I’m sure everyone has done it…
You go into your kitchen thirsting for a drink and after realising there’s no juice, you have to go for the second best option – squash (gutted!). But because your mind was set on juice even before you got to the kitchen, you pour the squash as if it is juice and, without even thinking, take a mouthful.
The strength of the undiluted, jaw-tingling squash hits! It’s full of flavour, its bitter, it’s powerful and it’s hard to swallow.
You’ll won’t make that mistake again in a hurry. From now on, every time you drink squash you’re reminded of that time, so next time you overestimate the amount of water needed to dilute the strength, and then underestimate. Until finally you get just the right ratio of water to squash.
Some things aren’t meant to be powerful. Like squash.
But some things are! Like the Good News / ‘Gospel’ of Jesus!
When I first read the title ‘Don’t Dilute the Gospel’, my first thought was, ‘Why would anyone want to do that!?’ The Gospel of Jesus has been powerfully transforming people’s lives for thousands of years! It is where we find hope, freedom, love, security and rest!
Romans 1:16 says, ‘For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes…’
Then I realised, it’s the power of the Gospel that the enemy doesn’t like. If he can convince people to water it down / dilute it, then it no longer changes lives, because people aren’t really receiving it, but a diluted, false gospel. It’s no longer something that challenges us to the core of our being, but something palatable and easy to swallow.
When I read the stories of our Christian family around the world experiencing persecution, I am reminded of the strength of the gospel. I am reminded that it is the gospel of Jesus that has brought hope to so many in dangerous situations, and the same gospel that has kept spreading despite the danger.
Napoleon Bonaparte, the famous French military leader, once wrote;
“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for him.”
The same is true today. We mustn’t dilute this gospel of love, for it is this eternal hope, found only in Jesus (nothing more, nothing less), that is advancing God’s empire throughout the world even to this day! No persecution, no war, no disease, no extremist group can stop the undiluted Good News of Jesus’ kingdom from advancing!