Something to think about.
The Essence of Christianity
We recently went on a weekend getaway to New York we were there for 3 days. I was born and raised in the South Bronx and spent the first nineteen years of my in the city. The city is teeming with people. There are people everywhere. As we travel throughout the city, I looked for churches invariably I saw small churches.
We visited family who still lives there. We visited the Freedom Tower went up to the observation deck took some beautiful pictures of the city. On Sunday we went to Hillsong Church.
It occurred to me while I was in the Manhattan Center where Hillsong is currently holding their services that New York does not have a true mega church. The Manhattan Center’s capacity depending on configuration will hold 3500 people. When we visited, it was near capacity. Hillsong New York has several services on Sunday, so the Sunday attendance is in the thousands. Yet I say there is not a true megachurch in New York City. Why do I say that? The population of New York is 8 million plus. A few thousand is not a significant number compared to the total population. It was during the service with a couple thousand people in the church I was visiting that I realized the disparity of believers as compared to the rest of the population.
It all resulted in this question, how do we Christians reach the lost of the world. The answer is apparent. The answer is in John 3:16, Matthew 22:36-40 and 1 Corinthians 13:13.
John 3:16 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV)
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love
The answer is love. The answer is not found in strict adherence to a particular set of rules and regulations. It is not in-laws or traditions, theology or doctrine it is in love. If we are to reach the world we need to show them “Love.” Not love as defined by man but love as established by God.
Everyone wants to be loved this is the commonality that is shared by all humanity. That is how we exemplify Christ not through laws and traditions but through love. Love not as a license to sin but love as a gift of righteousness. The sinless love God expresses to us is the love we are to express to our fellow-man.
The way to change the world does not come through political action, not through the struggle against immorality or unrighteousness it comes through love. A positive progressive movement will only come about when the passion of God’s Love is unleashed through us that belong to him. If you want to see a change in this generation at this time, it will only come through love. From the spirit of love, from the God who is love, will all benevolent action spring. We must show the world the motivation for the crucifixion. The motivation is love, not law. If we love our neighbor with the love of God, they will come to learn and love the law of God. Law without love is bondage. Love provides the liberty to obey the law. It must first be love. Always Love.
The essence of Christianity is Love when we deviate from it we are lost.