The Gospel

Christians are always going around talking about “The Gospel”.  So, what is it?  Look at what Paul says in I Corinthians 15:1, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;”  The gospel is so important that the Apostle Paul does not want people he knows to be ignorant of it.  So he goes on to tell us what the gospel is.

First of all the gospel is the death of Jesus Christ.  Look at I Corinthians 15:3, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”  Sin demands payment.  Our sin demands a payment.  That payment must be perfect.  The only One who could die to pay that debt was Jesus Christ.  I love Paul’s words at the end of this verse where he says, “according to the scriptures;”.  He is telling us that we have God’s word on the truth of the gospel.  The world has seen religious leaders come and go; but, none were ever like Jesus Christ.  You can find the bones of those others; but, you will never find the remains of Jesus.  He died; but, that is only the first part of the gospel.  You must believe that Jesus died; and, that He died for you and your sin.

Secondly the gospel is the burial of Jesus Christ.  Look at I Corinthians 15:4, “And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”  Jesus literally died and was buried.  He was buried in a borrowed tomb.  All this was done according to the Word of God.  We could say that he only borrowed a tomb because He would only need it for three days.  Again, you must believe that Jesus was buried on your behalf.  He died as the Sinless Sacrifice for your and my sin.  Because He died, He was buried.

Thirdly the gospel is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Again, look at I Corinthians 15:4, “And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”.  The phrase “rose again” means to awaken from death.  Again, He did not stay in the grave.  He got up (resurrected); thus, conquering death, hell and the grave.  It is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That is the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Word of God.  Here is the thing.  You have now been shown the gospel.  It is up to you what you do with it.  You can either put your faith and trust in Jesus for salvation or you can once again reject Him.  If you do not trust Christ as your Saviour then you sentence yourself to eternity in hell.  The choice is your’s to make.

So, how are you doing?

Some Things Never Change

I believe that change is one of the hardest things for people to cope with.  I am thankful that some things do not change.  I remember driving along with my family as a young boy going to where our family came from.  This is interesting to me and I loved it.  I still do; but, I cannot find these places on my own.

My point is that over time things change.  Building materials deteriorate and buildings crash to the ground.  It is sad to see your heritage and history just crumble away.  Yet, in our nation it is happening physically and spiritually.  Jesus told Peter that He would build His Church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  Thank God His Church is still here until we are caught up with Him.

One thing we can concentrate on that will never change is the gospel.  It has and will always be the same.  Look at Joel 2:32, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”  No matter who you are.  If you call upon Jesus He will save you.  That is awesome news!

So, how are you doing?

Communication 3

When I was dispatching for a living we often would use games and other things to build unity and sharpen our skills.  One such exercise had one dispatcher seated facing away from a dry erase board.  The other dispatcher was standing at said board with a marker in hand awaiting instructions.  The person seated was given a piece of paper with something written on it.  Their “job” was to “dispatch” or give instructions to the other person who was to draw on the board based upon the instructions.  This was a hilarious activity; but, made a real point.

I usually considered myself a top notch dispatcher until the last couple of years as my health and outside issues began to drain my abilities.  Yet, with a top notch skill level my turn was a disaster.  My paper read “elephant” and I nearly passed out when I read it.

For Christians communication is vitally important also.  Just like a dispatcher, someone’s life could hang in the balance of our communication.  What if you communicate the gospel wrong?  That human being could spend eternity in hell because of our lack of communication.  Especially if we fail to communicate.  We need to be like Phillip in the book of Acts 8:34-35, “And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.”

Dear Christian friend, are you able to intelligently communicate the gospel to someone?  Their eternal life could depend upon it.

So, how are you doing?

Go Home 5

Mark 5:18-19, “And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.  Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”

Go home and say what – your message.  We have a message that need to be gotten out to the masses.  If you had the only cure for a disease that is sweeping the world would you not want to share it?  I hope so; but, I know there are people that would not share it.  This is tragic.

It is the same way in the Church.  The world is infected with sin.  We have the cure for their sin problem and we sit, soak and sour each week and let people go on and die and go to hell.  Shame on us all!  Shame on us for not doing more!  I am just as guilty; if not more so, as anyone else.  We have a message to share and we must share it!

The message is a message of grace.  Grace is God giving to you and I what we do not deserve.  We do not deserve eternal life and all the blessings of God; but, God loves us so much that he lavishes His love on us.  He started with giving His only Son Jesus to pay for our sin.

