Not Another Gospel!

I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  Galatians 1:6&8.

Over time many have felt the need to adapt the Gospel to a particular time and place as a strategy for outreach and church growth. Let us be clear as to why the Gospel you preach must be pure and true.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.  John 16:7&8.

An evangelical presentation of the Gospel may prove effective for the “winning of souls”, but will only fail to gather those chosen by the Lord absent the conviction of the Holy Spirit. 

Of sin, because they believe not on me.  John 16:9.

True conviction of sin does not occur by preaching against sin. Someone may feel ashamed if they feel called out for their behavior. They may want to be a better person, spouse, and citizen. There is only one Holy conviction: Jesus Christ, crucified for sin.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Co 2:2.

Therefore, the first element of the Gospel is WHO Jesus is, not what He has become to the world. He may be our Savior, Redeemer, Lord and King, but first and foremost, He is the only begotten Son of God. This truth is beyond dispute.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16. (most beloved verse, and the highest truth.)

He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18.

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31.

The most prevalent adaptation to the Gospel is the “die and go to heaven” message. This evolved out of the myth that “good people” go to heaven when they die. This is easily debunked with the familiar verses from Paul:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. 

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23.

However, the message of: accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and invite Him into your heart, and if you die tonight you will go straight to heaven, does not appear in the New Testament. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is never presented as a die and go to heaven message, but a live in holiness and righteousness in the sight of God.

Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Acts 4:2.

The consistent apostolic message and of Jesus Christ himself is that of a coming resurrection of the dead and the righteous judgment of God, to which He is appointed the only Potentate.

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. 1 Tim 6:15.

Jesus taught that we MUST be born again. The apostle John offers a clear presentation that this is only accomplished by believing in the Son of God.

Gentiles preach confess Jesus as Lord. Messianic Jews preach Yeshua haMashiach.  But Paul preached:

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.                 1 Co 12:3.

Before anyone can truly serve the Lord in obedience to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, they must be born of God. This is by faith in the Son.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.               1 John 4:15.

Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?      1 John 5:5.

We are not called to simply believe, but to overcome. To be called AND chosen AND faithful.

He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. Revelations 21:7.

…and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Rev 17:14.

Jesus died to restore us to a right relationship with His Father. He lives forevermore so that we too may live by the faith of the only begotten Son of God.

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  Romans 5:10.

Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20.

4 thoughts on “Not Another Gospel!”

  1. You spoke a mouthful here, but brought us the one truth that is sorely missing in our churches today. Jesus must be Lord of our lives, not just our Savior. There is a huge difference, and you point it out well.

    If He is merely our Savior, we walk away from the cross and feel redeemed and fee from sin. Free to do what we want because he will, forgive our trespasses. Free to act the way we want, regardless of whether we act in mercy and humility or not.

    But He must be Lord, not just Savior. As Lord, we will cling to the cross. We will avoid sin at all turns, because we know it displeases Him. We will desire to act in mercy and humility at every turn because this is what He requires (Micah 6:8).

    On one statement I would ask a question. “However, the message of: accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and invite Him into your heart, and if you die tonight you will go straight to heaven, does not appear in the New Testament.”. Jesus told the thief on the cross “Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Isn’t that telling that if He accepted Christ at that time, he would be in heaven?

    Appreciate your research here. Wonderful post!

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    1. Excellent question Pete. First I would point out that Jesus did not go to heaven at His death. He went to Hades! A Hebrew (read Biblical) perspective of the afterlife is found in Luke 16. The paradise that Jesus speaks of exists in full view of those in torment. Poor Lazarus was comforted at Abraham’s bosom, as I am sure that thief at Christ’s side also found. All I know is that we all will stand before Christ, the Righteous Judge, and His Grace directing my life is the only chance to hear the words: “well done, enter into the joy of the Lord”. The timeline of events that remain, as you well know, are a hotly debated topic of eschatology. All I know is at the end of the story, the Father and the Son come down from heaven to dwell among us, in a new heaven and a new earth, wherein righteousness dwells. Revelations 21. Hope to see you there!

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      1. So is this Paradise that you think of the same as the Catholic purgatory, where people still have chance to be saved? Yes, Jesus went to hell to take the keys away. He holds them now, the Paradise in Luke 16 me tuons Abrahsm can see it, but there is mention of Lazurus being able to see the torment. I have thought part of the torment of he is that they can see the blessings of heaven but can never get there. Heaven is the paradise of Luke 16, as it is with the thief on the cross.

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  2. LOL. No I am not Catholic and I don’t believe in purgatory. I certainly will not presume to explain heaven or paradise, that is above my pay grade. In 2 Co 12 Paul reports on a man who was caught up to paradise and heard words that are not lawful for a man to speak! I am not comfortable with stating to have much insight into paradise and heaven. The other use of the word paradise is found in Revelations 2:
    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (verse 7).
    As with all the promises made to the seven churches, they are offered to those who “overcome”, not to those who simply state what they believe.
    As to why Jesus went to Hades, Peter says that went to preach to the spirits in prison 1 Peter 3:19. He later claims to hold the keys to hell and death in Revelations 1:18, so I guess He had to go there to get them. I don’t believe a detailed knowledge of heaven and hell is a part of my present estate, in spite of many attempts of men and women to write books about it. I’m sure it sells, but does it preach?
    The point of my dissertation, which I will elaborate on even further in upcoming posts, is the necessity to preach the same Gospel as was originally preached.
    For example, I don’t find that Jesus preached that much about heaven as He did the KINGDOM of heaven, of which I more than believe, but fully know by experience that you and I are a part of in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.(Ro 14:17).
    What a wonderful testimony the thief on Calvary left us when He asked the Lord to remember Him when He entered into His kingdom! He seems to go him one better! I don’t know that I have the authority to make the same promise and guarantee, so much as an obligation to teach the full Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    To preach the resurrection and judgment is much more than simply, where you go when you die, it is about how we live being of great value, for a just recompense of reward. (Hebrews 10:35).
    I can see that you are fully convinced that the paradise of Luke 16, and for the thief, is heaven. I have no problem with that. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (Ro 14:5).

    The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. Romans 14:22.

    Love you brother
    Jim

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