I am sitting in my hotel room overlooking a major street and intersection in Ahmedabad India. I estimate that 10,000 people pass by here every 5 minutes or so. I know that almost all of them are lost in darkness. I am thankful to be working with a group of Christians who are aggressively doing something about that. I was talking today with the leader and he was telling me of some of the problems in the church in India.
Unfortunately many have moved away from the real gospel to either self satisfaction or to a health and wealth perspective. I was reminded of the problems in Corinth where even spiritual gifts given by God became a stumbling block to the church. Here many "come to Christ" through healing. Someone prays for the sick and they get well and say they believe in Jesus. But for many they never hear more of the gospel than "Jesus helps us". Because they have never been told of the need for forgiveness of sins and the provision in Christ, their salvation is incomplete. Many of these when they later become sick again and are not healed, return to Hinduism. As in the time of the gospels where Jesus healed many who were never born again, even today many are being healed by God and yet apart from the gospel they are still lost. The group I am working with wants to keep the real gospel central in the church. Paul said in Romans that it is the gospel that is the power of God for salvation. I fear that in the US we have the same tendency to make the gospel more what Jesus does to help us have a better life, than the true message that he came to save us from the wrath of God by taking the punishment for our sins.
Tomorrow we start the training network that we hope will result in thousands of pastors being trained in the Word. We are excited abut what God will do through His Word as it is preached in thousands of churches across India. I will keep you posted about the progress of the week.