Bible Lesson 33

I believe that we have identified the problem that exists in our families; and it is the result of individuals, who honestly believe that they are saved, who bring their crumbling foundations into the visible churches and, the churches the foundation weakens and begins to crumble. This occurs when those who profess to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, which involves all of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, have unwittingly, for whatever reason, sought to teach a Gospel that the Apostle Paul says, is no Gospel at all, (See Galatians 1:6-10).

If you will take your Bible right now and read that scripture, it will help us to realize that there is a Gospel of Jesus Christ; but there is another Gospel, that may sometimes speak the name of Jesus; but denies the power of Christ to recreate and empower those who know and obey the true Gospel, to live in such a way, as to please our Great and Glorious God. We can ask, “what exactly is the gospel of Christ, and can we know it?” The answer is yes! What we will do here, now, is to display what we normally hear preached as the gospel and then compare it with the Biblical Gospel.

We hear preached that there is one, called Jesus, who came to the earth and is God. That’s true but not complete. The true gospel has to begin with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden; and their disobedience of God’s command, not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God expelled them from the garden and took away their capacity to commune with God; but He also promised, in Genesis Chapter 3 and verse 15, that there was a promised “seed” that would one day deal with Satan, this seed of the woman, was to the Jews, the Messiah, to us today as the Savior, Christ, the anointed one.

Many, or most of the churches today, do not get much preaching from the Old Testament; however, that is detrimental to a proper understanding of the Bible and the God of the Bible. The Old Testament shows us, God, as he dealt more directly with mankind. We have to take away from our understanding of the Old Testament, that God is the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Savior of those who obey Him.

Anyone less than a Sovereign God is not sufficient to exemplify what the Bible holds out to be our God. He has to be Omniscience, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent. It is hard for me to believe that a person without that understanding of God would ever be willing to submit and commit themselves to Him.

What we normally hear as sermons in the visible church are twenty-minute condensations of scriptures that are preached to maintain some kind of unity in the congregation. We hear about Jesus and we are told that He died for everyone regardless. He is normally held out as the Savior to anyone who will walk the aisle and be baptized: but the Truth that saves us, and Jesus tells us in Luke 14:26-32, that we must “come to him”, as we leave all else to follow Him.

Jesus says in Luke 14:26 and following verses, that those who come to Him, must be willing to hate (love Him more than we love them), his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, or they cannot be His disciples. In case you are wondering or are confused about that verse, it means that unless we love Jesus Christ, more than we love anyone, or anything, including our own lives, we cannot be saved. We hear from our pulpits today, that all that a person has to do to be saved is believe in Jesus Christ; and we normally hear John 3:16 quoted there. Is that what that verse means? Can we be saved by believing something about Jesus Christ?

The truth is that John 3: 16 is a verse that limit’s the people that will be saved; because the Greek word that is translated there as belief has a much richer meaning than what we mean when we say a belief. Normally, we mean a mental assent to some things that we have heard about Jesus. I refer to the Greek here; because it is the language of the New Testament and we have to know what Jesus meant when He spoke John 3:16. The Greek word, from the root Pistis, means that we have faith, we believe, we trust and we are persuaded, and we place our confidence in and have the assurance of Jesus. Jesus expanded that believe in Hebrews 5:8-9, to include obedience. Jesus died to save those who believed, enough to obey Him. Jesus also said in Matthew 7:14, that there would be few who would take the time and make the effort to enter into the strait gate and walk the narrow way that leads to eternal life.

So why is it that the visible church is so determined to take lost people into their church? I’ll tell you why they do it, it is so that they can appear to be successful in the world. Why the very idea that any pastor worth his salt would have only a few members in his congregation is absurd to those who are interested in worldly appearances. Every preacher, it seems, wants to have a megachurch, with several services on Sunday to accommodate them all. Then they want to go into debt to finance great additions or completely rebuild their church. Is that what Jesus did? Why not be like Jesus and preach the truth and let the chips fall where they may?

Jesus only had a congregation of 12, but today?s preachers would think that they had failed if they could only draw twelve people to their congregations. What about Noah, who preached the truth for one hundred and twenty years and yet never had a convert? God did not hold Noah responsible for anybody being saved during his tenure as a preacher before the flood, no, instead God honored Noah; because he obeyed God. Our problem is that we left the Word of God and so we left the God of the Word; and we began to act like little gods, as we reset all of God’s commands and precepts and even God’s way of salvation. We now exist in a time where every man does what is right in his own eyes. We do not feel bound by God’s Word or God’s Will.

Where has that led us? We live in a world of darkness where the people of God are forced to live and worship among the pagans of the world. Every Sunday, preachers stand before congregations that are overwhelmingly lost people and preach making no distinction between saints and sinners. We all seem to like the false idea that we are all in the same boat, we all are just sinners and can?t help it, we will all go to heaven someday, that is, if God is what we have made Him be in our minds. Are we all in the same boat? Absolutely not!! In every congregation that I know about today, there are some saved people, at least normally; but here is a greater percentage who are lost, who have never known Jesus Christ in an intimate relationship and have never been forgiven and converted.

