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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.3  Kewpie Doll Christianity???

 

This might seem like a strange title, but I think it very descriptive of much of ‘American’ Christianity. We have gone way beyond the ‘easy believism’ that many warned about for years, to a blatant attempt to change the Gospel into something palatable for the masses—whether or not they are willing to hear and receive the way of the Cross! Jesus proclaimed openly on more than one occasion that HE IS the only way to God. The “Kewpie Doll” came from a cartoon character in the early 1900’s and I fear this is what many are wanting to make of the Gospel, just another venue of ‘entertainment’ and ‘distraction’—not the life and death issue that it is. The problem is SIN, and there is only One Way to solve the problem—His name is Jesus!

Thomas saith unto him, Lord,

we know not whither thou goest;

and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.” John 14:5-6

Jesus is the way’ to God—the only way! The way of repentance and faith in Jesus, for without Him there is no hope to escape the penalty of sin, which is death (See Romans 3:23 and 6:23).

I said therefore unto you,

that ye shall die in your sins:

for if ye believe not that I am he,

ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:44

John chapter 8 is an amazing chapter, in that Jesus was confronting the ‘religious’ leaders of His day—those who had perverted God’s way even then. Jesus knew that He was the Son of God, yet those leaders denied Him, hated Him, and rejected His message. They refused to believer that He was the Son of God, yet Jesus very clearly told them, as He is telling people today, HE is the ONE and only way. Jesus and His substitutionary, atoning death for sin IS the only remedy for sin, the only provider of salvation, the only way to God! And when Jesus saves us, He changes us! A God change—not a man made change–a transformation that only God works in the hearts and lives of the saved, for Jesus came to redeem us from our sins, not IN them.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS:

for he shall save his people

from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Sometimes the simple things are the most profound—“he shall save his people from their sins”! He came to save us from our sins that we might have real victorious, overcoming LIFE, LIFE that cost Jesus His own life’s blood on the cross! How can we neglect the import and value of His sacrifice for our salvation? Why do we so often miss this part of the Gospel, watching our culture (even our churches) dilute its impact by denying its exclusive truth and power? Yes, it is exclusive in the sense that it truly is the only way—but God opens the door to all who will come to Jesus, believing that He IS God and that His death, burial and resurrection brings salvation to all who will believe and trust in His redeeming work on the cross!

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them,

Whosoever will come after me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow me.

35 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it;

but whosoever shall lose his life

for my sake

and the gospel’s,

the same shall save it.

              36 For what shall it profit a man,

if he shall gain the whole world,

and lose his own soul?

37 Or what shall a man give

in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:34-37

Jesus is the only “exchange” option for the souls of men. He gave His life for ours, and without His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice applied to our personal ‘sin’ account we must pay for our own sin. And my friends—that’s not the cutesy message that is often being presented today, it is imperative that we share the truth of the Gospel—the same message that Jesus proclaimed, not a new version!

Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you,

I am the door of the sheep.

8 All that ever came before me

are thieves and robbers:

but the sheep did not hear them.

9 I am the door:

by me if any man enter in,

he shall be saved,

and shall go in and out,

and find pasture.

10 The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come that they might have life,

and that they might have it

more abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd giveth his life

for the sheep.” John 10:7-11

What good, good news, news that we can boldly speak as God’s Word proclaims it, not as the ‘believe anything’ crowd would have us do. We can stand confidently in what God The Father, Jesus The Son, and the writers of scripture (Through the direction of The Holy Spirit!), have revealed about the saving, atoning, transforming power— the saving work of the blood of Jesus! It is His blood alone that brings “new life” to those who are dead in sin.

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.

18 And all things are of God,

who hath reconciled us

to himself

by Jesus Christ,

and hath given to us the ministry

of reconciliation;

19 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.

20 Now then we are ambassadors

for Christ,

as though God did beseech you

by us:

we pray you in Christ’s stead,

be ye reconciled to God.

21 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.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

The only good thing that I can claim is the “righteousness’ of Jesus!, the righteousness of The One who took my place and yours on the cross of Calvary, reconciling us to God. Jesus had “no sin” to pay for, but I had a sin-debt that I couldn’t pay without going to hell! Jesus stepped down from heaven to pay my debt—which HE didn’t owe, so you and I could have new life that we could never deserve—which cost Jesus His pure and sinless life poured out on that cross—my cross—because HE loves us. By His grace He provides salvation for all who will believe–a salvation which will be evident in our lives to one degree or another. Not every person will have the same gifts, or the same calling in their Christian walk, but all believers have a call and a walk.

For by grace are ye saved

through faith;

and that not of yourselves:

it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works,

lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus

unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk

in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10

So whose work are you? Are you the work of the world or the work of God? Let’s look at those earlier verses in Ephesians 2. Take special note of the contrast between who we “were” and who we becomein Christ Jesus”.

And you hath he quickened, (made alive)

who were dead in trespasses

and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked

according to the course of this world, according to the prince

of the power of the air,

the spirit that now worketh

in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all

had our conversation

in times past

in the lusts of our flesh,

fulfilling the desires of the flesh

and of the mind;

and were by nature

the children of wrath,

even as others.

4 But God,

who is rich in mercy,

for his great love

wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead

in sins,

hath quickened us together

with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together,

and made us sit together

in heavenly places

in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come

he might shew the exceeding riches

of his grace

in his kindness toward us

through Christ Jesus.”     Ephesians 2:1-7

As Paul proclaims, we need a Savior, because when we are lost, we are already “dead” in sin. Jesus made this same proclamation as He talked to Nicodemus. We can be bold in proclaiming the truth of the Gospel, for it is the only cure for the deadly plague of SIN. And YES my friends, Sin IS the issue—and issue the world wants to deny.

