Sealed in my heart that day was the truth that unless the gospel is made explicit, unless we clearly articulate that our righteousness is imputed to us by Jesus Christ, that on the cross he absorbed the wrath of God aimed at us and washed us clean-even if we preach biblical words on obeying God-people will believe that Jesus's message it that he has come to condemn the world, not save it.
But the problem is deeper than that and more pervasive. If we don't make sure the gospel is explicit, if we don't put up the cross and the perfect life of Jesus Christ as our hope, then people can get confused and say, "Yes, I believe in Jesus. I want to be saved. I want to be justified by God," but then can begin attempting to earn his salvation. By taking the cross out of the functional equation, moral therapeutic deism promotes the wrong-headed idea that God probably needs our help in the work of justification and most certainly needs us to carry the weight of our sanctification, as well. The result is innumerable Christians suffering under the burden of the law's curse because they have not been led to see that gospel-centered living is the only way to delight in the law.
(Chandler, Matt, and Jared C. Wilson. The Explicit Gospel. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. Print. 208-9)