Two Face the Gospel

 In Christianity there are diffently two faces of the gospel presented to the lost.  And both of these personifications are at opposite extremes of the gospel, as if the gospel has more than one truth found in it.  On one had we have those who present grace and only grace as the guarantee of eternal life.  They profess that our behavior after being born again has nothing to do with our salvation.  Consequently, the logic is one can live as they want and still go to heaven.  Of course the champion of this is personified by Christ.  On the other hand we have those who present works as a prerequisite on top of grace in order to be saved.  The Law, give by Moses, is the one everyone thinks of when it comes to having to do works in order to be saved.  Both of these views can find no agreement with each other, as if there is two completely different gospels found in scripture.  The result is two versions of Christianity embodied in one gospel.  Let’s call this embodiment what it is, let’s call it “Two Face”. Continue reading

Hatred of Scripture

 American Christianity claims to embrace the truth of the gospel found in the written word of God.  It claims to walk in the light and teachings of the scriptures and boast of a love of the scripture and the author of the scriptures.  However, it is been my experience that Christians only love certain verses of scripture that support their doctrine of liking.  They do not embrace the whole counsel of God as they claim.

The word of God clearly teaches that though Jesus Christ we have forgiveness of sin.  This I can agree with my Christian brothers on.  But scripture also teaches that being justified by the blood of Christ we must live in the newness of the life in the Spirit or we have not been transformed by the Spirit.  This is where my Christian brothers and I part company. 

They do not want to understand the following truths found in our scriptures. Continue reading

Me against all Christendom (Calling you)

I am in the oddest of places.  I have found faith in God by attending a local church and in the past been involved in several churches.  Not only was I involved in Sunday school and dramas, I was a youth pastor for several years as well.  But in all of this, I find that I do not agree with the gospel the church sells to people.  What puts me in the oddest of places is, I was drawn to God with the church gospel.  I was not drawn to God by what I read in my bible. 

It isn’t that the gospel I find in my bible would not draw me to the Lord, for certainly it would and probably more sincerely.  It is simply a matter of a fact that I never was exposed to the gospel I read.

My blog “The Gospel According to the Gospel” is dedicated to presenting the gospel I find in scripture, defending it and debunking the gospel of the church.  This however puts me up against all of Christendom.  It is literally me against all Christianity.  I as a small voice in a vast arena of voices am trying to change the mindset of the church on what our gospel is.

Is it that I am crazy for thinking that I am right and the rest of Christendom is wrong?  Do I suffer from a messiah complex and try to draw people away?  Is there any bases in scripture for a whole group of people to get something all wrong?  Is there any bases in scripture for all the chosen people of God to miss something, or does scripture show constantly that the body of God’s chosen people always understands, always perceives all things?  Does scripture support mob ideology for the standard of truth or does it support truth?

Even Jesus taught that the people of God as a whole can be totally out in left field, missing what could have been theirs.  Not missing what could have been theirs because it was hidden, but missing what was right in front of their faces.  I too contend that the church misses what should be right in front of our faces, and this being our gospel.  The church proclaims it is the vehicle of the gospel and I contend it is the vehicle of another gospel.  So am I crazy or am I standing up and doing something that will make me distinct from a whole group of people that missed what was right in front of their faces.

Can you think of a whole group of people, that Jesus taught about, who got it all wrong?  Would you want to have been one of the people who got it right?  Even if you were the only one?  If you want to be one of the ones who gets it right, study “The Gospel According to the Gospel”

Preaching it all wrong

Since I have given you the “Scriptural Challenge” which dealt with those who can speak at a gathering of believers (Church), I though it would be prudent to address other issues of the church as well.  I would like to thank Jason for the prompting.  Before I begin, I would like to review who it was that Paul said could speak on “Sunday go to meeting”.  They are people who give a word in tongues, interpreted the message of tongues, prophesy or have a special revelation.  And that was the end of the list.

For clarification, scripture makes a distinction from preaching and teaching.  Preaching at best appears to be a public proclamation of the gospel while teaching is the instructions to live by and doctrine of righteousness.

