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  1. Giving the Gospel / Are You Ashamed of Christ? I had intended on writing a SHORT encouraging note to others about sharing the gospel. That truly was my main intent prior to setting about to type some thoughts and copy corresponding scripture down... But as often happens, the Lord put something else on my heart. I recently had a discussion with a fellow believer who admitted that he or she rarely shared the gospel with others. Since the conversation was somewhat recent, it may be why the Lord put it on my heart, BUT I think it may well be that it wasn't this person (in particular) but someone else (unknown to me whom) and perhaps ALL of us that could benefit by serious consideration of the following 2 questions (and why the Lord put it on my heart to bring this forward HERE today, I am not sure, but felt compelled to do so). The 2 questions I am asking each one of us to consider today are these: #1. Do you share the gospel with others? #2. Are you ashamed of Christ? Most of us here (at least those whom I've come to know somewhat) would likely answer the questions with an emphatic "YES, I share the gospel", and "NO, I am not ashamed of the Lord". But I'd like to ask you all to take time to delve deep into those answers and see if we ALL couldn't improve? I'd like to first address any who would be brave enough to admit (even if only to themselves) that they do NOT often share the gospel with others... and ask them Why not? (And I am not asking for anyone here to come forth to admit they do not, nor give a reason, nor am I singling out anyone in particular... just asking them to please read and consider these things I am writing) In another group I heard many (anonymous) responses to that question (of why they do not regularly share the gospel) with the following answers: A. I am shy or uncomfortable sharing the gospel B. I don't know how to start the conversation C. I don't know scripture well enough to show (or tell) another person the gospel D. I could lose my job if I did E. It starts arguments in the family when I've tried before F. I would be ridiculed or mocked G. No-one listens anyways H. It's not socially acceptable, there is a time and place for that kind of thing I. I leave that up to others (for varying reasons) J. I don't have time K. No one has ever asked me L. I'm not a proficient speaker M. I worry about what others might think of me N. I am a coward There are likely hundreds of other answer such as these, but do we recognize they are all EXCUSES??? Yes, if you have never shared the gospel before it can seem daunting and be uncomfortable (at first). But is that really a good excuse? Just like everything, the more you do something, the more proficient you become at it, the less stressful or intimidated you will feel. As for those who answer "I don't know scripture well enough"... there is a remedy for that! Only you can determine to study God's word and remedy your ignorance of it... asking prayerfully for Him to lead and guide. There is another reason which we ALL need to examine ourselves about... We need to question ourselves truthfully and ask: Are we ashamed of Christ? Even for those whom have answered "YES, I share the gospel with others", I would like to ask you also to consider this question as well... Do we find that at times we don't share the gospel because we are worried more about what mankind thinks rather than serving the Lord? Are we worried that it could cause familial rifts? Cost us social standing? Be passed up for promotion? Possibly even lose a job? Either way there is a pattern I have noticed among some believers today. A pattern of shame. I wonder how many recognize that with knowing the gospel comes a responsibility to SHARE the gospel with others? I also wonder if many of us are waiting around for SOMEONE ELSE to share the gospel with our loved ones??? I've seen many a prayer request (on other venues) for an unsaved family member, but when asked it they themselves have shared the gospel with that loved one the response is often some hemming and hawing, and an admission of "NO", they have not. The excuse most often given is "it never seems to be the right time". I'd like to note that it is ALWAYS the right time to share the gospel. No-one is promised tomorrow... if that unsaved loved one were to die today and YOU didn't share the gospel with them... how will answer the Lord? Will you then make more excuses as to why you didn't share the gospel? Do you think HE will accept them? Some serious questions we need to each ask ourselves... and if you are waiting for an opportune time, might I suggest NOW. " Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." "As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." "For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." " For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." "According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death." "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" There is more scripture to draw from regarding this topic. But I wonder if we couldn't ALL do better insharing the gospel. I can attest to the fact that both Christians and conservatives are being censored on Facebook and other social media platforms. Over the last year I have felt compelled to share the