THE MODERN DAY GOSPEL
The word "gospel" is translated from the Greek "euaggelos," which means "good news." Basically almost every church-going Christian knows that the gospel means good news. However, due to the weak doctrine that comes from most of the pulpits, the true meaning of the gospel is lost today. We are living in days where the average Christian has a weak understanding of the gospel. There are many Christians who are zealous in evangelism, witnessing, and making disciples. However, the true gospel is not presented and as a result the churches are packed with truly unconverted people who have a form of Christianity outside but are not truly regenerated. The most common way to approach the sinner is to tell them that "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for you." The evangelist or the pastor at the end of the sermon will tell the people to raise their hand, come forward and to say a prayer to accept Christ Jesus.
Many people believe that just because they raised their hands or said a prayer they are saved.
Our theology is shaped by the influence of Charles Finney (1792-1875). Finney was a Pelagian, and denied the original sin. Charles Finney was an evangelist and became very popular in America. His 'Systematic Theology' is still one of the most popular manuals on theology in the Pentecostal Churches today. Finney was very critical of Martin Luther and John Calvin with respect to their teaching on Justification by faith through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. He was not holding to what the reformers preached and taught. His preaching led people into an emotional experience. Many Christians in the church are not aware of this as they do not study the history of the Church.
THE GOSPEL IN SCRIPTURE
1Co 15:1-2 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 you are saved...
(Salvation is found only by the gospel)
Mr 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
(Without Jesus Christ there is no gospel)
Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.
(Christ's mission was to preach the gospel)
Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,
called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.
(The priority in the church is not the programs or the building projects but preaching the gospel.)
1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel:
not with wisdom of words,
lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
(Only the gospel can save you, baptism is the result of the gospel)
Mr 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
(Without repentance there is no gospel)
Mr 8:35 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.
(the Gospel is self-denial in obedience to Christ)
Ro 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
(There is judgment for the unbeliever)
Ro 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.
(The gospel has the power to raise up the dead sinner alive)
1Co 9:18 What is my reward then?
Verily that, when I preach the gospel,
I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
(Today many preachers are becoming rich in preaching
the gospel as they abuse the gospel for their own wealth)
2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
(There is a counterfeit gospel which looks like the original.
Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and many others fall into this category)
Ga 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
(The gospel is of grace and any form of works cannot be added to the grace of the gospel, as the gospel is of God and man has no contribution)
Ga 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
(Satan can transform into an angel of light and can come to preach another gospel)
1Th 2:8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
(The preacher's lifestyle should confirm the gospel)
Mt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
(The gospel is not to be kept but to be shared to all the nations.)
THE BAD NEWS
There is no good news without the bad news. The problem with the modern church today is that the gospel is presented to the sinner as a means to solve their immediate problems and to meet their practical needs. As a result there is no true repentance and holy living before the Lord. God is being presented as a very loving person who
understands and loves the sinners, gives bear hugs to the sinners and winks at their sins. But my friend this is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is the almighty all-powerful God whom we need to worship in reverence. Today there is no fear of God and no respect for God. No wonder today's children do not have any respect for the parents as they do not have a concept of God.
THE GOD OF THE BIBLE IS INFINITELY HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS
Pr 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Isa 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
The God of heaven is infinitely holy and when man confronts the presence of God he should tremble in his sins. In the above scripture we see that the attribute of God's holiness is elevated to the third degree as he is called holy three times. In the Hebrew culture when a word is repeated two times, like when Jesus said, "Truly, truly I say unto you...." it means absolutely truly. But when a word is repeated to the third degree it means it is elevated to the infinite degree. Isaiah was the prophet for the nation. He was the best man in the town. But when he saw the infinite holiness of God with all his glory, Isaiah did not say 'I am blessed as I have seen the Lord with all his holiness,' but he said, "Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell
in the midst of unclean lips;
for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts."
