INTRO: During the preaching of a sermon with which she was growing exasperated, a lady wrote these words on a piece of paper and held it up for a lady behind her to see: But the gospel is good news. Now, I am not certain of the sermon topic, but I am certain of the event noted. In a conversation I did learn that the preacher was speaking of Gods commandments and the need for obedience.
I. BUT THE GOSPEL ISGOOD NEWS!
A. Yes, that is true
1. Lk 2:10 ... good tidings ... - gospel
2. what the shepherds heard was the culmination of hundreds of years of preparation
3. 1 Pet 1:19-21
B. Lk 2:25-32 No better news could there be!
1. most news (good or bad) has a completely earthly limitation
2. here is good news which goes into eternity
3. we should rejoice, too, that the savior has come and that we can be recipients of the salvation He brought and made possible
II. DOES GOSPEL END WITH AN ANNOUNCEMENT?
A. Notice Mk 1:14,15 ...gospel of the kingdom
1. now, remember gospel is good news
2. but here is repentance! belief!
3. does this suggest that one may have to confront something unpleasant as a result of this good news?
4. 2 Cor 7:10 godly sorrow has the sound of something which involves discomfort
5. so, good news, yes - but we cannot just put the announcement in a frame and simply admire its aesthetic qualities
B. And, 2 Thes 1:7,8 ... that obey not the gospel ...
1. remember, the gospel is good news
2. but here is obedience!
3. obey certainly suggests that there is some revealed commandment - clearly, without this obedience the good news has no efficacy in our lives!
4. how does this line up with Mk 16:15,16? does this suggest (insist) there is more required in gospel than happiness because of the good news?
5. yes, there are in the broad scope of the gospel commandments to obey
C. Then, 2 Tim 1:8 ... afflictions of the gospel ...
1. remember, the gospel is good news
2. but here are afflictions resulting from it
3. Phil 2:7-11 this sounds very heavy to me
4. our commitment to the gospel requires a willingness to put everything second to the Lord and His way - and to suffer joyfully any consequences which result
5. I wonder if we have so rationalized that we can rejoice in the announcement while really making no sacrifices for the sake of the gospel?
D. Or, 1 Pet 4:17 ...judgment must begin ...
1. vv.16-19 ... what shall be the end ... and ...commit the keeping
of their souls...
2. yes, the gospel is good news
3. yet, here is the gospel in a text that refers to judgment
4. commitment would be/will be tested by unpleasant things ... our hope? obey the gospel and commit to God in well doing
CLOSE: My point herein has not been to discourage our happiness in the gospel. Rather, it has been to enlarge our view of the gospel to very practical matters which are part and parcel of the gospel. Have you obeyed the gospel?
Cecil A. Hutson
22 August 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)