gospel there where it is needed most. I was recently banned on facebook for 24 hours for quoting (ironically). The very next week I was given a 72 hour ban (which only lasted 24 hours???) with no real reason given. The facebook message from "facebook security" stated that they had "noticed suspicious activity on my account"... but they failed to note exactly WHAT the alleged "suspicious activity" was! I have heard numerous accounts from other Christian and conservative facebook users in regard to this. I have one friend on facebook who ONLY posts scripture, and she also was given a 24 hour ban recently. For far too long, we in the states have become complacent, thinking that we will always have the free speech we enjoyed thus far in our lifetimes. Many of us have become lazy thinking that now that republicans hold the presidency, the house, and the senate that our freedom of speech is secure. Even though the left lost the election, they are still in control of most media. Zuckerberg (facebook) as well as the owners of Google are openly censoring conservative and Christian content. (If you haven't YET noticed a change in your search results there on Google, you soon will). They have gotten together (along with many leftist groups) in order to determine what THEY think is "fake news", which of course means that anything in opposition to their own liberal-left-leaning ideology they will deem to be "fake news". As many missionaries here can attest, they do not have the same freedoms to witness to others as we have here in the US. Yet sadly, so many of us are frittering away time here, taking for granted we will always have such freedom to share the gospel openly. I wanted to bring forth this timely encouragement for believers to share the gospel with as many as you can... in whatever venue you can... WHILE you can. If you are not sure what the gospel IS... it is found in 1 "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;" 2 "By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain." 3 "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;" 4 "And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Sadly, this is often overlooked in an attempt to share WHY one must believe on Jesus for salvation, and skip right to the "believe" but not WHAT to believe! (A watered down version of the gospel). How many times growing up did I hear the Billy Graham style mantra of HIS version of the "gospel"? Graham's version was: "Ask Jesus into your heart". Where, I wonder, did he find THAT "gospel"? And how many were deceived by it? Now that we know what the gospel is, we also know that we must BELIEVE the gospel. 16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." 18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." 9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." 10 "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." We see then that the gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection) must be believed for salvation. We further see that Jesus took OUR sins upon Himself on the cross... He went willingly to, to pay for those sins which we coud NEVER pay for ourselves ("...all our rightousness are as filthy rags..." ). Salvation is a free gift, but one must BELIEVE and accept the gift... it is not 'automatically applied' without belief. In fact, tells us "... he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.". We further see that in His resurrection, Jesus defeated death... rising in a glorified, uncorruptible body! So that we (believers) will ALSO have a body like Jesus' own perfected eternal body (1 John 3:2). When will we receive those uncorruptible/perfected bodies? At the rapture! 51 "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed," 52 "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 53 "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." 54 "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." 14 "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." 15 "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep." 16 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" 17 "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 18 "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." God's word tells us to "comfort one another with these words". Nothing is more comforting to a believer than to know that Jesus has defeated both sin and death... and HE is the reason for the hope that is within us. Won't YOU share the gospel with someone today? Or could it be... and be honest with yourself and with the Lord... that you are ashamed of the gospel? Ashamed of Christ?
  2. Of all the verses in the bible that describe God's requirement for man to receive salvation what percentage of them use the words "Faith", "Believe" or "Repent" as opposed to "Ask Jesus into your heart" or even praying a prayer for that matter? I'll help you out, Faith and Believe are found the most over 100 times, Repent is probably second with at least 33 times, and you could maybe argue that 3-5 particular passages describe a prayer, and ZERO times do we find man commanded to "Ask Jesus into your heart" Now take those figures and ask yourself if those numbers accurately reflects what we most often emphasis as man's responsibility in salvation is? Maybe we need to rethink about how we are explaining the Gospel to people.
