Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)
The church is the visible representation of the Gospel, so what we say and do as the church either promotes or undermines the person and work of Christ.
Which raises a question, “What should be the message of the church?” If what we say will either lift up or put down Christ, then the answer to this question is vital.
Let’s begin with what the message shouldn’t be: It shouldn’t be false doctrines that promote arguments, controversies, or empty chatter. The message of the church isn’t senseless stories or endless lists for people to follow. Nor is it legalism, stupid talk that sounds smart, self-help gobbledygook, enlightenment thinking dressed up in the garb of religion, or popular sayings that tap into people’s desires to be healthy, wealthy and wise.
The message of the church, quite simply, is the glorious Good News of God. And what is the Good News? It’s about how “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15) so that we might know His mercy, and believe on Him for fullness of life (John 10:10) and eternal life (1 Timothy 1:16).
This is unequivocal. Biblically speaking, the church has one primary message, the message about Christ Jesus. This is orthodoxy: If the message is not ultimately about Christ, then it’s not the message of the church.
So what should we do when the message is not about Christ? When the message is contrary to the Good News or omits Christ, we must ask the messenger to stop spreading their false teachings (1 Timothy 1:3). Tolerance isn’t an option. The message that God “wants everyone to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4) must be paramount. That’s why, for the Gospel to be the primary message of the church, false teachers must be dealt with firmly and decisively. We must have nothing to do with them (1 Timothy 4:7) and turn away from them (1 Timothy 6:20). For failure to deal with false teachers leads to destabilization which ultimately leads to the death of the church.