Friday, May 21, 2010

The Gospel For The End Times

Recently there was a comment on the blog we posted concerning the endtimes desiring to set me straight. It was obvious that the author of the comment has disdain for the pre-trib rapture view. It distressed me only in that the comment appeared to be anti-pre-trib rapture without addressing specific content in the blog. There was a subsequent blog entitled "A Better Way" which we posted concerning Christian love and how that should affect us when considering those who hold views that differ from our own (in particular views concerning the endtimes) . While the entimes blog and the Better Way blog were posted on the same day the person who commented on the endtimes blog made no comment on the other. There is no question we will always have differences of opinions concerning many things in Scripture. However, when we insist that our way is right and that those who differ are deluded, then we must consider our tolerance to others in the body of Christ. Consider the following blog which was originally posted on or church website:

Pastor’s Blog December 2, 2009

                                   The Gospel Is Truth That Must Be Received

Up to this point in these blogs, I have talked about the end times and in particular the Rapture of Christ’s Church, will it be before or after the Great Tribulation? That is a topic which we as believers will probably never be in agreement until the coming of Christ. My opinion on the subject is very clear as evidenced in these blogs. However, we must be careful to not judge one another, or ridicule their position. We must respect them as fellow believers in Christ and allow God to make His changes in them or in us as it fits His purposes. We must avoid that feeling of superiority that comes whe we feel we have the corner on the truth. Can we truly say our reactions to those whose opinion differs from our own, is directed by the Holy Spirit?What is important is the unity we need to have as believers in Christ through the Gospel of Christ. No matter when we expect the Rapture to be, we need to use the time God has given us to preach the Gospel to everyone and anyone we can.

However, in a world where pastors proclaim, “You can have a better life”, “Come to Jesus”, “Only believe”, without further explanation, we must be clear as to what the Gospel is. All the phrases above are good and true as far as they go. We can have a better life—in Jesus. We do need to come to Him—receiving Him as our Lord and Savior. We do need to believe—cling to, rely on and trust Him. I am convinced that it is possible that there are those who get “almost” saved. They make a decision without really understanding what trusting in Jesus is all about. When this is the case, it is because we who know the Gospel have not made it clear.

In I Corinthians 15:1-5 Paul clearly states the Gospel: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve.” Paul makes it clear that the Gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is this Truth that we must proclaim.

From these verses we see that the Gospel is Truth that must be received. To receive this Truth is to believe it and to accept it into one’s life. That is we receive the fact that we are sinners, bound for Hell, in need of Someone to take the punishment for our sin and that Jesus is Lord, the “mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6) whom we receive into our lives. I not only see Jesus as Lord but He is my Lord, the One who has “bought me with a price” (I Corinthians 6:20) to Whom I now belong.

Some will now say, “Hold on there, you are getting into ‘Lordship’ salvation, which is works.” However, wherever in Scripture where we are told to receive Him we see Him as Lord. Likewise we cannot have salvation if we avoid the issue of sin. A Gospel that omits the fact that we are sinners for whom Christ died on the Cross, is no Gospel at all. We can entice people to have better lives, to come to church and to name the name of Jesus, but unless they receive that they are sinners, believing what He did for them on the Cross, and receive Him, they are still lost. They may come to church, sing praise songs and hymns, but without the Lord Jesus in their lives, it is all nothing.

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble”. Such is the warning we have in James 2:19. To know that Jesus is God is wonderful but not enough. “But as many as received Him to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them who believed on His name” (John 1:12). These words are ever clear. Let us teach men to receive salvation by receiving the Living God into their hearts.

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