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The Good News is simple and powerful—Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins, and there is no other way of salvation (see John 14:6; Romans 5:8).To receive the free gift of salvation Jesus offers, we must turn from our sin in genuine repentance and trust in Him and His sacrificial death on our behalf (see John 1:8-9; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8-9). Have you responded to it and had your sins forgiven through faith in Christ? Now I want you to see how the church and the Good News connect: The church is the vehicle that Jesus chose to take the message of the gospel to every generation and people. The church matters because Jesus chose it to tell and show the world the message of His love.What practiced daters like Nathan and Jack don’t realize is that what they assume is working for their personal gain is actually resulting in serious loss- for themselves and others.I’m writing this book because I want to share with other sincere followers of Christ the profound blessings that come with living a life committed to the church. Remember how high the stakes really are for every human life.The irony of this was that even though I had stopped playing the dating game with the girls, I was perfectly happy to keep playing it with the church.I liked attending on weekends, and I enjoyed the social benefits of church, but I didn’t want the responsibility that came with real commitment.He even factored in time to stop by Mc Donald’s for an Egg Mc Muffin.He timed it so that he’d be walking into the second church just as the pastor started to preach. If you see yourself in any of these descriptions, I want you to hear this from a former church-dater: .
Over the years our family attended a wide spectrum of churches-mainline, evangelical, charismatic.There had to better, more efficient ways to accomplish great things for God. But I was only nineteen, and invitations for me to lead a worldwide media crusade weren’t rolling in.So I threw my energies into opportunities that were closer at hand. I began to speak at my own conferences for teenagers. The message of that book was that singles should avoid directionless relationships that were romantic and physical but had no intention of moving toward commitment.I want you to catch a glimpse of the beauty of God’s plan for the church in each believer’s life and the unimaginable power that could be unleashed through even one generation embracing that plan. But before we look at the benefits of commitment, consider what is lost when church dating becomes a way of life. Each of us lives out our earthly days in a visible world that just barely conceals a larger invisible reality. We’re in a cosmic conflict against the spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians ).The plain fact is, when we resist passion and commitment in our relationship with the church, I hope you have the courage to stay with me, because the biblical insights we’re looking for in this book have the potential to bring tremendous change for the better in your life. At some point in the future, every human being alive today will be dead, and there will be an accounting.
Like Jack in our story, I wasn’t interested in settling down. The series might as well have been called “Passion for the Grocery Store.” But for some reason, as I drove around my hometown of Gresham, Oregon, I popped those tapes into the cassette player and began to listen. He showed that the church was actually God’s idea-not some plan or program invented by humans.