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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 17 The Gospel According To___?

 

We live in a culture that wants to make the “Gospel” something that “appeals” to the masses, and makes everyone “feel” good. There is no mention of sin, no call to the God’s holiness, nor any call for repentance in this worldly gospel—rather has a message that says God will take everyone to heaven, no matter how they live or what they believe about Him, His Son, His holiness or His Word! God says different!

I used to quote an old adage that said, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!” but I’ve changed it to more aptly fit the truth of God’s Word, “God said it, and that settles it—whether I believe it or not!” Whether we ‘believe it or not’, God says there is only “one way” to salvation, and that way is HIS way—His name is Jesus!

As we’ve learned from Daniel’s example, knowing God and His Word makes a difference in our lives that the world can see—in word and deed! What does the world see in me/in you?

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.”   Daniel 6:16

Who am I serving? Is my service to God reflecting a true picture of my Lord and His Gospel—the Gospel of God’s Word—much different from the one promoted by the world.

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel,

that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

whom ye crucified,

whom God raised from the dead,

even by him

doth this man stand here

before you whole.

11 This is the stone which was set at nought

of you builders,

which is become

the head of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name

under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved.”    Acts 4:10-12

Jesus is the only way of salvation—our salvation is why HE came—to save us from our sin, and only when we are willing to recognize our own sin, repent and believe in His substitutionary (He took my place), atoning (He paid my debt), sacrifice (the paying of a debt He didn’t owe, because I had a debt I couldn’t pay, apart from His death for me) believing and receiving the new birth in His saving work at Calvary, in other words, being born again! There is no other way to God.

But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe

on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.”   John 1:12-13

Being “born…. of God”, having real life, eternal life in HIM!

Jesus answered and said unto him,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him,

How can a man be born when he is old?

can he enter the second time

into his mother’s womb,

and be born?

5 Jesus answered,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born of water

and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter into the kingdom

of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh

is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit

is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again.” John 3:3-7

Ye must be born again”! Apart from being born again, no one can even “see the kingdom of God”; in fact Jesus goes on to say that unless we are born “of the Spirit” we cannot “enter into the kingdom of God”. And that my friend is important—because not every one who claims to know Jesus knows Him. Not everyone who attends church, or does good deeds, or is right in their own eyes, will “enter into the kingdom of God”, but those who are “born again”—they are the only ones who will “see God”! And the verses we looked at in John 1 remind us that it is the Spirit of God—The Holy Spirit—that works the new birth in those who respond to God’s call to repentance and faith.

I know I have belabored this point, but it has been on my heart of late, and after attending a service recently, I was grief stricken to hear the things that I heard, and I must call us all to consider the “Gospel” according to The Word of God—not according to men!

As I was in attendance at this service there was a bit of scripture read, and even a reference or two to Jesus, but never once was there any reference to salvation being in Jesus. There was lots of talk about the works of men, and the goodness of men, but no mention of salvation by grace. In fact there was no music about God, Jesus, grace or salvation, just worldly music that broke my heart—not because it was bad, but because it was so “not” the gospel. In fact, afterwards I thought how sad, that we just went through a service that presented the “Gospel According to Nashville” not the Gospel of Jesus. Why would anyone want to go to heaven and spend eternity with God, when they have no use for Him in this life? Jesus said that we must repent—stop going our way, and turn to HIM? What happened to that Gospel?

I tell you, Nay:

but, except ye repent,

ye shall all

likewise perish.” Luke 13:3 & 5

We must repent of our way, and go God’s way. And Jesus knows the difference, and will reveal it! In HIS time!

Not every one that saith unto me,

Lord, Lord,

shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;

but he that

doeth the will of my Father

which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day,

Lord, Lord,

have we not prophesied in thy name?

and in thy name have cast out devils?

and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them,

I never knew you:

depart from me,

ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth

these sayings of mine,

and doeth them,

I will liken him unto a wise man,

which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell not:

for it was founded

upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth

these sayings of mine,

and doeth them not,

shall be likened unto a foolish man,

which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended,

and the floods came,

and the winds blew,

and beat upon that house;

and it fell:

and great was the fall of it.”   Matthew 7:21-28 (Because it was NOT founded/built upon a rock!)

The question is, “Are you building on the ‘rock’ or the ‘sand’?” Have you believed in the true Gospel of Jesus, or the lies of the world, the watered-down Gospel of ‘Nashville’, or ‘Hollywood’, or ‘Detroit’ or ‘New York’? If it is any Gospel other than the biblical one, you need to reconsider what you are trusting in. And if your life isn’t reflecting the truth and Spirit of Jesus in what you ‘do’ (not just what you ‘say’!) you might want to examine what you are counting on to save you!