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.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil

hateth the light,

neither cometh to the light,

lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth

cometh to the light,

that his deeds may be made manifest,

that they are wrought in God.”    John 3:16-21

Everyone wants to quote John 3:16, but not nearly as many want to talk about the verses that follow. If we never deal with sin, why would anyone need a Savior? We must, I repeat—we must, preach the same Gospel that our Lord and Savior did, not a watered-down, half-truth version! Not the ‘Kewpie Doll’ Gospel that gives people a false hope and tells them that they can use Jesus’ name and hold on to their sin, with the ‘do it yourself’ Gospel. Only Jesus saves, and sin IS the issue! Until people recognize their sin, that they are ‘lost’ in it, they will never need a Savior to save them “from” it!

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened,

that it cannot save;

neither his ear heavy,

that it cannot hear:

2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood,

and your fingers with iniquity;

your lips have spoken lies,

your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

4 None calleth for justice,

nor any pleadeth for truth:

they trust in vanity,

and speak lies;

they conceive mischief,

and bring forth iniquity.” Isaiah 59:1-4

Sound familiar? Like America? Sin IS the issue, and God has the only solution, which And Isaiah reveals as he describes the solution, which God had promised—a Lamb!

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:

and we hid as it were our faces from him;

he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:

yet we did esteem him stricken,

smitten of God,

and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions,

he was bruised for our iniquities:

the chastisement of our peace was upon him;

and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned every one

to his own way;

and the LORD hath laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed,

and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth:

he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,

so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment:

and who shall declare his generation?

for he was cut off out of the land of the living:

for the transgression of my people

was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked,

and with the rich in his death;

because he had done no violence,

neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him;

he hath put him to grief:

when thou shalt make his soul an offering

for sin,

he shall see his seed,

he shall prolong his days,

and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper

in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul,

and shall be satisfied:

by his knowledge shall my righteous servant

justify many;

for he shall bear their iniquities.”    Isaiah 53:3-11

A Lamb was promised who would come and “bear their iniquities”—yours and mine. I encourage you to spend some time thinking on, praying over and absorbing the truths of what Isaiah tells us that Jesus did for us on that cross. All this planned by God, set in motion before the world began, and all because He loves us and wants a relationship with us—His creation! How about you? Are you buying (or selling) the ‘cartoon’ Gospel that makes Jesus just one option among many, or have you chosen to cling to “The Old Rugged Cross”? It was, is and ever shall be God’s only plan. There is no plan “B”! Never was—never will be! John The Baptizer recognized and revealed who this Lamb was, as He came on the scene to take care of man’s sin problem.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith,

Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away the sin

of the world.” John 1:29

And it shall come to pass,

that whosoever shall call on the name

of the Lord

shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words;

Jesus of Nazareth,

a man approved of God

among you by miracles

and wonders

and signs,

which God did

by him

in the midst of you,

as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered

by the determinate counsel

and foreknowledge

of God,

ye have taken,

and by wicked hands

have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up,

having loosed the pains of death:

because it was not possible

that he should be holden of it.”    Acts 2:21-24

It was all from God, “by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God”! God sent Jesus to die willingly, not by the clumsy, or chance design of men, but by the wonder of His plan of saving grace.

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access

by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice in hope

of the glory of God…….

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time

Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God

commendeth his love

toward us,

in that,

while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified

by his blood,

we shall be saved

from wrath

through him.

10 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.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom we have now received

the atonement.”    Romans 5:1-2 & 6-11

That’s not cutesy or cheap—it is the redeeming, saving plan that transforms the hearts and lives of all who will believe in Him.

Having predestinated us unto the adoption

of children

by Jesus Christ

to himself,

according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace,

wherein he hath made us accepted

in the beloved.

7 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

the forgiveness of sins,

according to the riches

of his grace; Ephesians 1:5-7

Who hath delivered us

from the power of darkness,

and hath translated us

into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption

through his blood,

even the forgiveness of sins:”    Colossians 1:13-14

So my friends, it’s all up to you! Will you come to God through the saving power of the blood of the Lamb, or will you fall for the lies of the enemy—the one who doesn’t give life but is the thief of souls who:

cometh not,

      but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy”!

The choice is every person’s to make, and if you have chosen to truly receive the salvation that Jesus bought for you and me at Calvary, then you can have the power to live that abundant life which He gives. Salvation wasn’t cheap to God—it cost Him His Son; may we ever recognize the import and value of God’s amazing gift of salvation. And when we come to Him, and become His child, He is ever working to conform us into the “image of His Son”!

And we know that all things work together

for good

to them that love God,

to them who are the called

according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow,

he also did predestinate

to be conformed

to the image of his Son,

that he might be the firstborn

among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,

them he also called:

and whom he called,

them he also justified:

and whom he justified,

them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us,

who can be against us?” Romans 8:28-31

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.   Romans 11:29

You can count on God to accomplish His purpose in His own! It’s His free gift, but it’s not cheap or do-it-yourself!

I said therefore unto you,

that ye shall die in your sins:

for if ye believe not that I am he,

ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:44

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life

was cast into the lake of fire.”   Revelation 20:15

Only Jesus can write your name in HIS book, with His blood!