Isaiah, the man of God, in the presence of God's dazzling holiness saw how filthy he was and said, "I am undone." meaning 'I am ruined.'
The man of God who proclaimed the word of God with his lips,
now saw that his lips were unclean,
and not only his but all the people around him were unclean also.
We are like Isaiah and we believe we are good, upright, just, wise and holy until we are confronted by holiness of God. Then we realize that we are unholy, unrighteous, full of pride, impure, prone to hypocrisy, utterly defiled, and we deserve judgment and punishment. In the Old Testament when the holy men of God saw the presence of God they trembled in fear. "Let not God speak to us, lest we die"
But today there is no fear of the lord but laughter, and they even call it a holy laughter.
THE FALL OF MAN
Ge 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Adam was righteous and perfect before God as he was created in the very image of God. He had a free will to obey or disobey God, as he was made perfect. But when Adam and Eve sinned they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God. Just like God said, they became dead in sin, and then sin polluted all parts, the soul, will and the body. Adam was the federal head of the human race, so through Adam sin came to all humanity.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory God...
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.
We need to understand that disobedience to God is a heinous crime. Adam and Eve revolted against the authority of God, abandoned the commandment of God, as pride was the beginning of evil. They despised the word of God; all reverence for God was gone. They did not honor God's majesty. There was ambition and pride as they wanted to become like god. Man obeyed the blasphemies of Satan. Is man a sinner because he sins? Absolutely not. Man is a sinner because he is a sinner. the sin is inherent in us and it is the sin that is in us that makes us to be sinners. David said, "Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (Psalm 50:5) You don not have to teach a child to sin; he knows it already and he loves to be disobedient because it is in him.
"For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature..."
THE LAW OF GOD
That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.
As we saw previously, God is infinitely holy and righteous. God's holiness and righteousness in manifested in the Ten Commandments, the law of God. As God is perfect so the law that came from God is perfect.
(Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul:
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.)
The only way we can make it to heaven is to have a holiness and the righteousness equal to that of God. That means we need to be absolutely perfect in observing and practicing every bit of the law. But we have failed miserably and violated God's laws; we have sinned against the almighty God. Can we go to heaven with our sins? No, because God will not live among the sinners. (Psalm 5:4) And God's eyes are too pure to look and approve evil. (Habakkuk 1:3) We need to be infinitely righteous to be with the infinitely righteous God. God gave man the law and said, in Lev. 19:2 "Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy." That means we need to live in perfect holiness without any form of sin, keeping the entire law of the Old Testament and not even sinning against the Lord ignorantly. "And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty;" (Lev. 4:13) James said, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all."
WHY DID GOD GIVE THE LAW
Today the church does not preach on the law. The law and the gospel go together. The law is God's perfection. The law is the standard that all are going to be measured by. It is the perfection and the glory of God. How have we measured up to the glory of the law? Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory God."
One day a man came to Jesus and said the following.
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
If this man came today and asked the same question from an average Christian what will the Christian say? Of course the modern day average Christian will say, "You want eternal life, that is very easy, just say the sinners prayer and you will be saved." But Jesus went to the law, and wanted to show his if he had kept all of the law.
He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Now what is the sin of the young man? He had violated the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before me." The young man's god was his treasure. He thought he was a pretty good person, then the law came and stripped him and showed his sinfulness.
What does the law do? It strips the sinner and shows his sins. We become conscious of sin by the Law. In reality we have sinned against God in thought, by our speech, and by actions. Jesus exposed the law and the inability of man to keep the law when he said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery, But I say to you whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
Man sees the result of sin but God sees the cause for sin.
The Law condemned us and showed us to be guilty before the Lord.
When a person breaks the law, he is indebted to the authorities of the law. He needs to pay the price of breaking the law. Our human authorities are finite and the penalty is finite.
But God is infinite and the penalty is
infinite as we have broken the law and the debt we owe
to God is an infinite payment.
We lay powerless to pay the debt
and sinned against the almighty God.