The message is a message of mercy.  Mercy is God withholding just judgement.  In other words we deserve to die and go to hell; but, God in His mercy provided a way that we do not have to go to hell.  Thank you Jesus!  We deserve eternal punishment; but, Jesus took our punishment on the cross so that we do not have to experience it.

The message is a message of peace.  Peace is a result of God lavishing His grace and mercy upon us.  When God pours out His grace and mercy on us it brings about a deep peace in our lives.  If you do not have peace then you need to put your faith and trust in Jesus and receive peace which surpasses all human understanding.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 21

I remember when I was growing up I saw what I was to get for my birthday one time in the trunk of my mom’s car.  The circumstances were such that I did not remember it and it was a great surprise.  It was a BB gun.  I loved it.  I took it “hunting” around my aunt and uncle’s farm countless times.  I got in deep trouble with my BB gun countless times too.

That was a gift that I have remembered for well over thirty years.  It had an impact on me.  As I was thinking about Christmas I was remembering so many wonderful things from years past.  I remember getting the toy rescue truck and ambulance that were from the television show “Emergency!”  My dad nearly wore them out before I had the chance to play with them.  Such was life back then.  They were still great gifts.

We are approaching the day we celebrate Christmas.  The word Christmas is Latin and it means Christ the more.  There you go!  That is what we need this year and every year.  We need more Christ!  We can have just that.  Look at Luke 2:11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  This is one of the most quoted verses of Scripture at this time of year.  It is true!

Jesus Christ is the Greatest Gift ever given.  All you and I have to do is receive Him by faith and we can have our sin forgiven and we receive an eternal home in Heaven.  There is a whole host of others gifts that He gives too.  Will you receive the free gift of salvation today.  I pray that you do.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 7

We have all heard the story of the husband who wanted to take his wife to the doctor because he thought she was experiencing hearing loss.  As the joke goes, it is he who has hearing loss.  The husband asks, “Is dinner ready yet Honey?”  The voice of an exasperated wife comes from the kitchen, “For the third time I said yes!”

Far too many people are not listening today.  They hear their music devices of all kinds or whatever they want to; but, for the most part people do not listen for God to speak to them.  Look at Matthew 2:3, “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”  Notice the first phrase, “When Herod the king had heard these things;”.

What things had Herod the king heard?  He had heard of the birth of Jesus the King.  The problem is that he totally misunderstood the truth about Jesus.  He saw Jesus as a Competitor.  Herod feared that Jesus would gain a following that would overtake him and strip the kingdom from him.

Many people today are misunderstanding the true message of Jesus.  Jesus came to save us from sin.  He did not come to give us a list of do and don’t do.  He came first to the Jews and after their rejection He came to the Gentiles (you and I).  He came to deliver you and I from sin.  Will you trust Him today?  I wish you would.

So, how are you doing?

Thanksgiving 4

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of spending time with a friend.  We went to a bean supper at the Church where a friend of mine is the Pastor.  What a wonderful evening of fellowship and the food was outstanding.  I have never seen so many “Crockpot”s full of soup and the line of deserts was breathtaking.

I enjoyed the message brought to the group by visiting Pastor.  His text was found in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  As he made his way through his message he talked about his son being involved in drugs and getting caught twice for it.

One point he made I remember was that of the truth of Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  He talked about a picture he had taken of his son when the child was four years old and how God used that picture to show him that he was responsible partly for where his son was at in life now.  It was powerful.  Did the Word of God say that the Gospel is powerful?  As a matter of fact It did.

Today, if you know Jesus Christ as your Saviour take time and thank God for the gospel of Christ and for It’s power that has worked in your life and the lives of countless millions of others.

So, how are you doing?

The Greatness Of The Great Commission

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Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

I have had the pleasure of hearing outstanding messages on this passage of Scripture for two weeks in a row.  It was amazing how God had given to the different men different messages all from one passage of Scripture.  Here is what I received.

