I am passionate about seeing the church possess a culture of Gospel + Safety + Time. Right out of the gate, I want to give credit where credit is due. I first came across the idea of Gospel + Safety + Time in a book written by Ray Ortlund Jr. entitled, The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ. I have developed my own theological underpinnings to it, but the concept of Gospel + Safety + Time were Ray’s.
What is it that sets the church apart from other institutions? What is it the Church should offer that other institutions don’t? Two things: Gospel Doctrine & Gospel Culture. It is my passionate conviction that gospel doctrine and gospel culture should be heard and experienced every time genuine believers gather together. Whether that’s in a worship center on a Sunday morning. Or a small group during the week. Or coffee at your local cafe with a brother or sister in Christ. Gospel doctrine and gospel culture together is the Church's competitive edge. That’s what sets the church apart.
Gospel - People (Christians & non-Christians) need multiple exposures to the happy news of the gospel from one end of the Bible to the other.
Safety - People need the safety of non-accusing sympathy so they can admit their problems honestly.
Time - People need plenty of time to rethink their lives at a deep level because people are complex and changing isn’t easy
Gospel + Safety + Time = Gospel Doctrine & Gospel Culture
Take a look at this list:
The Garden of Eden
The Promised Land
The New Heavens and the New Earth
What do they all have in common? They were, are, or will be the dwelling place of God.
The Church is meant to be the new Eden. The Church is meant to be a harbinger of the new heavens and the new earth. When Alliance Bible Church is characterized by gospel, safety, and time it will be the new Eden. When Alliance Bible Church is characterized by gospel, safety, and time it will be a harbinger of the new heavens and the new earth. When you, as an individual follower of Christ, are characterized by gospel, safety, and time, you will be a harbinger of the new heavens and new earth.
This is why Gospel + Safety + Time is so crucial. Without them, the church can’t be the new Eden. Without them, the church can’t be a harbinger of the new heavens and the new earth.
It’s my desire to see this culture richly implanted at Alliance Bible Church. That in our Sunday morning gatherings, our small group functions, when you’re having coffee one on one with someone that both gospel doctrine and gospel culture be something we hear, speak, and experience. This is what makes the Church unique.
Madeleine L’Engle says that Christians “draw people to Christ…by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it."
Jesus said that his disciples are the light of the world and to let our light shine before others. Gospel + Safety + Time is our light. Gospel doctrine and gospel culture are our light! Let’s let it shine both inside the walls of the Church and outside into our communities!