MAN IS GUILTY BEFORE GOD.
Man was born with sin, and there is no way he can save himself, as God said, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."
What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.
As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
There is no one who understands no one who seeks God.
All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one
Apostle Paul goes on to say that the whole world stand guilty before God.
God will punish the sinner.
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.
Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
The result is the wrath of God. God will punish the sinners in hell. But isn't God loving and merciful? Yes, but also God will not compromise with sin. The Lord will not leave the guilty go unpunished. (Nahum 1:3) If the judge in your town or city allows all the law breakers to go free, while telling the community, "I am a loving and a good judge, that's why I am allowing the law breakers to go free," then is he really a good judge? No, a good judge will punish the lawbreakers.
God is the Judge of the Universe and he will punish the sinners.
As God is infinitely holy His punishment will be infinite. If God is less holy then His punishment will be less. And if God is not holy then there will be no punishment. That is why the cults and the other religions will not believe in hell, as their gods are not holy. If you sin against a very poor man, you may be able to get away with a very small punishment or no punishment at all. But if you sin against the richest, the most popular man in the world, everyone will know and the punishment will be much greater. In the same way God owns the universe and He is infinitely powerful
and righteous and sin against him deserves an infinite punishment.
Hell is a place of unquenchable fire, where the sinners will be tormented in their bodies and minds for eternity. Every part of the body will be tormented at the same time.
We saw in our natural nature we were unrighteous before God as Apostle Paul said, "There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one who understands, no one seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good not even one."
We could not become righteous by observing the law but we are lawbreakers and guilty before God. How desperately we needed righteousness to go to heaven,
but without righteousness we are lost and on the way to the lake of fire.
SAVED FROM THE WRATH OF GOD.
The Divine wrath and vengeance of God, and eternal death, were upon us. We deserved horrible destruction and were exposed to the curse of eternal death. We were without any hope of salvation, the slaves of Satan, and captives under the slavery of sin, waiting for that horrible destruction.
Then the horrible destruction was interrupted as Christ came in between God and man and took the punishment and the destruction upon Himself. He bore the judgment that was upon us, and with His own blood He satisfied the anger of God toward the sinners and found peace between God and men. Now we can appreciate the good news and give glory to the Lord for the salvation He has provided us as we now can understand that we are saved not from our immediate problems, but saved from the wrath of God. Salvation means we are saved from the wrath of God.
1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Rom. 5:9 Much more then, having been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
THE UNRIGHTEOUS WERE MADE RIGHTEOUS
"BUT now a righteousness from God, apart from the LAW has been made known to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."
The power of the gospel is that it can make the unholy man into a saint; it can make the drug addict, the drunkard, the thief, the adulterer and the self-righteous into a righteous man. Remember Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine. He came to turn the sinners into saints, the unrighteous into righteousness. This is the power of the gospel.
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to the last, just as it is written:
The righteous will live by faith."
JESUS BECAME RIGHTEOUS ON OUR BEHALF
Jesus was born without the inherited sin of Adam. He became our substitute and represented us. As our representative he fulfilled the Law which we have broken.
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
We did not bring glory to God, but brought dishonor as we lived in disobedience. But on the other hand Jesus as our representative became obedient to the Father and brought glory to His name as He accomplish the work of God.
"My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish the work."
"For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, also through the obedience of one man the many were made righteous."
"...because by one sacrifice he has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy."
"It is finished."
"I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do."
THE IMPUTATION OF CHRIST.
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21) Also in Romans 4:22-24, the apostle wrote, "…written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead."
An imputation is charging to another account. At the cross the guilt and the penalty due to us were imputed
(charged, or credited)
to the account of Jesus. Then the righteousness of Jesus was imputed (credited) to our account. Now we have become righteous, and it is not our righteousness but a righteousness that is outside of us and that is the righteousness of Jesus. For the Son of God, though spotlessly pure, took upon him the disgrace that was due to us and
transferred his righteousness and holiness to us.
