The theme of this year’s Together for the Gospel conference is The Underestimated Gospel. The teaching thus far has been rich and profound, and as promised, I am ready to share what I considered to be the most impacting point of the day. Yesterday, in a schedule that included a wonderful exposition of 1 Corinthians 4 by C.J. Mahaney, a call to precision in gospel-telling by Al Mohler, and a panel discussion on the importance of preaching in the local church, Mark Dever’s message on false conversions, in my mind, seemed to stand above the rest.
Dever demonstrated from Scripture why local churches must do all they can to prevent false conversions in their ministry. He took the issue back to the reason why churches exist: to display God’s character and glory among the nations. When we are lax in our presentations of the gospel and allow all people who say they’re Christians to be members of our churches, our local congregations camouflage God’s character so that we blend in with the rest of the world instead of shine forth his radiant glory. In doing this we fail to fulfill our purpose for existing.
In response to the camouflaging tendency Christian churches have, Dever gave a list of five truths every member of a church must be taught:
- God’s judgment is coming.
- We should be judged by God.
- Our only hope is in Christ.
- We don’t see the fullness of our salvation in this life.
- We can deceive ourselves and others about our relationship with God.