Thursday, August 23, 2007
THE SIMPLE MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL
Man by his natural human reasoning always has a tendency to complicate the Gospel message. The reason they are so prone to this is because of their spiritual kinship to the one who has always complicated the message, SATAN. Paul wrote: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
Satan’s one goal is to keep every sinner ignorant of the ONLY hope of eternal salvation, namely, the imputed (legally charged) righteousness of Christ. The way Satan does this is by directing lost sinners to do things which outwardly seem so right, things which sinners by nature don’t see as sinful and evil in the sight of God. The wise man Solomon wrote: “There is a way (a course of life) that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)
Lost, self-righteous, religious sinners don’t see the harm in going to church, giving their money, living moral, sincere, spiritual lives, thinking those things are what save them, keep them saved, or recommend them to God. This “way” seems so right to them, because it’s what they’ve been taught all their lives.
But the Scriptures are clear: This way that “seemeth right unto a man”, in reality is the “way of death”, literally the way of condemnation.
Now I was taught all my life that lying, murder, sexual immorality, cursing, drinking, and every other sin not listed would land a me in hell. But I was never taught that my going to church, being moral, teaching the Scriptures, or praying in order to attain or maintain salvation would land me in hell. Satan had accomplished his goal in my life. He encouraged me to be busy about all these seemingly “good things”, all the while leading me down the pathway to eternal condemnation.
Christ said: “Many will say to me in that day (at the final judgement), Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23)
Christ didn’t call them workers of righteousness. He called them workers of iniquity.
Here’s the simplicity of the Gospel. As a sinner you don’t have to DO anything to save yourself, because Christ did everything God’s holy law and justice required from you by His perfect life and His obedience unto death at Calvary. If you rest in His righteousness alone, you’re saved and you will out of grace and gratitude seek to obey Him in every area of your live, not to save yourself, BUT BECAUSE YOU ARE SAVED.
By Richard Warmack