Billy Graham has said at some time that the greatest field for evangelism is in the church pews. R.G. Lee, the great old preacher at Belleview Baptist, in Memphis, estimated that 90-95 percent of all church-members are lost, souls. If we look around us, we have to at least nod to that percentage. Rev. Lee said that seven indispensable things mark a true Christian. One, without the shedding of blood there is no remission, Hebrews 9:22; two, without faith it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6; three, without works faith, is dead, James 2:26; fourth, without holiness no man shall see God, Hebrews 12:14; fifth, without love I am nothing, 1st Cor. 13:2; sixth, without chastisement ye are not sons, Hebrews 12:8; and seventh, Without Christ, we can do nothing, John 15:5.

We are not preaching the Gospel that confronts man?s sin and causes him to see his need for a savior. Instead, we are preaching a sop that in many ways denies that God has any power, much less all power in heaven and on earth. As proof of what I am saying let’s just look at what we normally hear from our pulpits. Instead of hearing that we have the Holy Spirit?s power to guide us and empower us to rise above sin, we hear preaching that accuses us all of being sinners, never saints as the Bible teaches and that we cannot help but sin all the time, every day. That kind of preaching, in effect, frees us up to sin as much as we please, instead of challenging us to focus on the one who loved us enough to die for us and be resurrected to the right hand of Almighty God, the Father, and who sent the Holy Spirit to indwell all who truly believe.

Now, the question becomes, is God able to empower us to rise above sin? Certainly, He is, if we believe and have faith to stand on his promise. We have not done that and it’s apparent that as God inspired the Apostle Paul to write to Timothy and us today, there in 2nd Timothy 3: 1-5; and if you read those verse, you will find that God was warning us of coming to the place that we are in today, “a perilous time, when men have become lovers of themselves, more than lovers of God?.and we have a form of godliness; but we deny the power of God”! In closing, let me address another of the present-day churches heresy. Preachers stand in front of congregations that he knows are not all saved and preaches that God loves them, everyone, regardless. Is that true? Not according to the Word of God, it is not. We are all born sinners and until and unless we are saved by Grace through Faith, we remain under God’s Wrath.

Only those who are called out by God and saved by faith, AND OBEDIENT TO GOD’S COMMANDMENTS, are loved by the Father or the Son. John 14:21-24. So, why do preachers today preach far less than the full counsel of God? Most of them are good; but gullible men, who were taught just enough in seminary to strengthen the denomination that they belong to; and they think more of their particular group or denomination than they do of men?s souls. We can fault them and I believe that God will judge them, but your soul is in your care, and you have all that you need if you have your Bible to lead you to the place where God’s wrath was satisfied against man, and that is the Cross of Christ. My recommendation to you is that you begin a concerted study of the Word of God and as you study, seek to organize your theology.

Study the doctrines of the Bible, that is every subject that is spoken of in the Bible. If you begin in Genesis you will find that the doctrine you encounter first and foremost is the doctrine of God and creation. God created everything that exists and He sustains it all today in His Son Jesus Christ, in Chapters one and two of Genesis you will run into other doctrines including the creation of mankind. (Adam and Eve). In Chapter three you will find the doctrine of sin and man’s disobedience; and on and on. It may sound as if it would be boring or tedious, and it is unless you are seeking God, and then it is exciting and fulfilling. The more you read and study your Bible, the Greater you will find God and His Grace.

Yes, you will find places where God punishes his creation; but don’t begin to try to judge God; because He is the Creator and it all belongs to Him and He can do as He pleases, and He will do exactly that regardless of what the creatures think about it. The Bible teaches that God had a plan before He created man or anything else, and His plan will be completed as we live and die here on the earth. You will never really understand God until you understand yourself, and by that, I mean that you must come to realize that in the sight of God you are nothing unless you are seen in His Son Jesus Christ.

What ministers have been doing for a long time now, is teaching the answers to people who do not know the questions. Let me explain, what I mean by that remark. Too often, people are taught to say that they know Christ, but they have no real relationship with Christ. Many say that they are save and they don?t know what they are saved from. Most talk about heaven but they admit that they are not fit for heaven. Vance Havner had it right when he said that we are a mile wide but only skin deep. It is impossible for us to be saved and not know the one who saves us.

We dare not listen to the heresy that is preached so often; because it will draw us away from concerted service of God. Be careful what you hear? your Bible like your life depends upon it, because in the end it will be what determines where you will spend eternity. Jesus Christ is the Savior, but you can find Him nowhere but in the Bible. Next week we will move on and see how the crumbling foundations of our families, and consequently our churches, effect our public school system, or for that matter all of our schools.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob