I would like to buy about three dollars worth of gospel, please.Ray Van Neste comments:
Not too much – just enough to make me happy, but not so much that I get addicted.
I don’t want so much gospel that I learn to really hate covetousness and lust.
I certainly don’t want so much that I start to love my enemies, cherish self-denial, and contemplate missionary service in some alien culture.
I want ecstasy, not repentance;
I want transcendence, not transformation.
I would like to be cherished by some nice, forgiving, broad-minded people, but I myself don’t want to love those from different races – especially if they smell.
I would like enough gospel to make my family secure and my children well behaved, but not so much that I find my ambitions redirected or my giving too greatly enlarged.
I would like about three dollars worth of the gospel, please. (pp. 12-13)
This is piercing application. I am cut to the quick. I know the approach to life he is satirizing not simply by looking out at others but by looking within. I need to hear this word again. And, how we need this word in our churches! All too easily we warp the gospel into a way for securing the ‘good life’ for ourselves. . . . Brothers, we must preach this searching point. Many will be entirely content for us to “do our sermon”, but when you begin to press the call of the gospel to shape our lives, rebuke our sin, calling for repentance many will rebel. But without this we have failed to discharge our ministries (Col 4:17). Without this we are mere hirelings awaiting rebuke from the Master on the final day. There is no discount version of the Gospel. It is all or nothing. Let us wield the searching sword of the Spirit (Heb 4:12) as those who have first been pierced by it.