The Simplicity of the Gospel – More lessons from China

May 9, 2012

China is home to the largest revival the world has ever seen. Conservative estimates say that 30,000 people are coming to the Lord Jesus daily. That’s approximately 1 million salvations per month. These are not simply crusade evangelism stats of people who filled out a commitment card, there are no crusades or mass evangelism efforts in China. Rather, these are actual conversions of people who are added to the church. Truly the Word of the Lord is running swiftly and being glorified!

As one western leader said to me, “Without one Billy Graham or Benny Hinn, only brothers and sisters in the Lord, the church in China is doubling every 1o years. If God can do this in China, the largest communist country in the world, He can do it anywhere.” To that I say, AMEN!

The idea that there are no mass evangelism efforts, yet millions are coming to the Lord every year boggled my Western mind. How are they doing it? I don’t know that I got the full picture, but what I did learn was actually very simple and very provoking. The Chinese embrace a few simple truths that make a lot of difference. These ideas probably won’t seem revolutionary or new to you, they weren’t new to me. The power of them is that the believers actually walk them out. It made me realize that there is much I believe, but I don’t actually live. I’m asking God to help me to live out the corresponding actions to my faith.

1) Every person is a full time minister. The Chinese church has incredible  leaders and the people hold each leader in high esteem. However, in China because of the restrictions on public assemblies, a leader of a network of a million believers can only meet with 50 -100 believers at any one time. Because of this, no one assumes that the work of the ministry is to left to the leader only. Each believer fully embraces his or her own calling to minister the gospel, lay hands on the sick, cast out demons and do the works of ministry. When you have 150,000,000 believers fully committed to sharing their faith, praying for the sick and doing the works of the ministry, the expansion of the gospel is viral. Col 1:5-6 explains that the nature of the gospel is to bear fruit wherever it is proclaimed. This is what’s happening in China. As the church has embraced her mission to declare the gospel of Jesus, the gospel has born incredible fruit and souls are being saved.

2) A simple gospel is a powerful gospel. The Chinese believe that the longer it takes for a new believer to share their faith the less likely they will be to ever share their faith. They encourage all new believers to immediately begin to share the gospel with others. The results have been incredible. Scores of new believers have been won to Jesus by saints who are brand new in the Lord. For me, I realized that I was dealing with unbelief that the simple gospel was still powerful enough to convict and convert the sinner. I had to repent of my unbelief. Romans 1:16 is still true today, “The gospel IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION…” I think we have complicated it in the West. We have so many tools to use, I wonder if we have based our belief in the effectiveness of the gospel upon the effectiveness of the tools we use to share it. Without huge light shows, sound systems, videos, worship teams, dramas, television shows, radio broadcasts, etc… the simple gospel of Jesus Christ has exploded in China. Perhaps we need a renewed faith in the POWER of a simple Gospel.

3) Sharing your faith is an incredible privilege. Often times ministers have to cajole believers in the West to share their faith; even threaten them with the shame of “blood on their hands” if they don’t reach the lost for Jesus.  In China, believers don’t have to be persuaded to embrace the mission of the gospel. They are so grateful for the love and salvation that Jesus has brought them that they feel privileged to share their faith. They are compelled by the love of Christ that has delivered them from the bondage of communist atheism. It’s simple gratitude that compels them and therefore sharing the gospel is an incredible honor. Though sharing their faith could result in their own imprisonment, they don’t count their lives as dear to themselves and gladly tell others of the joy, freedom and forgiveness they’ve found in Jesus. I was convicted when I realized my own dullness and lack of gratitude for my own salvation.

4) You cannot sacrifice too much for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyday in China or any closed country for that matter,  believers face an array of challenges that believers in free countries never experience. Every worship meeting, church gathering, time of study or prayer is a risk to their freedom, and in some cases, their lives. Even so, with joyful hearts, they willingly risk their freedom to love and serve Jesus. They don’t feel like it is a sacrifice at all. They have no sense of entitlement. They are happy to give their lives fully to Jesus regardless of the risk or cost.  They are a living example of how Jesus called us, His disciples, to live.

Mark 8:35 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses His life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Somehow I actually missed the phrase “and the gospel’s.” We kinda get the idea that we are to give our lives for Jesus…but losing our lives for the sake of the gospel? In the West it almost sounds reckless to call people to lose their lives for the sake of the gospel. Yet losing your life for Christ and the Gospel was Jesus’ main call to discipleship. It is normative Christianity and is commonplace in China and other closed nations.  Somehow we’ve lost this abandonment in our safe, sanitized version of Christianity. Yet, for the Chinese, the call to give it all is a liberating adventure. They know what Paul meant when He said, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

My heart has been freshly pricked with the vision of sharing the gospel with the lost on a regular basis as a normal part of my life. Not leaving the preaching of the gospel to only what happens when I minister publicly, but sharing one on one with people that the Lord brings across my path. My heart has been renewed in the simple truths that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation and Jesus wants the lost just as much as He wants me. He longs for them with deep affections. I want to offer Him whatever I can to see to it that they come to know Him.  I pray that the church in America would once again burn with a passion to share the simple gospel and win for the Lamb the reward of His sufferings.

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3 responses to The Simplicity of the Gospel – More lessons from China

  1. 

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been struggling with my faith and even dealing with anger towards God because of the lack of simple gratitude and my very lofty sense of entitlement. It makes my heart glad that there are children of God that are obeying the Father, in order for people like me to have a massive reality check!

  2. 
    Greg Brockman May 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I believe this is the Revival that is coming to America.. it is the end of the ” superstar preacher ” mentality and the beginning of the ministry of the saints.

  3. 

    I so agree with your post. I believe that we in America need to learn the lessons of this post. We need to minister and not let our pastors carry the burden. The gospel is powerful and has to be shared to the lost. We are the only plan God has for getting the Gospel to them. We say we love Jesus but we do not seem to love him enough to sacrifice our all to him. Keep preaching it brother.