gospel Tag

 

As for me, the cross is at the center of my faith, belief and theology, the death and resurrection of Jesus is the foundation to how I read, study and understand Scripture .

Without the cross and the resurrection, there is no Gospel, the Apostle Paul sums it up like this, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor 15:14 ESV), “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14 ESV).

What Jesus accomplished on the cross and through His resurrection is central to everything to my life and faith for me. The death and resurrection of Jesus are not only central to Scripture and the Gospel, but are also central to learning who God is, what God is like, and how we are supposed to live our lives as followers of Jesus.

I believe that the key to learning scripture, about the Christian life is to see everything through the lens of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection.

I am still learning about the infinite ramifications of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and will continue to so all my life, and will continue to be surprised by new revelation and understanding till that which is perfect comes back, Jesus, or I stand before Him in heaven. Because I have only just began comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth of the gospel.

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I read this and found it of great encouragement, such a truth that I had to post it, if only that I might read it over again and again myself. This is what  Catherine Booth, wife of the founder of the Salvation Army, instructed her fellow workers as follows in the winning souls.

"Do not tell anybody they are saved. I never do. I leave that for the Holy Spirit to do. I tell them how to get saved. I try to help them to the way of faith. I will bring them up as close as ever I can to the blessed broken body of their Lord, and I will try to show them how willing He is to receive them; and I know that when really they do receive Him, the Spirit of God will tell them quickly enough that they are saved. He will not want any assistance about that. I have proved it in hundreds of cases. Nobody knows the soul but God. Nobody can see the secret windings of the depraved heart but God. Nobody can tell when a full surrender is made but God. Nobody can tell when the right hand is cut off, or the right eye plucked out, but God. Nobody can tell when a soul is whole-hearted but God, and as soon as He sees it, He will tell that soul it is saved." Catherine Booth

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In some mysterious way that we can never fully understand, during these awful hours on the cross, the Father was pouring out the full measure of His wrath against sin and the recipient of that wrath was His own beloved Son. God was punishing Jesus as though He had personally committed every wicked deed committed by every wicked sinner. And in doing so, He could treat and forgive those redeemed ones as if they had lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness. – Greg Laurie

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Hell exists; the Scriptures reveal this with the testimonies of the apostles, and of the Lord Jesus Himself. Hell is vividly described in the pages of the New Testament, but yet I can not think of the last time I have heard a pastor preach of it in the last few years. In fact any Christian who even dares speak of it is chastised by other Christians for doing so.

Here is a great quote from Thomas Brooks on hell, thought it worth posting:

Oh, but this word eternity, eternity, eternity; this word everlasting, everlasting, everlasting; this word forever, forever, forever, will even break the hearts of the damned in ten thousand pieces…Impenitent sinners in Hell shall have end without end, death without death, night without day, mourning without mirth, sorrow without solace, and bondage without liberty. The damned shall live as long in Hell as God himself shall live in heaven.”

Hell should make every Christian want to weep, and what to preach the gospel to every living soul. Maybe it is time for us to revisit what the scriptures say about it, let it sink in that it is real. And the final destiny of everyone not found in the Book of Life, whom rejects Messiah Jesus as LORD. Maybe it is time to put Hell back in Sunday morning messages and Christian conversations with others.

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I feel the need to splash the cold, but refreshing water of gospel truth in my face every morning for now on.

Why? The gospel reminds me not only of my right standing before God, but also that I brought nothing to the table with respect to my standing with God. The gospel is not something we leave at the front door to pursue Christianity without, as most do. I believe the abandoned of the gospel was at the heart of what Paul was referring to when he got upset with the Galliano. When he said that they began in the Spirit but deemed it necessary to carry out their life in Christ absent of the very thing that gave them life, the gospel (Galliano 3:3). They apparently thought, as do many Christians do today that the gospel was for the unsaved to hear to be saved but not needed to facilitate growth in or maintain their walk with Christ.

