Archive for the ‘The Gospel’ Category

If you put a human in a cage with a tiger, the chances are that person will get mauled to death. Why? Did the tiger do something wrong? No. It was just being a tiger and doing what it does by nature?

If you have a cat like I do, you know that cats love scratching things, hence why I have a scratching post. Even though it can be annoying sometimes, again, I cannot expect the cat not to scratch because it is only doing what it does by nature.

So what is the nature of the gospel? No matter how we like to dress it up sometimes, the nature of the gospel is offensive. Why is that?  Because it targets the sinful and proud heart of man. It tells them that they are not good and that without repentance from sin and faith towards God, they will remain dead in their sins and end up eventually in a lake of fire. That is not the kind of message that society wants to hear today because we are such a ‘ME’ society and its all about OUR rights and how dare anyone tell US how we should live OUR lives.

So does that mean we go around telling them to ‘turn or burn’. Not in so much words. Ephesians 4:15 instructs us to speak the truth IN LOVE. Our conversation should be seasoned with grace (Colossians 4:6) when we speak to others and even though there is bad news, for that individual, it can end with good news. In the post when it is OK to offend other believers without remorse, I mentioned this quote from Trip Lee

The Bible is clear about the fact that if we stand for truth, we will offend people. The crazy thing is that it doesn’t treat it like a possibility, it speaks of it as if it is a fact. And it goes as far as to say we will be hated!

In Matthew 10 the Lord Jesus says this:
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues… you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”

It is pretty rare in our country that we are flogged or injured for Jesus, but when we offend, we are indeed hated. Did you see why we he said that they would be hated though? For His name’s sake. We see that Peter refers to Jesus as “a stone of stumbling and a rock of OFFENSE.” The offense is the message of the Gospel, the truth of the Scriptures.

So then, this second category of offense isn’t wrong at all. It’s a result of preaching Jesus. This type of offense has nothing to do with the messenger, but has to do with the message. Some people are too abrasive, or condemning, or self righteous and they add offense to an already offensive message. This is what we must avoid. We are to lovingly present an offensive message to those who need to hear it. This includes Christians and non-Christians.

As a matter of fact, I have talked with some within the body who have been offended by me and my brothers hard stances on biblical truths. For some, we’ve hurt their feelings *[see below]*. And while I strive to speak with them lovingly and graciously, I am not apologetic. That is unless I’m shown that I’ve misunderstood what God said in His Word. I strive to proclaim truth boldly even if it offends man, because to shy back would be to offend God. That’s the other mistake we must avoid- not standing for truth in fear of offending others.

So in conclusion, when we preach the gospel, and even if we speak it in love and with grace, we should never be surprised if people are still offended by our message. That is the nature of the gospel. That is the nature of the cross.

As per my previous post:

Now do we feed the poor, look after the homeless and help those who are in need? Of course we do. Jesus commanded this in Matthew 25:31-46. But that is NOT the gospel of Jesus Christ. We do these things IN RESPONSE to the gospel. There are many people who carry out very good charitable work but they do not have their sins forgiven and as a result, will die in their sins.

Related Posts:

The Gospel in One Minute

What is the good news of the gospel?

Getting the gospel right

Whenever I go about my business and I see Christians handing out leaflets or trying to witness, I like to play dumb to see how they articulate the gospel. So today, this guy came up to me and my wife to hand us a leaflet and what was the first thing that was promoted or advertised. Was it Christ? No. He wanted us to come to his church to receive ‘anointed oil’ from his pastor. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I think its bad enough when Christians promote their church without promoting the gospel. So I had to challenge him on this and explained to him how he should be promoting Christ and not some oil to which he replied that he had to subject himself to his pastor and their leadership and that is what he was told to do.

This is one of the main problems in many churches where some of the leaders control and abuse the flock spiritually or just plainly are not mature enough in the word, yet they are supposed to be leading the flock. I explained to this guy how he should first submit to the word of God and THEN the leadership in his church which he didnt seem too convinced because his pastor was and I quote  ‘more anointed than him’. The guys excuse for mentioning the oil was because he didnt think it was right to use christian jargon to unbelievers (as if unbelievers really understand what anointing oil is) and basically he was trying to use it as bait to get them into the church. I mean what unbeliever can understand the ten commandments about lying, stealing and lusting? Its so complicated (my sarcasm). Again, I had to challenge him and said to him that he was in effect saying was that the gospel by itself is not enough to change lives or to save. To my surprise he said NO. And this was supposed to be a christian on the street trying to point people to eternal life!! 

The problem with what he was doing is that if these people didnt visit his church, the only thing that they think they would have ‘missed out ‘on is some oil and his church service, as there was no mention of Christ at all and they would not have received the gospel at all. To make it worse, these people handing out these leaflets were dotted all around the area so I can only assume that they were promoting the same thing. How sad!!

I so wish that many churches will get back to the simple basics of the gospel. We have complicated it so much with self help preaching Oprah style and the gospel of YOUMany Christians truly know not what the gospel is. We need to get the gospel right.

Below is a beautiful yet simple presentation of what the gospel is all about.

This could be the most important minute in your life because the minute afterwards is not promised to you

One Minute Gospel v. 1

One Minute Gospel v.2

Related Post:

What is the good news of the gospel?

Related Post:

What is the good news of the gospel?

Paul Washer delivers a urgent appeal to the Christians and Churches in North America (and I believe in many other countries as well including the UK) that many have been believing a false gospel and have false assurance of their salvation. He lists 10 indictments against the modern Church system in America. This is a historical urgent message, tell others and spread the message. We need a reformation and revival of a biblical standard!

The indictments are as follows:

The first indictment: a practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture

The second indictment: An ignorance of God.

The third indictment: A failure to address mans malady

The fourth indictment: An ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The fifth indictment: An ignorance of the doctrine of regeneration

The sixth indictment: An unbiblical gospel invitation.

The seventh indictment: Ignorance regarding the nature of the Church.

The eighth indictment: A lack of loving and compassionate Church discipline.

The ninth indictment: A silence on separation.

The tenth indictment: Psychology and sociology have replaced the Scriptures with regard to the family. 

 

If you cannot watch the video all in one go, click on the link below where you will find a link to download the mp3 version of the sermon

HT: Word and Verse and Young Calvinist