INTRO: From almost the outset of the Christian faith there have been efforts to amend or append to the gospel. In the first century the Judaizing teachers sought to add portions of the old law to gospel teaching. Further, there were also those in Christ who taught error and overthrew the faith of some. Shortly after the first century, tradition and decisions of formal church councils began to have an impact on what was taught and practiced as gospel. So what is the gospel for the new millennium?
I. LETS BEGIN WITH SOME GOSPEL FACTS, ETC.
A. Lk 2:10,11 The Savior, Christ the Lord, is born
B. 1 Cor 15:1-3 The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus
C. Eph 1:13 The gospel is truth to believe
D. Eph 3:6 The gospel is the key to access the great promises of God
E. 2 Thes 1:7,8 The gospel contains that which must be obeyed - from Phil 3:10 and Rom 6:3-6 & 17 we can realize that our union with the death, burial and resurrection occurs in baptism (etc.)
II. BUT WHAT MIGHT A NEW MILLENNIUM GOSPEL SAY?
A. The Bible is totally out of date!
B. The New Testament is not intended to be a law or pattern for redemption, life, the church
C. Im O.K. - Youre O.K. ... each decides his right
D. I can do anything I please as long as it doesnt hurt anyone
E. My private life is my concern - no one elses
F. These viewpoints are being tried - have been tried ... and nothing noble, good has come from them
1. people are more confused, cynical, immoral, hopeless, self centered than Ive never known them to be
2. how, then, are these philosophies better than ancient gospels offer
III. THE BIBLICAL GOSPEL ...
A. Has eternal prospect ...
1. Mk 16:15,16 shall be saved
2. Col 1:5 laid up for you in heaven
3. other systems (old and new) simply have nothing to offer here
4. and (this is big) the fact of Jesus resurrection is the basis of our own expectation (1 Cor 15:20,23)
5. if this life is all there is, go for a new gospel - but this life is not all ... and only on Gods terms can we ultimately enter heaven ... so, the gospel of the New Testament is our answer
B. Teaches, promotes integrity of life
1. Titus 2:11-14 at v. 12 is a vital difference between the Biblical gospel and counterfeit gospels
2. purity in all relationships - purity based on the revelation of God - purity based on eternal hope!
3. morality and ethics, without the gospel of God, are subjective, fluid, diverse ... confusion, chaos
4. the gospel of self-determination removes trust, dependability, common view of integrity from social behavior
5. the gospel of the New Testament answers the needs of societal life! put simply: Mt 22:36-40
C. Addresses the needs of families
1. who can doubt that todays families are in need?
2. and help is sought from every imaginable place and discipline ... but things are rarely better
3. in simple, understandable, brief language the gospel message gives Gods workable instruction regarding family life ... and it starts with Mt 7:12
4. the worlds gospels will never work - the gospel of God will
CLOSE: The new millennium brings no change which is not addressed by the Biblical gospel. In a world of change some things must not and cannot change. The grand gospel of 2000 years is one of those unchanging things.
Cecil A. Hutson
10 October 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)