  3. Please note, I am not sure I exactly agree with everything here, the verse are NKJV and not KJV sorry about that, what are your thoughts? "Another reason why some people in evangelical churches remain unsaved is the way in which the Gospel is presented. Many dedicated Christians present the Gospel in such a way that unsaved, unprepared people do not understand that they deserve only God’s judgment, that salvation is completely God’s work, and that sinners are unable to contribute anything towards their own salvation. Romans 1:3 tells us that the Gospel is God’s good news “concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is God’s assurance “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The Gospel is rst and foremost about Christ. It is the message of the nished, historical work of God in Christ. The Gospel is a work of the Godhead alone. Christ was “smitten by God” (Isaiah 53:4). “It pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.” The Lord made “His soul an o ering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10). Many confuse the Gospel, God’s work FOR us in Christ, with God’s work IN us by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel is entirely objective. TheGospel is completely outside of ourselves. The Gospel is not about the change which needs to be made in us, and it does not take place within us. It was completed in Christ, quite apart from us, almost two thousand years ago. The Gospel is not dependent on man in any way. It is distorted when we turn people’s eyes to what is to be accomplished in them. We were not and cannot be involved in any part of Christ’s historical, nished, redemptive work. The sinner must betaught to look completely away from himself and trust only in Christ and His work of salvation. The following is a portion of an article written by missionaries who are truly saved and very sincere, but the way they presented the Gospel is incorrect. In this article, they are giving an account of a conversation which they had with a tribal lady. They wrote, “Every Wednesday night, we visit Biaz’ parents. We read a portion from Genesis and talk about it and ask questions. One night, Biaz said, ‘I am so scared because the bad is in me, and I don’t want God to throw me into the re.’ ” It is clear from this quote that Biaz was a soul prepared for the Gospel. There was an acknowledgement of personal sin and a fear of God’s judgment. But what was the answer of the missionaries? They told Biaz, “If you ask Jesus to throw the bad out of your liver and give you His Spirit, then you belong to Him and you don’t need to be frightened anymore, and you will go to Him.” Instead of the missionaries telling Biaz the historical, objective message of the Gospel as God’s completeprovision for her sin and God’s coming judgment, they turned Biaz’ attention to what needed to be accomplished within. What they taught Biaz was not the Gospel. We distort and confuse the Gospel in people’s understanding when we try to present the Gospel using terminology which turns people’s attention to what they must DO rather than outward to what God has DONE on their behalf in Christ. We should use terminology which directs repentant sinners to trust in what has been done FOR them through Christ, rather than directing their attention to what must be done IN them. Some common terminology is, “Accept Jesus into your heart.” “Give your heart to Jesus.” “Give your life to Jesus.” “Open the door of your heart to the Lord.” “Ask Jesus to wash away your sins.” “Make your decision for Christ.” “Ask Jesus to give you eternal life.” “Ask God to save you.” These commonly-used phrases confuse people’s understanding of the Gospel. As we prepare people for the Gospel, we must bring them to the point where they realize they can do nothing. But even when people do understand their inability to do anything, many evangelists, missionaries, and preachers tell enquirers things such as, “Now, you must give your heart to Jesus.” Having told them they are unable to do anything, they then tell them what they must do. What is the result? Confusion about the Gospel! People turn inward to their own experience, instead of outward to trust only in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection on their behalf. Methods and terminology used in evangelism all over the world have so distorted the Gospel that Christians need to be taught afresh the basic fundamentals of God’s saving work in Christ, so their presentation of the Gospel will be according to the Word of God. Even though many people have been saved under present evangelistic methods, many others have not clearly understood the Gospel. The message they heard so emphasized man’s part in conversion that God’s perfect nished work and complete provision for helpless sinners in Christ was not understood and believed. If people’s attention is directed inward to their own doing, even those who are truly saved will often lack assurance of salvation. The question will constantly arise within their hearts, “Was I sincere enough? Did I do it correctly? Did I truly receive Christ? Did I really give my heart to Jesus?” I have taught students in Bible College who were concerned and confused over these issues. One day, a student came to me deeply troubled. She talked with me about her conversion. She was concerned, “Did I do it in the right way? Was I really sincere? Did I really