Thursday, January 16, 2014

Which Gospel Is It?

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:3

Recently I was asked about the teachings of a recognizable Evangelical radio ministry.  As is my habit I went directly to the gospel message they present. Why?  This is what undergirds entire ministries.  From it is found the thread that is woven into all its teachings.  So what was the gospel message of this prominent teacher?  Actually not much different than the majority found in today's version of Christianity. 

So let's highlight some major points in this gospel presentation.

  • "You were made to know God"

According to this ministry, "each one of us was made for one thing, a relationship with God."

This statement is just not accurate.  While it is true that any human being can know God in a saving way, scripture reveals that God has varied purposes for created mankind.

What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? ~ Romans 9:22

Yet the Sovereign Creator of the universe also has made

vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory ~ Romans 9:23

We, as frail humans, cannot know which is which and we cannot make blanket statements that everyone was created to know God savingly.  To do so places man in a position of sovereignty that he cannot rightfully claim.  The choice now rests upon sinful man to believe in Christ rather than God's own choosing man first.  Indeed man must believe but even that is a gift of God.  (Eph 2:8-9)

Scripture declares that God has

mercy on whom He desires ~ Romans 9:18

and that

it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. ~ Romans 9:16

  • "God wants to give you a better life"

Yes!  Of course life is better in Christ.  The glorious God of all creation would have us to

have life and that more abundantly ~ John 10:10

Yet that is not the purpose of salvation but a benefit of it.  Jesus Christ died to save His people from the penalty and the power of sin.  That is what God wants to give His people, victory over death and the slavery of sin.  Was not Paul sent in order to 

open (Jew and Gentile) eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in (Christ) ~ Acts 26:18

Man is born entirely in sin (Romans 3:9) because Adam fell in the garden (Gen 3:1-6). The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23) and eternal separation from God (Matthew 13:41-42).  Yet the one who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ is freed from the penalty and power of sin!

knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who died has been freed from sin. ~ Romans 6:6-7

  • "God isn't mad at you"

What?!  God is not mad at you?  At me?  Can you please explain why God the Father sent His One and Only Son to live in a human body, to suffer persecution and ridicule, beatings and mockings, and was nailed to a chunk of wood?! 

God is a just judge, and is angry with the wicked every day ~ Psalm 7:11

To the wicked He declares,

He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.  Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury ~ Psalm 2:4-5

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life ~ Romans 5:10

Oh Christian, do not be a pawn of the enemy and tell sinful man that a Holy, Holy, Holy God is not mad at their sin.  Sin is so disgusting that the Father turned His face away when sin was upon the shoulders of Christ, so repulsive that it required the brutal death of the innocent Son of God. (John 19:6)

Lastly under the section

  • "Come as you are"

we are told that "you must take the first step"

Really?  You?  Have you the ability and power to take the first step?

and you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins ~ Ephesians 2:1

Of His own will He brought us forth ~ James 1:18

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ~ John 1:12-13

God takes the first step.  God by His marvelous grace imparts life.  Dead men cannot step anywhere, not first, not last, because they are not breathing. They are totally unable!  So don't tell your unbelieving friend that He must take the first step toward God.  Tell him he must or she must

believe on the Lord Jesus Christ ~ Acts 16:31


confess with his mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in his heart that God raised Him from the dead, and he will be saved.  ~ Romans 10:9

because faith is the gift of God that no man should boast.  So if we don't present the gospel accurately we may end up participating in damning a lost sinner into a false conversion that leaves them in a worse state than the first.

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