We broke the law and we deserved the curse, while Christ kept the law and He deserved the blessing. But the curse and the blessing was exchanged as the curse due to us was imputed to Christ and the blessing that was due to Christ was imputed to us!
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
SAVED BY GRACE ALONE.
Almost all professing Christians believe that salvation is by grace. There are many preachers who speak on the grace of God but when you analyze their grace there is works involved in it and that is not grace.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--
not by works, so that no one can boast.
God does not owe us anything. So salvation is not a reward but of grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Grace is free! Grace is unconditional! Anything earned, merited, or deserved by you is not grace. The man who thinks he deserves God's salvation does not believe in grace. The person who believes that his acceptance by God depends upon his works, does not believe in grace.
Many Christians believe that we are saved because of our faith in God. If this is true man has something to boast about in his faith toward God for salvation. But the apostle goes on to say this faith is not from ourselves but is the gift of God. My friend, listen very carefully, this faith is not the product of man's free will and the power to accept Christ but the free gift of God.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling;
Naked come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
(From the Hymn: "Rock of Ages" by A.M.Toplady 1740-78)
True repentance is Godly sorrow for your sins.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
And done that which is evil in thy sight;
That thou mayest be justified when thou speakest,
And be clear when thou judgest.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity;
And in sin did my mother conceive me.
[And] my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
We all deserve the judgment of God; cry out for his mercy!
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get. But the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God, be thou merciful to me a sinner.
I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
In this parable of Jesus, we see the religious man was righteous in his own eyes and in front of others. He was proud of himself and self-confident in approaching God. This self-confidence depended on his works toward God. It was a prayer of thanks giving in order to exalt himself and his own works.
But on the other hand the tax collector stood far from the altar as he realized his unworthiness to come closer to God. His prayer was short and different than the Pharisee. He trembled before God as he realized he deserved the judgment of God. He saw how sinful he was in the presence of the almighty holy and righteous God. He trembled in fear and beat his chest as he realized he was guilty, filthy and deserved the wrath of God. It was a true confession of sin, and he cried out for the mercy of God instead of the judgment.
Jesus' verdict was the tax collector was justified, made righteous and went to heaven and not the religious Pharisee. For whoever humbles himself before the Lord will be exalted. The tax collector did not get saved by raising his hand, going forward in an altar call or repeating a prayer, but by crying out to God in true repentance.
The question is: Are you a sinner?
Will you ask God for repentence, and believe the Good News?
In meekness instructing those that oppose
themselves; if God peradventure will give
them repentance to the acknowledging of
To believe means to trust in the work of Jesus Christ for what he did on the cross, and not your works, beseeching him to make you surrender to him as your Lord and Savior, and obedience to his word. Then having a deep passion and a hunger for God, and desiring for Him.
It is good that a man should both hope and
quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
If ye love me, keep my
No man can come to me, except the
Father which hath sent me draw him:
and I will raise him up at the last day.
"I am the bread of life. he who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes on me shall never thirst."
"If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink - he who believes on Me - as the Scripture has said, "Out of His innermost being shall flow rivers of water".
Read God 's word daily for your spiritual food.
THE WRATH OF GOD FOR THOSE WHO WILL NOT SURRENDER TO JESUS CHRIST.
John 3:36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
If you don't trust in the work of the lord for your salvation, God said in Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Now you have read the glorious message of the gospel, please do not go away without asking God for true repentance of your sins. Let us cry unto God saying, 'God be merciful to me, a sinner. Lord, I need to be saved. Save me. I call upon Thy name. Lord, I am guilty, I deserve Thy wrath. Lord, I cannot save myself. Lord, I would have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me to do of Thy good pleasure. God alone has the power to save a wretch like me, and I know that I cannot run away from God. Lord save me today.
IF YOU ARE BLESSED BY THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL,
WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO MAKE COPIES AND DISTRIBUTE FREELY.