From chapter 2 of The Gospel Is for Christians (pg. 33-34), Mithcell Chase writes,
Sinners who believe in Jesus are acknowledging his lordship, but Jesus is Lord whether or not they ever believe in him. We cannot make Jesus anything, much less Lord…That Jesus is Lord over believers is not new information, but the lordship of Jesus over unbelievers merits our reflection. If Jesus is Lord over everything and everyone, the sphere of his sovereignty logically includes unbelievers. This is not good news for them. In fact, the lordship of Jesus over unbelievers is a terrifying reality. His lordship means that unbelievers are accountable, that they are inescapably bound for judgment if they do not repent and live by faith in him under his lordship. Unbelievers should believe in Jesus because he is Lord of their lives.
Jesus is both Lord and Christ. Sinners will either reject his lordship and gracious work on the cross as God’s deliverer, or they will live under his lordship by receiving him through faith as their only true deliverer. So let’s cast aside phrases such as If you received Jesus as Savior but not as Lord, make Jesus the Lord of your life today. This phrase is misleading and unbiblical. More accurately, and certainly more biblically, we should tell unbelievers to surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ (emphasis original).
Indeed, the only difference between the unbeliever and the believer is that the believer has, by the grace of God alone, surrendered to the lordship of Jesus Christ, whereas the unbeliever continues to deny and reject His lordship. Any gospel message that teaches anything less than the sinner humbling themselves before God in the fear of the Lord, crying out for Him to save them from their sins and from the wrath of God, to receive eternal life through repentance and faith based on the merit and person of Lord Jesus Christ alone, is an inadequate, or worse, false gospel.
Please listen to this message on the lordship of Christ from Steve Lawson: It Will Cost You Everything