accept Jesus into my heart?” These questions plagued her. She had nally decided that, just in case she had not done it in the correct way, she would check with me to see what she should do. At her conversion, she had realized she could do nothing to save herself. But the evangelist told her she must ask Jesus into her heart and give her life to Christ. From that time on, she was constantly concerned as to whether or not she had done all that she should have done. As I talked with her, I explained that it wasn’t a matter of whether SHE had done it correctly or not, but whether the LORD JESUS CHRIST had done everything correctly on her behalf. Did He satisfy God? If so, was she trusting, not in her own doing, but in Christ’s nished work on her behalf? The Gospel is not man accepting Jesus as his Savior, but that God accepted the Lord Jesus as the perfect and only Savior two thousand years ago. The Gospel is not man giving his heart or his life to Jesus, but that Christ gave His life, His whole being, in the place of sinners. The Gospel is not man receiving Christ into his heart, but that God received the Lord Jesus into Heaven as the mediator of sinners. The Gospel is not Christ enthroned in the human heart, but that God enthroned the Lord Jesus at His right hand in Heaven. Do we see the great distinction between these two messages? One is subjective and puts the emphasis on what man must do. The other isobjective and puts the emphasis on what Christ has already done. The sinner is only to trust in what has already been done on his behalf. The Lord Jesus cried, “It is nished.” He did it all. He took upon Himself the load of sin, the full responsibility for the sin of mankind. Because Christ paid the complete debt, God raised Him from the dead and accepted Him into Heaven. The resurrection was God’s sign to all that He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ forever as the perfect Savior. God is satis ed. Is the convicted sinner? Will he rest the whole weight of his soul’s salvation on Christ’s acceptance by God as the perfect Savior? Will the sinner cease, once and for all, trying to do anything to save himself? Will he trust only in God’s Son for salvation? Some would call this type of Gospel presentation “Easy Believism.” When they present the Gospel, they consider it is necessary to place before sinners the need to take up the cross and follow Jesus and the necessity of crowning Jesus Lord of their lives. Some preachers believe that, by insisting on this, they prevent people from making false professions. The answer to false professions, however, is not found in adding to the Gospel by requiring the sinner to promise tofollow, obey, and su er for Christ. There aren’t any strings attached to the Gospel. The answer to true conversion lies in the correct preparation of the sinner’s mind and heart for the Gospel. The Holy Spirit accomplishes this as the sinner hears and understands from the Scriptures that he is lost, helpless and hopeless, and stands condemned before God, who is his righteous, holy Creator and Judge. Dependence on external, observable actions This confusion regarding the presentation of the Gospel has another serious consequence. Multitudes, whose salvation is doubtful, assure themselves of their acceptance by God because, sometime in their life, they did what the preacher told them to do. They made their decision. They went forward and did what was required of them. Even though their lives have not been changed by the power of Christ and their way of life reveals an unconverted spirit, they still take refuge in what they did. They are trusting in what they did and not in what Christ has done. Multitudes of mere professors are resting their acceptance by God on their action of going forward or praying a prayer in response to the appeal. Because much evangelistic preaching is subjective and experience-oriented, the attention of the hearers is placed on themselves and their personal response to the preaching. Christians excitedly report the salvation of little children, teenagers, and adults, taking it for granted that they have understood the Gospel and are truly converted, simply because they have displayed an outward decision for Christ. In most evangelical circles, it is the norm to require people to publicly indicate their decision for Christ by raising their hand, standing, or walking to the front of the building, and praying a prayer of acceptance of Christ. The majority of Gospel preachers and Christians place so much emphasis on the invitation and people’s outward response that many Christians are now convinced that it is an integral and vital part of the ministry of the Church. On one occasion, when a relative of mine clearly preached the Gospel but did not give a closing appeal, a Christian lady when leaving the meeting expressed her disapproval by the remark, “He didn’t even give people the opportunity to be saved!” The danger is not that people are given the opportunity to publicly express their faith in Christ. The danger is the emphasis before and after the invitation which causes people to rest their salvation on their own personal actions in response to God, rather than on the actions of Christ which are declared in the Gospel. When addressing this subject during a seminar with missionaries in the Philippines, I made the statement that I had never led any of the Palawano believers