Sermons on The Gospel

The Day Religion Died

In this, the final installment of Losing My Religion, we also consider how religion led to Jesus’ crucifixion and how His death on the cross marks the day religion died. Pastor Gary will discuss the surprising similarities between religion and secular humanism and how both fall short of their promises to bring us peace. “The most striking, resented, and dangerous of Jesus’ activities was his opposition to religion as that was understood in his time. This is what led to…

Tribal Identities

We all carry many identities: mother, son, doctor, student, American, Refugee, white, black, conservative, progressive, Southern Baptist, Atheist. The list can go on and on. In a culture that is increasingly divided by our identities, we must recognize the need to rest our identity in Christ. Only when our identity is in Christ can we transcend our tribal identities and truly love our neighbors. Join us for part 7 of Losing My Religion where we will look at the problem…

House of Cards

On April 15, 2019, the world watched in horror as the cathedral at Netre Dame burned. Estimates for rebuilding the cathedral are now approaching 2 billion dollars. The secular French government has committed to its reconstruction, “no matter the cost.” For many, Notre Dame and buildings like it stand as a representation of their religious traditions. For others, it is more about national pride and the cathedral’s history, art, and architecture. The deconstruction of such buildings is a tragedy affecting…

Bad Religion

The word “religion” stirs all kinds of emotions in us. They may be positive emotions associated with faith, traditions, and our connection with God. Or, they could be negative memories of manipulation, hypocrisy, or abuse. You might expect the Bible to offer a purely positive definition of “religion,” but in reality, the Bible offers more warnings about the dangers of religion than a positive defense of it. Join us for part three of Losing My Religion where we explore the…

The Holy Hand Grenade

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time. It is considered by many to be the foundation of two major world religions. It has been used by all kinds of people to justify all kinds of good and bad things done in the name of religion. But what if the Bible is not primarily a religious text, but a record of the failure of religion? What if the Bible is not the treasure, but merely the map pointing us…

Licking Cups

Recent surveys have revealed that a growing number of people no longer identify with any religion. They do not claim to be protestant or catholic, they are not affiliated with Islam or Hinduism, they simply claim no religious affiliation. They have come to be known as “nons.” If this group were its own religion, it would be the fastest growing in America. Jesus was a friend to the irreligious. He attracted the sinners and the tax collectors while the religious…

So We Can Share in God’s Life

Thousands of evangelistic conversations have started with the question, “If you were to die tonight, do you know for certain you would go to heaven?” While this question has been effective for many, for others it has made the Gospel sound less like good news and more like a life insurance plan. Jesus said He came to give life and give it abundantly. While we all need life insurance, we want abundant life. Join us for the final message in…

Come to Shut Down Religion

At its best, religion is our attempt to get to God. At its worst, it is an effort to hide from God while attempting to manipulate and control others. Jesus did not come to give us a new religious system. He came to end religion by offering us a relationship with God that is not dependent on temples, priests, or sacrifices, but on God’s abundant grace and our faith in Him. Join us for part six of 30 Words, where…

Come to Set Up God’s Kingdom

For some, the Gospel message is primarily about going to heaven when we die. While that is good news, it is not the best news. Jesus came to do much more than take us to heaven when we die; He came to set up God’s kingdom here and now. Join us for part five of 30 Words where we will learn about God’s Kingdom and how it gives us hope now and forever.

Come to Save Us From Sin

We don’t like the word “sin.” It sounds way too judgmental. It makes us think of legalistic people, hypocrisy, and everything we don’t like about religion and church. While most people don’t claim to be perfect, few are willing to embrace the title of “sinner.” We may be willing to admit a “mistake,” but we are reluctant to say that we have “sinned.” The problem with the word “mistake” is that it is insufficient to describe our problem. You make…

Come to Show Us God’s Love

God is love. There are very few people who would disagree with that statement, and even fewer who wouldn’t at least say they hope that is the case. But how do we know for sure? In part three of 30 Words, we will consider what it means that God is love and how Jesus came to prove it to us once and for all.

Jesus Is God with Us

You cannot understand the Gospel as “good news” until you understand who Jesus is. And once you truly understand who Jesus is, there is no way you will ever understand the Gospel as anything other than good news! Jesus is not just a great teacher who established a world religion. He is God with skin on – God with us – God for us, not against us. Join us for part two of 30 Words where Pastor Gary will share…