James C. Guy

What if McDonald’s quit selling hamburgers? They still sell french fries and cokes, but no hamburgers. How long will they last? Even if they keep enough of their “devout” french fry customers, what would happen to their stock? To their profits? How many new stores would they be opening? How successful would we consider them to be?

What if they quit advertising? What if they quit having sales, special offers and promotions? Would they grow? Would they gain in market share? Would their stock increase in value?

Of course, the answer is no. It is highly doubtful that McDonald’s would continue to exist at all if they started selling only the “extras.” The reason McDonald’s would not be successful if they quit selling hamburgers is because that is their business. They are known as McDONALD’S HAMBURGERS. They exists for the purpose of selling hamburgers (and making a profit). The french fries, shakes, and cokes are all extras that center around the hamburgers.

But, what if the church quit preaching the gospel? What if we quit evangelizing? What if, instead, we just offered all the “extras?” Would we grow? Would we be considered successful? Would souls be saved?

The answer to this is also no. The reason – we exist to spread the gospel. Often we get too caught up in the “extras” and programs that we forget our main goal and purpose for existing. We are not here to make a financial profit as McDonald’s is, but we are here to gain spiritually, and to lead others to Christ. Too many congregations for too long have been existing on providing only the “extras.” Many have ceased to exist. Perhaps they forgot the main thing. Church, we need to get back to the foundation of the gospel. We want to go to heaven, and we should want others to go there as well. We should be focusing on the MAIN thing, not the EXTRAS.

Several years ago, McDonald’s tried to market a soybean burger. Customers tried it out for a while. But, it wasn’t long until they took it off of the menu board. Why? Because it wasn’t real. McDonald’s thought people wanted and needed a low fat “alternative” to hamburgers. Customers seemed to think they wanted it too. It offered something seemingly better, but it wasn’t real. It wasn’t better. And, it didn’t last.

Some churches are providing “SUBSTITUTES” for the gospel. We are preaching something other than the truth of the gospel. We preach a social gospel. We’ve tried to give people what they want. Have we forgotten the truth? Have we forgotten who we work for? Have we forgotten who owns us?

The nutritional value of McDonald’s hamburgers may be called into question, but who can question the value of the gospel? In order for the church to grow, we’ve got to start preaching the gospel again. We’ve got to start preaching the real gospel. We’ve got to make that our priority. We must remember what our main purpose is. We must remember who we work for. If we don’t, how long shall we exist? How many souls will miss out on eternity – souls we could have led to Jesus.

II Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”

MY PICTURE SM©Copyright: James C. Guy – All rights reserved.
*Permission granted to reprint for church or ministry use in free material (i.e. church bulletins, classes, sermons, etc.)

This article also appears in the September, 2001 issue of the Gospel Advocate. The Gospel Advocate is the oldest religious publication in America that is still being published.

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