to the Lord, and I carefully explained what I meant. I had not asked the Palawanos to pray and to verbally accept Christ in my presence, nor did I tell them that they needed to pray a prayer of acceptance in order to be saved. I simply preached the Gospel and then exhorted the Palawanos to place their faith completely in Christ and the Gospel. Where, how, and what they actually did at the time of their conversion was not the important thing. One missionary in the seminar strongly disagreed with my statement, “A person does not need to pray in order to be saved.” When sheobjected, I replied, “Then I have led many people astray. I told the Palawanos that if they simply believed the Gospel and trusted in Christ, they would be saved. But I did not tell them that they must pray. According to what you are saying, I must now ask the Palawano believers if they prayed when they believed. If they did not, then I must tell them that unless they do, they will be lost.” Some people use Romans 10:9-10 to substantiate their claim that a person must make a verbal acceptance if he is to be saved. But this would then mean that mute people or those on their deathbeds who are beyond speaking would be unable to be saved. In addition, it would mean that unless a person was with someone else to whom he could confess with his mouth the Lord Jesus, he, too, would not be able to be born again. The rst section of Mark 16:16 says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Does this mean that baptism is necessary for someone to be saved? Of course not! The rst part of Mark 16:16 must be interpreted in the light of the rest of the verse, “but he who does not believe will be condemned.” All such Scriptures must be interpreted in the light of the unmistakable emphasis of the whole Bible – salvation in Christ is received through faith alone and is not dependent on any action of man. On one occasion, during a conversation with another missionary, he told me how, many years earlier, he had come to assurance of salvation. His assurance came unexpectedly at the close of a meeting when the preacher asked everyone who was saved to raise his hand. Since, at that time, the man did not know if he was truly saved, he tried desperately to keep his hand down, but it was forced up by a power outside of himself. He related that, because of this experience, he never again doubted his salvation. Yet another Christian told me how she was assured of salvation through an unusual experience. When confronted by a wild, vicious bird, poised to attack her, she looked it in the eyes and said, “You can’t touch me for I am a child of God.” Because the bird did not peck her, she felt certain from that time that she was indeed in the family of God. Experiences, regardless of their vivid and startling nature, should never be the grounds for believing that one is saved. The Word of God alone must be the foundation for assurance of salvation. John says of his Gospel, “But these arewrittenthatyoumaybelievethatJesusisthe Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). Each Christian is responsible to make certain that his preaching and evangelistic methods focus on Christ and His death, burial and resurrection as the only rm foundation for his hearers’assurance of salvation. Just as the physical eye does not behold itself but sees only the object on which it is focused, so true faith looks only to Christ. We should never accept any outward act of a professed convert as the basis for acceptance as a born-again person. The only scriptural basis for receiving a person’s claim to salvation is his understanding and faith in the foundational truths of the Gospel. In Palawan, a wizened, almost toothless old Palawano lady, who had been sitting for more than an hour on the front porch of our house, nally got around to her reason for visiting. Smiling, she said, “Grandchild, I am trusting in Jesus.” Even before she spoke, it was evident that she had something to tell me because she had patiently waited until all of our other visitors had gone home. Even though I had guessed that her news was related to her faith in Christ, it did not lessen my excitement and joy when she declared her dependence on the Savior. My natural reaction was to reach out and hug her, but Palawano decorum and culture, as well as a fear that such an action would seal her in a sincere but unfounded faith, restrained me. To immediately accept her testimony, without carefully questioning her, would not have been judicious. She might have been following the other members of her family who had already come in the preceding days to express their dependence on Christ and His redemptive work. For her own sake and for the edgling church in that area of Palawan, I had to do whatever I could to ensure that her faith was resting on the foundations of Scripture which I had endeavored to lay down. “Grandmother,” I answered her, “It gives me great joy to hear that you are trusting in the Lord Jesus as your Savior. But why did you trust in Him? Why do you need the Lord Jesus?” “I am a sinner,” was her immediate answer. “But Grandmother, why do you say that? You love your family. You are kind and a very hard worker.” “Yes, but I am a sinner before God,” she insisted. “But Grandmother, even though you are a sinner, why is it that you need the Lord Jesus? Why did you trust in Him? What has He done for you?” “Ah, Grandchild, He