weekly word – 6/2/22

The Gospel that Leads to Salvation: Simple and Free, Yet Priceless and Profound

As I look back over the years and through the different stages of my spiritual walk, I see how I’ve changed as God continues to grow me and sanctify me. If you were to ask me at the various stages of my life, “What is the greatest thing about being saved?” you would have gotten different responses. At one point, you would have heard how I will spend eternity in heaven. At another, perhaps I am a child of God, or Jesus loves me, 

There are so many things that we can be thankful for as a result of our salvation. But if you were to ask me now, my answer would be, I get to be with God and see Jesus face to face. Just the idea of being in the very presence of my Lord and Savior is barely conceivable. In my study of Genesis chapter 5 and 6, one of the things that stood out to me was how Scripture says that Enoch and Noah "walked with God”. This doesn’t mean that they physically walked with him, in fact after Adam and Eve’s sin and departure from the Garden of Eden, it was not possible for man to be in the very presence physically with God. This meant that they communed with Him, committed their lives to Him and sought to please Him in everything they did. What else would we need in this life? What could be more important?

If being with God is the greatest thing that we can look forward to, shouldn’t it be all we need to tell people as we witness to them? The answer is, yes, it should be, if they recognize their sinful state and realize their need to be reconciled to God. 

Present day trends in evangelism have changed so much from the earlier biblical driven days of revivals. Many churches and evangelicals have developed a seeker-sensitive approach. Instead of just bringing the Gospel (the plain and simple truth) to them, they try to bring them to the Gospel. In doing so, they try to incorporate a worldly marketing strategy to make it more appealing and acceptable. They develop strategies to “win people over” to Christ. 1 Peter says that the Gospel is offensive, rejected, and a stumbling block to the unbelievers. If we have to convince people to accept God’s salvation, or worse yet, feel like we have to make it more tolerable, we are teaching a false doctrine. This is exactly what the enemy wants. Part-time Christians who aren’t fully committed to giving up the their old nature. Instead of giving their lives to Christ, they try to fit Him into theirs. 

The Gospel message is simple and straight forward. It has never changed since it was first proclaimed by the apostles. Developing a different or new gospel was a problem that the early church in Galatia dealt with. The apostle Paul rebuked them for distorting the Gospel. He told them in Galatians 1:6-9, “I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!” (ESV) He repeats this one more time for emphasis.

While there indeed are many other benefits and privileges of being saved, they should not be used as incentives or perks to convince someone to be saved. These can be misleading and can give a false motivation for becoming a Christian. We can take a look at the culture surrounding us and see all of the organizations that people go completely out of their way to become a part of. They make huge sacrifices, personally and sometimes financially, and often times, all they get out of it is some type of status. People go through crazy initiations just to gain this status or get to wear a patch on a jacket. 

The real crazy thing is that the Gospel is free, simple, available to everyone, without initiation rituals, there’s not even a probationary period. Once you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, believe it in your heart, that is it. You are a child of God. Permanently sealed, you get to commune with Him and one day, be in His presence.

People are sinners who absolutely cannot be in the presence of a Holy God. This Holy God wants us to be reconciled back to Him and provided a way through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. He did this because He loves us. Believe in Him and you will be saved. Period!

It’s hard to believe that something so simple and straightforward can be so hard to accept, and sometime so hard to share.

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Bryan