Acts 17:30-31, “30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Paul in one occasion brought the gospel to the Athenians in Acts 17, very religious people. They believed that there was a force, a being beyond their ability to understand who made all things. In their state, they lacked understanding of who God truly was (is) though they were very religious. Paul says to them vs. 22 “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD”. Continue reading →
3. Salvation is Shown as a Barter or Trade, Instead of the Result of Obedience by Faith. We offer forgiveness of sin like Monty Hall on “Let’s Make a Deal.” I’ve even heard, “You give Jesus your sin, and He’ll give you salvation in return!”No one in the Bible ever thought so low of the grace of God to talk about the gift of eternal life like it was for trade. It is a gift! You can’t earn it, or buy it, or give anything in return for it. How it must offend the Holy Spirit to hear people talk of His Jesus so. (Acts 8:18-23) Continue reading →
1.It’s Me-Centered Instead of Christ-Centered. First and foremost, it is the gospel that appeals to the selfish. Instead of honoring God, it places the sinner at the center of God’s love and plan. But the Bible places Jesus at the center of God’s plan, not the sinner.
One of the most well-known phrases of modern evangelism is “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” But the sober, biblical truth that needs to be presented to the sinner’s mind is “You have made yourself an enemy of God, and in your present state of rebellion there is absolutely no hope for you.” In fact, God’s “plan” for the sinner at this point in his life is to separate him from His presence forever, in hell. However unpopular or unlovely that may sound, it is the only truth and reality about anyone who is an enemy of God through sin. Continue reading →
8. The Necessity of Holiness to Please God. Hebrews says without holiness “no one shall see the Lord.” (12:14)It is true that Jesus commands us to be perfect. (Matt. 5:48) It is also true that you most likely have never met a perfect person, nor do you probably ever expect to be perfect yourself. Nevertheless, we still have those uncomfortable words of the Lord, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”
Now, because of our dilemma in finding ourselves to be such numskulls, and seeing the demands of Jesus, we have invented some pretty interesting and caraaazzeey doctrines. Some Christians have said, “Well, when God looks at us, He doesn’t really see us anymore, He sees Jesus instead. And when there’s ever sin in our hearts, if God should happen to look at the wrong moment, He’ll see a smiling face of Jesus there, instead of seeing our sin. So God sees me as holy – even though I’m not! But…I really am…er, well, you know what I mean!” (I don’t happen to believe that God is that easily fooled, not even by Christians.) Continue reading →
5. The Fear of God and the Judgment Seat of Christ.Instead of the awesome majesty of Jehovah, today the Lord is presented as a sort of “ice cream man-Santa Claus.” And the Church is the “candy store” where you can get “every goodie your heart desires.” Jesus Himself is portrayed as “a sweetie pie,” so good, so loving, so forgiving, and so gentle, that you can almost hear the preacher whisper, “Aw, He wouldn’t hurt a fly…” But what happened to “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31) or “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’? (Proverbs 9:10)10 Continue reading →
3. The Threat and Terrors of Hell, and the Guilt of Sinners. We often hear people say, “I’m tired of hell-fire and brimstone preaching!” “Well,” I often reply, “when was the last time you heard any?” It is true, very few people preach on hell anymore – it is no longer in vogue. We shouldn’t scare the poor sinners, no, that wouldn’t do. They’re just unfortunate, misguided souls, right? Wrong! The Bible clearly shows that they are rebels who have robbed and dishonored the living God, infinitely offending Him.7 They have no right to look at themselves in any other light. Continue reading →
I know that the title of this article will possibly raise some worried eyebrows. At first glance, some might say to themselves, “Oh no, Keith has gone too far this time!” But let me quickly put those possible reactions to rest. To the question, “What’s wrong with the Gospel?” I can easily answer, “Absolutely nothing!” That is, of course, if you’re talking about the Gospel of the Bible – the very message that Jesus preached – what the apostles Peter, Paul, John, and the others devoted their very lives (and deaths) to. (Phil. 1:20-21) Continue reading →
Luke 15:20-22, “20 And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.”
This is the magnificent attribute of God that sets Him apart from all the false gods invented by men. He is not indifferent or hostile, but a Savior by nature, longing to see sinners repent and rejoicing when they do. We see this kind of love demonstrated by the father of the prodigal son, who when he saw his son coming he had compassion on him, ran, fell on his neck, kissed him. The son did not even finish his rehearsed words of repentance before the father intercepted to grant forgiveness. This is a picture of God’s eagerness to forgive. Continue reading →
Luke 15:11-31, “21 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood… 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
While we know the story of the prodigal son having taken his inheritance and gone to a far country and wasted it all, I would like to dwell on his coming back home because it’s a powerful message most churches have forgotten. Repentance is the forgotten doctrine in most churches, foreign to many coming to God, no wonder General William Booth the founder of Salvation Army said, “The Chief danger of Christianity in 20th century will be…Religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; Forgiveness without repentance; Salvation without regeneration; Politics without God; And heaven without hell”.