The Gospel is Counter-Cultural, Chapel Message from OS Hawkins

“I don’t need to tell you that the Gospel is cross-cultural, because you work and live in a part of the country that contains a myriad of cultures,” O.S. Hawkins said to students, faculty, and staff at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary during his chapel message on September 29, 2011. “But the Gospel is not only cross-cultural, it is counter-cultural.” Hawkins defined counter-cultural as rejecting the values and the dominant behavior of society.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of Guidestone Financial Resources briefly described the past six decades – from the 1950s through the 1990s – as lost generations, those who need Christ. “Even today in the 21st century, with the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and cultural chaos, we have at least three or four generations that have likely never sung a hymn, never known a book of the Bible.”

Hawkins listed five common characteristics of the lost generations. “First, these people are searching for meaningful relationships in life. They are seeking immediate gratification. They want something for nothing, without cost or commitment, and think they’re entitled. They want guilt-free living, and were brought up to have no moral absolutes. They are thirsty for prosperity, wanting the lifestyle they had but can no longer afford.”

“Who has the answers for these lost people?” asked Hawkins. “One single verse holds the answer – Ephesians 1:7. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Referring to this verse, Hawkins explained how it provides the answers to the five things for which the lost generations are searching. “The very thing they are searching for are meaningful relationships. But they must first cultivate a meaningful relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and from that all other relationships will develop.”

“In Jesus we have redemption, which is occurring in actual time – right now,” Hawkins pointed out. “This is instant gratification, and the result is eternal life.”

The lost want something for nothing, he reminded his listeners. “The Gospel is free. It was purchased for us with Jesus’ blood. There is nothing we can do on our own.”

The lost want guilt-free living. Jesus, the only one who can provide this, offers the forgiveness of sins. The lost want prosperity. The verse says “According to God’s riches,” and the lost receive true riches in God’s grace and mercy, with grace that exceeds our sins and our guilt.

“The key word in this verse is ‘redemption,’” concluded Hawkins. “We’ve got several lost generations out there. The ‘something’ they think they’re looking for is really a ‘someone.’