I am preaching through the pastoral letters and when I recently began 2 Timothy I was reminded of the concern that Paul expresses about how the gospel will be handled after his death. He not only emphasizes the importance and centrality of the gospel—which he does in all his letters, but he also issues warnings that indicate he is concerned that the gospel might be lost—not in the world, primarily—but in the church.
This is evident in the specific instructions Paul give to Timothy, beginning in the first chapter. Consider his admonitions in 2 Timothy 1:8-14:
So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.” He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:24–25).
This statement, “Give God the glory!” seems positive until we read the remainder of the sentence, in which the Pharisees revealed that they had concluded that Jesus was a sinner and therefore could not have performed the miracle. They were saying that the man should give glory to God, not to Jesus. The man was straightforward with them, saying: “I don’t know whether He’s a sinner. I don’t even know Him. All I know is this: once I was blind and now I see.”
With these simple words, the man bore witness to Christ. He testified about the redemptive work of Christ. However, he did not preach the gospel. What am I getting at? In the evangelical Christian community, we sometimes employ language that is not always sound or biblical. You’ve heard the lingo. It goes something like this: “I plan to become an evangelist so I can bear witness to Christ.” Or sometimes we say, “I had a chance to witness the other day,” meaning, “I shared the gospel with someone.” We tend to use the terms evangelism and witnessing interchangeably, but they are not synonymous. Any time I call attention to the person and work of Christ, I am bearing witness to Christ. But that is not the same thing as preaching the gospel. Continue reading
from Charisma News
The biblical gospel starts with God and tells me what I can do to please Him. The contemporary gospel—which is really no gospel at all—starts with me and tells me what God can do to please me.
It is this fundamental difference that lies at the root of so much theological error in the church, and it is this mindset that defines our American society today. “It’s all about me!”
So what do many contemporary believers do today? We preach a candy-coated gospel, watering down sin, eliminating God’s holiness and making the death of Jesus absolutely meaningless. After all, if we are not deserving of death and judgment, why did Jesus have to hang on the cross? Why should He die for our sins if we don’t have to?
So, we make excuses for God’s standards, explaining to the sinner how happy he’ll be if he’ll just be nice enough to ask Jesus into his heart, as if Jesus is standing out in the rain, cold and wet and rejected, hoping and wishing someone would just open the door and let Him in. That is the contemporary gospel.
There’s no fear of the Lord, no warning of judgment and no denouncing of sin—just a better life for me if I will simply believe. And that’s one reason our society is on the verge of moral collapse. It’s time to get back to the gospel of Jesus!
by Darren Huckey at http://www.emethatorah.com
When we speak of the Gospel, we need to know what we are talking about. We need to know what the Bible calls the Gospel, rather than what our doctrines and traditions have called the Gospel. Let’s begin by looking at the Gospel message of John the Immerser.
The Good News of John the Immerser
After the foretelling of the birth of John the Immerser to Zechariah by the angel, we don’t hear anything more about John until he appears in the wilderness near the Jordan proclaiming his message of repentance.
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:1–3)
Paul Washer, Jeff Noblit and brothers answer a question from a conference attendee, “What do we do about all of the deceived people who are going to church?”
“Would it surprise you that the following five terms are never used in the Bible when it comes to describing how a person receives salvation?
1. Let Jesus into your heart.
2. Invite Christ into your life.
3. Just say this prayer and you’ll be saved…
4. Make Jesus the Lord of your life (we don’t make him Lord. He IS Lord!)
5. Turn from all your sin (and, no, that’s not what “repent” means!)
Any additions to simple faith is a vampire, sucking the grace out of the gospel. Anything more than faith is a parasite, attaching itself to faith and turning it into “another gospel.”