Examine yourselves,

whether ye be in the faith;

prove your own selves.

Know ye not your own selves,

how that Jesus Christ is in you,

except ye be reprobates?”   2 Corinthians 13:5

It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in us that is the evidence that we belong to Jesus, that we have truly believed the Gospel of the Cross of Jesus and been born again. Paul gives us the “Gospel in a nutshell”!

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:

5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

1 Corinthians 15:1-5

Jesus paid it all—the only price that God will accept for sin:

Christ died for our sins…

that he was buried…

that he rose again the third day…

that he was seen…

All of this “according to the scriptures”—just as God had promised from Eden to the Cross!

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”   Genesis 3:15

The “seed” would be the victor—the eternal victor over sin, death and hell. And Jesus is that seed, and died for all who will come to HIM in repentance and faith! Only Jesus!

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?

56 The sting of death

is sin;

and the strength of sin

is the law.

57 But thanks be to God,

which giveth us the victory

through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren,

be ye stedfast,

unmoveable,

always abounding in the work

of the Lord,

forasmuch as ye know

that your labour is not in vain

in the Lord.”   1 Corinthians 15:53-58

Jesus is our victory, regardless of what the world says. God isn’t impressed by men’s works and deeds, but by the blood of the Lamb that cleanses from sin. And only Jesus’ blood will do! Anything else will fail at the end!

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death.

15 And whosoever was not found

written in the book of life

was cast into the lake of fire.”    Revelation 20:14-15

There is a time of accounting coming, and just as Jesus spoke in Matthew 7, saying so won’t make it so! Only being born again by the Spirit of God will make you a child of God! And that is only found at the cross of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, and soon coming KING!!!

And they sung a new song, saying,

Thou art worthy to take the book,

and to open the seals thereof:

for thou wast slain,

and hast redeemed us

to God

by thy blood

out of every kindred,

and tongue,

and people,

and nation;

10 And hast made us unto our God

kings and priests:

and we shall reign

on the earth.    Revelation 5:9-10

Regardless of what our culture says about Jesus, only salvation by repentance from sin, and faith in His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice will save. And when we are born again, we can follow Him by the power of The Holy Spirit, The Spirit others ought to see at work in us! All because His Spirit dwells in His own, and writes our names in “the Lamb’s book of life”! The Spirit of God working in us—saving us—changing us—all to point others to the cross!

So then they that are in the flesh

cannot please God.

9 But ye are not in the flesh,

but in the Spirit,

if so be that the Spirit of God

dwell in you.

Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,

he is none of his.” Romans 8:8-9

Jesus’ righteousness imparted to us, to be displayed before a lost and dying world in need of a Savior! What about you? What Spirit is working in YOU? In me? Are we ready to see Him? Do others see Jesus in us!

And there shall in no wise enter into it

any thing that defileth,

neither whatsoever worketh abomination,

or maketh a lie:

but they which are written

in the Lamb’s book of life.”    Revelation 21:27

I pray that you are relying on Jesus and not the message being preached by popular culture, music, movies, and TV! Only Jesus saves, and when He does, He makes new creatures out of sinners, and writes our name in “the Lamb’s book of life”. Where is your name written? Are you a “new creature”? Not perfect yet, but redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ alone! The Gospel according to Jesus—not Nashville!

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17

Have you called on Jesus to make you a new creature? Are you relying on something other than Jesus? Please consider what you are trusting in!!! It’s your choice, but choose wisely there is a test at the end?

No matter how many times we read or quote the 23rd Psalm (which is the most popular passage of scripture mentioned at Funeral services), no on can truly say “The Lord is ‘my’ shepherd” (emphasis mine) unless we are born again by the blood of the Lamb—just as we read above—the Gospel is Jesus work of salvation, not man’s empty efforts to look good to a world with skewed vision. And if Jesus is not your “shepherd”, then you will come up wanting. Please look to Jesus while there is still time!

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

5 Not by works of righteousness

which we have done,

but according to his mercy

he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us abundantly

through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

7 That being justified by his grace,

we should be made heirs

according to the hope of eternal life.”   Titus 3:4-7

Don’t put it off too long, or you may hear the same message that Daniel had to deliver to Belshazzar:

Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Daniel 5:27b

I pray that you will hear the voice of Jesus today and judge with ‘righteous judgment’ and respond in repentance and faith. And if you are already HIS, renew your devotion to His person and His Word—to follow with courage and wisdom!

As we said before, so say I now again,

If any man preach any other gospel

unto you

than that ye have received,

let him be accursed.”    Galatians 1:9

Amen and Amen.