  • The Great Commission is great in it’s sentence.  Verse 19 says, “Go”.  This is not an option.  It is a command.  We are commanded to go so we need to realize that it is possible.  You and I are just like the disciples in the boat.  Jesus told them to go to the other side and yet they doubted His command and were deeply afraid in the midst of the storm.
  • The Great Commission is great in it’s sending.  Verse 19 continues, “ye”.  Do you see yourself as standing before the Judge and Him passing the verdict?  He has said, “Go ye”.  This is a personal commandment.  It is to you and I as individuals.  We should be honored and humbled by this commission.  Unfortunately, we sit by idle and just let two people every second slip off into eternity.
  • The Great Commission is great in it’s scope.  Verse 19 continues to tell us, “and teach all nations”. Even in the age of information that we live in there are people that have not heard about Jesus.  Romans 1 tells us that God has put within us all just enough information about Himself to make us curious about Him.  The problem is that we suppress this information and seek self fulfillment and could not care less about our spiritual state of being.
  • The Great Commission is great in it’s service.  Verse 19 continues, “and teach all nations, baptizing them” and verse 20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:”.  Here is a vital part of this commission.  Notice the order here.  Jesus tells his disciples to teach first.  Baptism comes after the teaching.  We are to teach and let the Holy Spirit bring these people to a place of trusting Jesus Christ as Saviour.  Then based upon that decision they are to be baptized to identify themselves with Christ.  There is no salvation in the baptism.
  • The Great Commission is great in it’s Sender.  Verse 19 continues, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”.  We have been comissioned by the Holy Trinity.  The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost” or Holy Spirit.  There is no greater commission than the commission that comes from our Holy God.  He could use anyone or anything else to declare the gospel; yet, He chooses to use you and I.  We have been handpicked by Him to carry the gospel to the world.  The problem is when we refuse to take it and go with it.
  • The Great Commission is great in it’s Spirit.  Verse 20, “and, lo, I am with you alway,”.  The Holy Spirit is described as “The One who comes along side”.  He is described as our “Comforter”.  We have a great Spirit.  He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  He empowers us to do exactly what the commission commands us to do.  We have a Great God!
  • The Great Commission is great in it’s sight.  Verse 20, “even unto the end of the world. Amen”  I guess this could be called vision also.  Can you see yourself taking the gospel to the end of the world?  Maybe you cannot go to all the so-called corners of the world; but, you can enable others to do just that.  If you do not “feel” called to the mission field then support missionaries that can go for you.  It is that simple.  It is called faith promise giving.  In other words, you ask God to give you the faith to give what you have promised.  This is an amount between you and God.  Listen to Him before making a decision and committing to it.

So, friend, how are you doing?

 

The Report

You can watch the news any time day or night and they are always giving some statistic about some report that is probably skewed to fit their spin on the story they are reporting.  It is frustrating.  The media have gone from reporting the news to making it themselves.  This is very irritating to conservative Americans that truly search for the truth.

Even in the days of the Bible people were not believed.  In the case of Joshua and Caleb their report was not believed and the false report of the other spies was believed.  They skewed the report to fit their agenda.  This was an agenda to not take on the giants of the land.  However God had promised the land to His people.  Yet they did not believe the report of Joshua and Caleb who said that with God they could take the land that had been promised.

I am reminded of Isaiah 53:1, “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?”  You and I have been charged with sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Is your “report” believable?  I hope you do not skew the message to fit your agenda.  We need to tell the truth as it is to people as they are to give them the opportunity to trust Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

So, how are you doing?

I Love To Tell The Story

The other day I overheard a conversation between my wife and my mother.  My wife was sharing about our experience ministering at Good News Mission this past Friday evening.  It was an amazing night to say the least.

Tears began to run down my cheeks as I heard her telling about the service.  She was telling about how her hands and arms were literally sore because she had played the piano harder than she ever had before in her life.  I know that by the time the song service was over I was so exhausted that I was not sure how I would ever preach.  As Tara sang the song, “The Touch Of The Master’s Hand” the men were responding with applause and shouts of “Amen!” and the like.

When I stepped up to the pulpit I knew God moved in at that moment.  I opened the Word of God and preached my heart out for twenty (20) plus minutes on the truth of the existence of hell.  The men were deeply moved.

As I mused on this evening and listened to my wife recount the events to my mother I thought about how it must thrill the heart of our Father to hear us tell His story.  The Gospel is a glorious story of love and redemption.  I thank God for Pastor Sherman Essex for sharing this with me so that I might be saved.

What story are you telling?  Was it the story of the one that got away at the lake last year?  We all love to talk about our children and their success and accomplishments.  There are far too many people that say they are born-again that never share the true story of Jesus and His love for all mankind.  Look at Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

So, how are you doing?