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Today, there is confusion in society generally, and even in Christian Church circles, as to exactly what is the Christian message. Many people seem to think like F.W. Robertson, of whom Charles Spurgeon said more than 100 years ago, "that [there] is a modernism which denies substitution and propitiation altogether once a blurred and indistinct view of the atonement is accepted in the Church, it is more than likely that the next generation will come to the ultimate obscurity of a man like F.W. Robertson of Brighton, of whom it was said Robertson believed that Christ did something or other, which somehow or other had some connection or other with salvation."
There are men holding themselves out as Christian pastors, no less, saying that Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same God. Either they do not know their Bible or do not believe it. Muslims worship Allah, who is a pagan moon god, and believe that he has no son. Obviously, both Christians and Muslims cannot be correct. Jews believe that Jesus was not the Messiah. Jesus said He is the Messiah. Christians and Jews cannot both be correct. In John Chapter 4, the woman to whom Jesus was speaking said to Jesus, "I know that the Messiah is coming, which is called Christ: When He is come, He will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I that speak to you am He." (John 4: 25-26) "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." (Hebrews 1: 1-5)
Prominent pastors have both ridiculed and mocked the very idea of evangelism, with statements such as "the primary purpose of salvation is cultural renewal to make this world a better place." Is it any wonder that there is confusion even in the Christian Church regarding evangelism? Ravi Zacharias has said that the "purpose of salvation is not to make bad men good, but to make dead men live."
Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once pointed out that the "greatest need in the world was to 'know God.'" With all the misstatements, misrepresentations, lies, deceit and just plain confusion regarding the true message of Christ, is it any wonder that the world needs to know God even more now than 60 years ago? The Gospel truth, however, eradicates confusion and sets men and women free. What does the term "Gospel Truth" mean?
The Condition of Unregenerate Mankind
The Bible says that the Holy Scripture is able to "make one wise unto salvation." It is able to make dead men and women live. The Apostle Paul, writing under the direction and inspiration of God's Holy Spirit in Ephesians, Chapter 2, tells us the true condition of unregenerate mankind:
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
The Grace of God
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit."
From Dead to Alive in Christ
Thus, we see from God's Holy Word, that unregenerate mankind is dead! Not merely confused. Everyone who is unregenerate, including Paul, is dead and are naturally "children of disobedience." They are naturally "children of wrath." In the fourth verse, we see two words which Lloyd-Jones called "wonderful words." Indeed, Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that these two words "But God" in a sense "contain the whole of the Gospel," which is the truth of what God has done. He, through the Lord Jesus Christ, has "quickened" us, or, rather "made us alive" in Christ Jesus. We who were dead were aliens, having no hope, and without God in the world. But God, in Christ, has made us alive in Christ Jesus. We were in bondage. Just as all Israel was in bondage and slavery in Egypt with no hope of escape, no hope of freedom, we were in bondage to sin. Jesus, our kinsman redeemer, has made us alive in Him and set us free. He has given us a living hope. As the writer of Hebrews says: "For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also likewise took part in the same; that through death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and to free them who, through the fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Hebrews 2: 14-15)
The Christian Message
The Bible says that the Eternal Living Word of God, who made all things, including us, came into the world as real live flesh and blood. He is described as being the "express image of the Father," and even though he faced temptation, just as every person does, Jesus did not yield to the temptation. He lived a perfect life and was the Passover Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. There was no other plan. Jesus is your substitute if you will have Him. He voluntarily took our sin, our guilt, and our punishment and died an atoning death as our substitute. He is described in II Corinthians 5: 21 as "He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." In other words, He took our sorry record and gave us His perfect record. We were dead and He made us alive. There is no confusion with God. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other name given under heaven among men by which we must be saved. Abraham cannot do it. Mohammed cannot do it. Allah cannot do it. You cannot become "good" enough. Only Jesus can and does save.
Dr. Lloyd-Jones said the Christian message is "not a great appeal for patriotism"; it is not" an appeal to courage or heroism": nor, is it a "call to pacifism." The world is under the wrath of God. You know that is true! The Christian message is that God has made you, and only He can make you alive. One can be delivered out of the coming wrath. It is reported that before Calvin Coolidge became President, he was a judge. On one occasion, two lawyers were vehemently arguing their case when Lawyer A turned to Lawyer B and said, "Just go to Hell!" Lawyer B, taken aback by this, appealed to Judge Coolidge and said, "Did you hear what he said to me?" Judge Coolidge is reported to have said, "Yes, and I have studied the matter, and you don't have to go there unless you want to. You can repent from your sin and place your trust in Jesus and escape from going to Hell." Exactly! The world will remain dead but one can be delivered from the world. We must, however, hear the call of Christ, "Come unto Me all ye who labor and are heavy laden." We can come to Christ when we surrender our will to His will in repentance and place our trust in Him for our salvation.
We can see from scripture set out above that it is God who makes us alive. It is God who acts to change our very nature from "children of disobedience and wrath" to 'children of God.'" This is why Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that the "wonderful words 'BUT GOD' does in a sense contain the whole of the Gospel."
No Confusion with God
There is no confusion with God! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Jesus did not come into the world to provide "social justice" as some pastors have said. Jesus came to make dead men and women live. Until one is alive, he/she can do nothing. Eternal life is a sheer gift from the Lord our God, by His grace, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is done for you, in you, by Him. Rejoice in Him and give Him praise and glory and thanks.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega. The First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. I am the Lord, who Is and who Was and who Is to Come. The Almighty. Fear not! I am He who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen! Come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
The Apostle Paul said, "I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you," that the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread. And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat: This is My body which is broken for you: This do in remembrance of Me."
After the same manner also, He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, "This cup is the New testament in My blood: This do ye, as often as ye drink it in remembrance of Me."
He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.
For He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Surrender your will to His will and receive Him by faith. Put your trust in Jesus alone. Remember Him. The confusion will turn to certain hope in Jesus when we "know God and the Lord Jesus Christ whom He has sent. It is Jesus who bore all our sin, who was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification."
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Now, unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen.
Your Friend and Brother in Christ,
Worldview Weekend Foundation
PO BOX 1690
Collierville, TN, 38027 USA