, and voice.
The people of the church, so taught, trained, encouraged, and inspired will bring their eyes, ears, mind, hands, feet, and voice to their families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers through casual encounters, church-based ministries, non-profits, and contributions.
That is, indeed, a tall order. But we serve a bigger God.
Charlie is founder of Making Faith Matter, a movement to help the local church return to the Complete Gospel of Jesus, the Christ. This is expressed best by Jesus when He taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Charlie's new book “Reclaiming the Forgotten Gospel of Jesus” explores what could happen when churches adopt establishing the “Kingdom of God on earth” as their primary purpose. Learn more...
Reclaiming the Forgotten Gospel of Jesus
For decades, evangelical protestant churches in America have preached a salvation-centric Gospel of Christ. Today, a majority of protestants believe this is the complete gospel, and their churches have aligned their teachings to “seek and save the lost” only. In doing so, they relegated the life, words, and works of Jesus to secondary, non-gospel status.
But, what if the story of Jesus, passed down to us in the New Testament (especially Mark, Matthew, and Luke), describing His life, actions, death, and resurrection, is true? What if it accurately portrays the whole story of Jesus, the Son of God, as He lived among us? What if He still lives with us, showing us how to live out the kingdom of God on earth?
What if Jesus’s life was a living gospel, as He said it was, yet it has been forgotten by the evangelical protestant churches in America? And if this forgotten gospel has been ignored, what should the church do about it?
The purpose of this book is to explore how the life, words, and works of Jesus can bring churches, pastors, denominations, and members back to the Complete Gospel of Jesus, the Christ.