So let us look at the subject of preaching.  Scripture reveals that John the Baptist preached and so did Jesus, Paul, false teachers etc.  So there are many who can preach any kind of message.  But what about us who attend the local body, who is to do the preaching and how is it done?

How is preaching done?

By answering how it is done, will impact who is to do the preaching.  Preaching is to be done as we do it today, persuasively with well thought out sermons so that men might grasp the message of the gospel, so their faith will be anchored in solid teaching.  This may be what we have come to expect and believe, but this is not what we have as our example to follow.

Instead as men who have been entrusted with the gospel and given the Holy Spirit upon conversion, we are to preach not with wise words, but with a demonstration of God’s power.  Men are to have their faith rest not in our clever sermons but in God’s power.  Now if we fail to do this, whose fault is it but our own?

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.[1]

Who is to be responsible to preach?

Elders are those who could possible preach, for they are worthy of double honor.  In particular those who preach, but even those who do not.  So not all elders preach, but they can.

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.[2]

Timothy was instructed by Paul to preach.  Being he was now without Paul in ministry, I suppose he would be the elder of that church and Paul wanted that particular elder to preach.

Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.[3]

We also have a hint those who evangelize are to preach the gospel.  For how can anyone believe what they have not heard?  Preaching (the proclamation of the gospel) is how the lost are able to hear and believe.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?[4]

So scripturally speaking elders can preach if they want, but everyone who wants to share Christ has to.  So if you are a believe who wants to obey Christ and preach His message, then every believer is a preacher.

Where is preaching to take place?

Where is the preaching to take place?  Only is church?  Preaching is to be done not only publically but from house to house.  Paul didn’t think it beneath him to go preach in small groups that met in homes.  He also didn’t think it was a bad idea to preach on the street corner either.  Yes he preached in churches (Synagogues) too.  Anywhere he could persuade men by the power of God.

You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.[5]

What is to be preached?

Now with the power of God behind us in our preaching, what is it we should preach?  How about preaching what Paul preached?  That seems good enough.  In fact it is so good, He said that if anyone came preaching other that what he and the other who worked with him preached, those people are to be condemned to hell.  So let’s stick with the doctrine of Paul and all that agrees with it.  Hint, this would be all of scripture.  But not all of our current doctrine and understanding of scripture.

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!  As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned![6]

What type of compensation for preaching?

Those who preach are to make their living at it, not their fortunes.

In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.[7]

When to preach?

Preaching is something that needs to take place at all times.  Anytime we wish to share Christ to the lost or give an answer for the hope in us we are to be ready to preach.  Not just Sunday morning to the already enlightened.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.[8]

Conclusion

Remember I said Paul taught that in the local body one who gives a word in tongues, he who interpret it, he who prophesies and he who has a word of revelation can speak in the “Sunday service” (meeting of believers).  We also learned that elders can preach, but this in not meant to br taken as a Sunday morning event.  The preaching of the elder in many ways means evangelism, just as much as it means meeting house to house in small groups.  But did you notice what was not mentioned, hinted at or left to guessing?  Exactly what we have in our churches today.  A man who holds the office of the pastor is the one who has taken it upon himself to preach and this mainly to the Saints?  To the lost yes, for we are all to share Christ, but where is it said the pastor is the one who preaches to the saints, let alone every Sabbath?  Where is it said the pastor, because he is the pastor, is to speak outside of speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, prophesying or giving a word of revelation?

And you think I am off my rocker for saying the church has left the teachings in scriptures.  Who is obeying the Lord here in His word and who is not?  Some say yes to God and do not do as His word says.  They replace what we have been instructed to do, with that we have never been instructed to do.

Yet we will justify the existence of what we do to reach the lost for Christ.  This we do by ignoring those who Paul instructs should speak at the local gathering for the Pastor to preach.  And this we say to reach the lost.  If we were serious about reaching the lost wouldn’t we do it in the power that Paul preached?

But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”[9]


[1] 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

[2] 1Timothy 5:17

[3] 1 Timothy 4:13

[4] Romans 10:14

[5] Acts 20:20

[6] Galatians 1:8-9

[7] 1 Corinthians 9:14

[8] 2 Timothy 4:2

[9] 1 Corinthians 14:24-25