Losing the Gospel Message

Out with the oldI was flipping through a local paper the other day and I happened upon an advertisement concerning Teen Challenge participating with a youth group in the area.  Many of us are aware of Teen Challenge and probably know of someone who has gone through this ministry.  Not to long ago my family and I watched The Cross and the Switchblade, which is the story of David Wilkerson in his younger days, who birthed the Teen Challenge ministry.

David Wilkerson has gone on to be with the Lord, but before he finally found his true rest, he made many efforts to warn the church about leaving the gospel.  His book, Set The Trumpet to thy Mouth, was David being a watchman for the church, which resulted in much criticism for him.

I found this advertisement, which had the Teen Challenge ministry as the focal point, shocking because it reflects those things which I believe embodies what David Wilkerson was warning the church about.  Let me explain what I mean.


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Accountability to what gospel?

What gospel are we as believers accountable to?  Are we accountable to a gospel that teaches we, as those on the narrow path, are forever in God’s grace and are bound to forever be in the presence of Christ?  Which is not a teaching of Christ, for Christ Himself said that not all who have left the wide path will find themselves going through the narrow gate.  In fact, Christ tells those on the narrow path to make every effort to make it through the narrow gate.  Of course the words “strive” or “make every effort” will throw many into confusions or fits, because our salvation is not of any effort of our own. 

Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.[1]

Now I am with those who say our salvation has nothing to with us.  But only in this sense, God has done what we could not do to provide a way of salvation for mankind. Continue reading

Gospel or not, that is the question

This post is written in response to those who say I do not preach the gospel.  But as you read, ask yourself, Is this the gospel?  Let me know what you think.

I can not imagine there is anybody who says they follow Christ who knowingly or deliberately follows a heresy.  Men become convinced of their beliefs with strong convictions based on what they have come to know.  Yet we know there are many false teachings in Christendom.  Even though there is a multitude of people chasing after these false teachings, they are convinced they are following a true teaching of scripture.  But alas convictions do not make truth.  Truth is truth because it is true, even when men by the multitudes reject it for that which is false, it is still true.

Paul say to those he preached the gospel to they are saved if they keep in memory his gospel.  If they do not keep to his gospel, if they some how stray from his teachings, they will have believed in vain.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.[1]

I in my heart of hearts believe I am in keeping with the gospel Paul preached on my web site The Gospel According to the Gospel.  Even though this is my conviction, it doesn’t make it true.  As I stated earlier, convictions do not make truth. 

I have watched as others have wrestled with my beliefs as I have communicated on my blog.  To be honest, I am not sure if it how I share these beliefs, the beliefs themselves or a combination of both.  I have been taken back by others insistence that I have somehow strayed from the gospel of Paul.  Such conclusions seem ironic to me, since it is the teachings of Paul that has persuaded me of my beliefs.

Most reactions to the gospel I advocate are strong indeed.  Strong not in a confirming manner but a condemning manner.  It is my desire to lay out for my detractors, who are concerned that I have separated myself from the gospel Paul preached, what it was that Paul preached.  I hope those who are close to me and those who are afar, who have been offended by my zeal by my insistence I have the true gospel of Paul, will take the time to read this lengthy abbreviated gospel of Paul to clear me of any accusations of being in a state of spiritual duress.  That I might once again gain the respect of those I love and not be seen as a tragedy and a thing to be pitied.  But rather rejoice with me in zeal and fervor for the one true gospel of scripture.  Click the below link for the rest of this post. Continue reading

The gospel Paul preached in Acts offends believers

I have been having fun talking with some believers on another site about the gospel Paul preached.  In Acts the last chapter it says that he preached from the Law of Moses and the prophets.  I contend he also wrote about it like the others.  So when I advocate what our New Testament teaches us about our gospel it becomes hard for others to believe what is written.  Why, because it is so different than what we have come to believe.  So check out this debate, the further you read the more interesting it becomes.  I will also link to this from The Debate Rages tab.

The Gospel According to the Gospel

In scripture we find a righteousness by faith that did not start in the book of Matthew.  Instead it starts with a covenant given to Abraham.  This teaching comes from our New Testament writers.

Many a Bible believing believer has been told or left with the impression that men could not be credited righteousness until Jesus died on the cross.  This anti-biblical view in reality is an imposter gospel that has replaced The Gospel According to the Gospel we find in scripture.

There is another anti-biblical view that is accepting by many a Bible believing believer.  This is again the belief our gospel starts in the book of Matthew.  However the New Testament writers defend a gospel that started long before the book four gospels.  They defend a gospel, or as they say, our gospel that was preached in the Law of Moses and the prophets.

I have articulated over and over again three truths about the gospel we share in.  The first is we are credited the righteousness that was given to our father Abraham through Christ.  That those of the Old Testament had a saving faith when they walked according to the promise of this credited righteousness

The second truth is our gospel was preached at Mt. Sinai and foretold to Abraham in advance.  When the Old Testament saints put their hope in our gospel they had a faith that could save them.

Some may ask, but how could they have our gospel?  How could they have the same hope of Christ and salvation that we do before the cross?  Well, I would like to add more evidence that our gospel was well known before the four gospels were ever written.

Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.  He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.  On the third day he will rise again.”[1]

Jesus Himself teaches us that in the prophets we can find a gospel about the messiah who will suffer, die and be raised to life again.  This is the gospel they had in the Old Testament and ironically what we have in the New Testament as well.  They had the credited righteousness of Abraham just as we do today.  They in the Old Testament had the hope of salvation when they believed in the gospel they had preached to them, just as we do today.  Which brings me to my third scriptural truth.

There is a belief by nearly all Bible believing believers that is anti-biblical.  This is the belief that men posses salvation, instead of hope for salvation as taught in scripture.  Just as the New Testament teaches all believers, our God is one who speaks things that are not as if they were.  Yet we reject this in our gospel and say we have what is not when it is spoken of as if it were, concerning our salvation.  When then ignore the hope of salvation held out in the gospel or make up the three tenses of salvation which goes against our gospel again.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.[2]

We have rejected all those scriptures that speak of the hope of salvation in scripture just as we have rejected those scriptures that speak of imputed grace given to Abraham and his descendants along with all those scriptures that speak of our gospel preached in the Old Testament.  It appears to me there are a lot of Bible believing believers who believe in the teachings of men more than what God has given us in scripture.

Since we have such anti-biblical beliefs in the church, and we ignore the three Biblical truths about our gospel, what good is the gospel we the church have put our hope in, since it has strayed from The Gospel According to the Gospel.

[1] Luke 18:31-33

[2] Romans 8:24-25