Without the foundation of the gospel, sanctification can become just a process of sin management, which is what it is for most Christians today. The gospel has been replaced with programs and how to strategies to keep their “sin managed”. It places a focus on me, my sins, my ability and my strength to live out Christianity. My self and other to define who I am. Versus focusing on Christ, His work, His power, and who I am in Christ. Paul indicates in Romans 7:7-14, that highlighting the sin to avoid will only make one gravitate towards it, this is why we must focus on the gospel and Christ.

The gospel ensures dependence on the work of the Spirit, since it is He who enables the believer to walk according to the gospel. The Spirit bears testimony to Christ and facilitates obedience to the gospel. We are able to accomplish this work because of the indwelt Spirit and His gifting not of anything, means of our own doings.

The gospel is the foundation of our Christian being. Spiritual maturity requires the gospel on an on-going basis. Growth and true fellowship cannot happen without it. So the next time we think the gospel is just for beginners, or that it is a message for only the lost, lets think again.

Therefore I chose to do as I stated above, to splash the cold, but refreshing water of gospel truth in my face every morning. To renew my mind every morning with the gospel, to wash away the filth of this world and the lies the enemy bombards me with daily to erode away the truth of the gospel and my position before God in Yeshua, my messiah, and Lord.

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Normally anything that comes our of church denominations I run screaming from, I have nothing to do with them because I know scripturally they are not to exist. Because they divide the body of Christ so I avoid them like the plague.

But early this year the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution on the need for their churches to be centered on the gospel. This resolution is not only very good but is worth passing on and for all churches to take acting on. Here is a different way of breaking down the concepts in the resolution and added scripture to it that Trevin Wax did to make it more palatable for the average Joe.

I would recommend reading this over and over tell it soaks deep into your mind and soul. Mediate on it day and night tell it because part of your DNA.

Gospel Truth

We are, every one of us, sinners against God and, apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ, deserving of only condemnation.

* For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23)
* For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23) (more…)

2-20-10God buys ugly lives.

We are all familiar with the We Buy Ugly House signs all around our towns, they are in the business of buying homes that are in disrepair that for the most part no one wants. So these guys swoop in and buy them up cheep, then rehab them, make them into much nicer homes that people would want to live in and buy them.

Well, that is the business God is in, He buys ugly lives, people no one else wants, messed up lives, the sinners supreme, the poor, the down trodden, miss fits, prostitutes, murders, the worst of the worst felons. And He pays the highest price from them, He buys them with the life, and shed blood of His Son, Jesus. And then He rehabs the them, turns them into something beautiful, a new creation.

Every church should have that banner on their building “We Buy Ugly Lives” that is the business we are in, God’s, the transforming of lives. Jesus said that He came for the sinners not for the righteous. That where the church should be operating, going out into the places no one else would go. Gathering up the ugly lives, the prostitutes, drug dealers, the unwanted. Carrying to them God’s message, He wants’ them, wants to rehab them into something beautiful and valuable.

Again Jesus said “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17 If your church does not have ex-criminals, ex-drug addicts and dealers, ex-prostitutes, ex-convicts, ex-sex offenders, ex-adulterers, ex-thieves, the outcast of society. If it is only full of rich, healthy suburban dwellers. Its not fulfilling the mission of Jesus, not keeping with His life mission as he states in Mark 2:17.

God wants to buy that ugly life of the drug addict, prostitute, thief, the drunker and rehab, transform them into a beautiful new creation in the image of His Son, Jesus.

Then Luke 15:7 is fulfilled, Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

If we can not look at a prostitute, drug dealer, murder and see someone that God through the Gospel of Jesus in the power of the Holy spirit can be transformed into a beautiful life, the images of Jesus. Then we do not truly know and understand the gospel and  the power of the gospel, the life and death of Jesus and His mission, the power of God. If we do not understand that is who we are to reach, we do not understand God’s mission on earth for His church.

Havest crusades Ana The Harvest Crusades with Greg Laure made history Sunday night, breaking the 4 million mark of persons reached, with 329,572 making a decision for Christ. A 126,000 people filled Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calf., last weekend with thousands more turned away at the gate. More than 4,500 people made decisions for Christ on Sunday, bringing the total number of professions over the three nights to 11,969, that’s 11,969 salvations in 3 days.

And over the last two decades 4,014,968 people have attended the crusades with 329,572 with decisions for Christ on this 20th anniversary weekend of them.

