THE TRUE GOSPEL
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
When Paul was in Athens, waiting on his friends to arrive from Berea, he was trying to lay low for a bit and stay under the radar — but he could not do it. The city was overrun with worthless idols, and he simply had to tell these dear people the truth about salvation.
You see there is not my truth, your truth, Paul’s truth, and the Athenians’ truth. There is just the truth — and the truth is in Jesus. He said, “I the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
Paul began to preach to them about the Lord Jesus, sin, repentance, and the resurrection. He told them what they needed to hear, not what they wanted to hear. He preached the gospel, an offensive message that tells man he is a hopeless, helpless sinner who desperately needs Christ and will surely perish without Him.
Have you noticed how many preachers no longer preach the offensiveness of the cross, the empty tomb, and the need for repentance? We don’t hear much about the hopelessness of man without Jesus, about the desperate need to turn from our sin and embrace His grace. In some churches, the word sin is never even uttered because it is deemed too negative. What we hear are messages to make us feel good, not convicted — messages that tickle the ears, not step on the toes. (God warned us of these tragic days of gospel departure in 2 Timothy 4:1-4).
Today, we have the prosperity gospel, teaching that God wants us healthy, wealthy, and loaded with material blessings. We have the social gospel, teaching that the principal job of the church is to serve the poor and alleviate social ills and suffering. We have the liberation gospel, teaching that Jesus came to free us from societal and racial oppression. We have lots of teaching that uses the word gospel while missing the heart of the gospel.
Make no mistake: the core mission of the church is to lift up the cross and call men to repentance and faith. Certainly, we are to care for the poor and call out injustice, but we must never drift away from our main mission to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ, born-again followers of the Son of God. Paul said, “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16).
MAN’S ONLY HOPE
Man’s only hope is in Jesus. He is coming again and will “judge the world in righteousness.” Those trusting in a prosperity gospel or a liberation gospel or a social gospel will not be prepared for His coming. But those trusting in the true gospel where Christ is proclaimed as delivering from sin and spiritual death through the cross and empty tomb will be ready to meet the Savior with gratitude and awe.
What gospel do you embrace? What gospel do you proclaim? May we return to the true gospel before it is too late.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. If this devotional has spoken to your heart, I would love to hear about it. Write to me at email@example.com.
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
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