At first look, there seems nothing wrong with Pastor Kong's declaration but as I pondered over it, the Holy Spirit prompted me to think about this - what is "the message of the Cross"? Is it really "loving God wholeheartedly and loving people fervently"?What is the City Harvest DNA? In essence, it is the message of the Cross — “loving God wholeheartedly and loving people fervently” (Matt. 22:37-40) — while simultaneously crossing over and engaging the culture of our societies so that the message can be communicated in a fashion that is both relevant and attractive to the generation of our times (Matt. 5:14-16).
Yes, I agree we should love God and love people but that is not the message of the Cross. I'm no theologian but I believe the focus of the Cross is not us but Christ. The Cross is not about what we should do but what Christ has done. The message of the Cross is not about us "loving God wholeheartedly" but rather about God loving us wholeheartedly - for God SO loved us that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).
Many religions teach that we should love God and love people but none of them speak of a God who loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die on our behalf - God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8)- this IS the message of the Cross!
Yes, I agree we should love God and love people but we should not put the cart before the horse - We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? (1 John 3:16-17)
Yes, I agree we should love God and love people but we should always remember that our love is the fruit of His love for us. We should not glory in our love for God and people, for our love fluctuates. Instead, we should glory in God's love for us, for His love never fluctuates; nothing good you do can make God love you more and nothing bad you do can make God love you less.
Simon Peter gloried in his love for Jesus but in the end, he denied Jesus three times (John 13:37-38). John gloried in the Lord's love for him and in the end, Jesus chose him, at the foot of the Cross, to serve His mother, Mary (John 19:26-27). Have you received the right message?
(Pastor Prince's free podcast: "Boast Of The Lord's Love For You, Not Your Love For Him")