was the One who died for me. He died for my sins.” Tears of joy lled my eyes as I replied, “Grandmother, I am so very glad to hear what you have said, for God’s Word says that all those who trust only in the Lord Jesus as their Savior, believing that He died for them and then rose again, have all their sins forgiven by God and will never go to Hell. They have eternal life and will be received by God into Heaven.” How di erent was the testimony of this illiterate tribal woman compared to that of my wife’s aunt, who went forward in response to an altar call at an evangelistic meeting in Australia. We were excited to think that this may be the rst of Fran’s relatives, outside of her immediate family, to be converted. So, while visiting with her, Fran began to question her regarding her profession. It soon became obvious that her aunt was taken up with her own personal feelings and experience rather than the historical accomplishments of Christ on her behalf. In an endeavor to determine her aunt’s real grounds for assurance, Fran asked her, “Aunty, why did you go forward to the invitation of the preacher? Was it because you realized that you are a sinner?” “Sinner? I’m not a sinner!” she exclaimed. In spite of her lack of understanding of even the basic truths of Scripture, Christians had accepted her as having been saved simply because she had responded to the invitation. Regardless of how careful we may be in questioning professing converts, there will always be those, as portrayed in the Parable of the Sower, who will appear to be Christians but will fall away after a time. Being fully aware of this danger is all the more reason why we should do everything we can to retain the purity,simplicity, and objectivity of the Gospel message, so that people will rest in the rightness of Christ’s actions, and not their own. "
  4. I got rid of a bunch of Gospel tracts today.. it's interesting how many tracts today don't even have the Gospel in them. (The death, burial, and resurrection.) I think in some ways we make the Gospel more complicated than it is. Salvation is simple childlike faith and dependence on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think in our zeal to protect from false professions, and easy believism that we have swung too far in the opposite direction. Sometimes giving people the impression that they have to clean up their lives before they can be saved. I can't tell you how many people I have seen who come from fundamental churches that question their salvation, they say things like "I don't know if I repented enough" or "I don't know if I was sorry enough"...Salvation is us trusting Christ to do it all, it's not us working up enough sorrow or tears, it's not even us making a commitment to give up sins. Yes people have to understand that they are sinners and deserve hell, but to say a sinner has to "give their life to Christ" or "make Jesus Lord of their life" or anything else is preaching a false gospel. Neither is salvation "asking Jesus into your heart." I am against easy believism 1-2-3 pray after me, but I am also against Lordship Salvation and false views of repentance. The truth is in the middle.
  5. 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. Many pastors like to use this verse as a means to justify extracting financial support from their congregations. The pastors who do this are wrong. This passage is not speaking of stationary pastors of Churches. Rather, it is speaking of traveling ministers, such as missionaries and evangelists, being provided for in their travels. The key in this passage is the phrase “They which preach the Gospel.” In the Word of God, who is seen “preaching the Gospel,” or told to “preach the Gospel”? Those that are sent. (Ro 10:15) Those that travel about. (Mt 4:23; 9:35; Mr 1:14; Lu 9:6; 2Co 10:14) Those who are called out and separated from among the body of Believers. (Acts 13:2) Those who come into cities. (Mark 1:14) Stationary pastors are not told to “preach the Gospel.” They are told to “feed the flock of God. (1 Peter 5:2) They are told to “feed the Church of God. (Acts 20:28) They are to “preach the Word.” (2 Timothy 4:2) It is not their responsibility to “preach the Gospel” to the Church of God. The Church has already heard the Gospel and accepted the Gospel. That is why they are the “Church,” … because they believed the Gospel and are the Body of Christ. They don’t need the Gospel… they already have it. What the Church needs is nourishment so that it can grow. It needs the sincere milk of the Word. (1 Peter 2:2) It needs to move past the baby stages, and march forward as brave and faithful soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ! If you stayed on Pablum all your life, no doubt you would remain weak, unable to fend for yourself; always dependent on others to fight your battles. The Church is not established to keep its members on spiritual Pablum. The Church is to equip the saints so that they can be faithful witnesses to those outside the walls of the sanctuary. So that they can carry a light into a world filled with darkness. God doesn’t want a Church to be spiritually weak, He wants them to be strengthened by His Word. He wants His Church to be able to resist the devil when temptations come. He is looking for those who will be ambassadors for Him in this present age we live in
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