Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bring Them In

I know the last blog on this site was talking about Harold Camping’s attack on the local church. However, I feel there are still more things to be said. Camping’s teachings may not have pulled away so many from the local churches if they were doing what God has called us to do. The emphasis, I said in the last blog, has to be on the Gospel, which is the Truth that we are sinners bound for Hell, but Christ paid for our sins on the Cross at Calvary and whosoever receives the Lord Jesus is saved (see I Corinthians 15:1-5; John 1:12; Romans 10:13). I said in that earlier blog that if a church is teaching this, it is on the right track. However, a church can have the correct doctrine about salvation and still lose its focus.
Camping’s claim that the Holy Spirit has left the local church is unsupportable from Scripture. However, it is easy to see how many might believe Camping when many churches have left the sound teaching of Holy Spirit which is the Gospel. The focus has become how to bring people in the doors of the church, but not on how we help them understand the simple truths of the Gospel. It has become unpopular to speak of sin and even more unpopular to suggest that there is only one way to heaven. Some churches boast of their show on Sunday mornings with sayings like, “Come, be greeted with
a smile by one of our friendly Volunteers, enjoy coffee, experience upbeat and uplifting music by our band and be inspired and encouraged by a creative, compelling, and practical message.” Where is the Gospel in such an invitation? I would daresay that in many our churches there is more of an emphasis on the praise and worship team than on an evangelism team.
How can the local church think it is doing its job when this is so? But that is not all that can be pointed out that’s wrong in our local churches. We have been quick to denounce someone as outrageous as Camping who has continuously made false predictions, yet we stand by saying nothing about others on the airways claiming unction from the Holy Spirit, yet preaching a false Gospel. Indeed it is a false Gospel when one says that Jesus’blood on the Cross did not pay for our sins, that his suffering in Hell did. It is a false Gospel that says Jesus is God and we to will be little gods like Him when we are saved. It is a false Gospel that says Jesus gives us salvation but we have to keep it. We applaud when Sky Angel takes Camping’s programs off the air, but what about these other false teachers as well?
The Gospel is clear. Jesus is uniquely God, the Son.  He is not a god, nor are we. He is not the angel Michael or any other angel. Jesus is not a man who became God. He is God, and as such the only one Who could pay for our sins. He did it all. He even gives us the grace to believe (Ephesians 2:8-10). Jesus Christ changes lives. We are short changing people when we water down or minimize the Gospel in any way, manner or fashion. Our world is in a terrible mess. Congressmen commit immoral acts, lie about it and then say they only did that to avoid embarrassment, and people buy it. Ours is a world of sinners in a desperate situation. Getting people into church however we do it is fruitless unless we give out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Judgment is coming (just not on October 31). However, God's invitation is still valid and still clear. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Shout it on the rooftops, shout it in the streets.  Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.

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