Greg Laure whom is one of my favorites pastors, I have known Greg for nearly 30 years, we go back to my/our days as Calvary Chapel. I set under his teaching for 10 years there, he is so gifted by God, endowed with the gift’s of both preaching and evangelism, I learned much from him. He has such great love and passion for Jesus, for the body of Christ and the lost, a true man of God.

In this day where it has become taboo to preach the gospel, teach the word of God and use words like sin, Hell and repentance. He unashamedly preaches the word of God as it is written, tells people they are lost in their sin and need The only Savor Christ Jesus and they must repent from their sins. And the result is 11,696 decisions for Christ in three days alone, proving the power of the gospel and the word of God.

He is the one model of a pastor – evangelist that everyone whom has such a call should learn from, imitate. Greg’s tag line should be theirs, “I have a Commander-in-Chief called Jesus, and He has commanded me to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” And Go and do likewise!

Read about the Anaheim crusade here.

manor_043 This is a great story showing what happens when a church planter focuses on getting the gospel out instead of getting in a building. Here is a church planter who sole focus was getting the gospel out and God proved the free building.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Mat 6:33

Here is the email sent to me:

Dear fellow believer,

Many of you know when my wife and I came to New York five years ago to assume the responsibility of directing the New York Mission to the Jews. Having a facility in Manhattan has furthered our ability to share the gospel not only with New Yorkers but people from all over the world who visit here.

I am writing to you to share an incredible miracle from the Lord. Several months ago the Lord providentially brought me in contact with a corporation which owns one of the oldest, historic church buildings in Manhattan.  That corporation is the American Protestant Defense League, and the building they own is the Manor Community Church located at 350 West 26th street in Manhattan.  This church was started in 1852 and has had quite a history in the City.   Their location is incredible.  They are a few blocks down from Penn Station and Times Square, and 26th street has direct access to the West Side Highway.   A subway stop is just around the corner making travel around the city very convenient.

The leadership of the American Protestant Defense League visited our web site after our first meeting and observed our ministry.  Because of the gospel outreaches which we have had around the City, as well as our desire to share the work of Christ with the Jewish community, they approached us and offered to let us use their facility rent free forever just as long as we remain true to the gospel. They are right in the middle of a very large housing project called Penn South.  That project was built many years ago to aid the garment workers, and the population surrounding the church building was nearly 100% Jewish in the beginning.  Now the surrounding community is still 50% Jewish.  Once our building sells the headquarters for the New York Gospel Ministries and the Jewish Mission will be in Manor Community Church.  Tompkins Square Gospel Fellowship has been offered the use of the facility as well.  The current pastor of Manor is Chris Ascension.  He has been in discussions with me about the possibility of my assuming the Senior pastorate of Manor and perhaps merging our church with theirs.  We are seeking the Lord about these decisions.  I covet your prayers in all these endeavors.  We are in the midst of one of God’s miracle provisions in this great City, and we praise His glorious Name.  The church has a sign inside with God’s name, Jehovah Jireh.  Truly He is the one who provides.   It is our desire to honor the gospel of His dear Son as we take it to the Jewish community and nations of the world, and God’s grace is enabling us to remain in the City to do so. The church building is three times the size of the Angel Memorial House, and we will be able to establish an International Training Center for the gospel which will enable us to continue to bring teams to the City and equip them in Jewish and Ethnic evangelism. There is housing for my family in the residential and office area of the building.  We will have the responsibility to pay the insurance on the building as well as utilities and maintenance.  There is a lot of work that needs to be done, and we will need help.  I will share more with you in the future.

Glorify our God with us for His incredible gift, and share His goodness with the saints!  You have been a part of this miracle as you have prayerfully and financially helped us spread the gospel in this place for many years.  We thank God for you.

We have had many wonderful outreaches in the parks and street corners this summer.  Many churches have come to help us take the message of righteousness to the world.  Knowing that we will have permanent space as we move into the future will allow us to continue to schedule teams and expand the ministry.

For the Sake of His Name,

William R. Jones

We must think of everyday activities of our life through the lenses of Gospel, Community, and Mission. Seek to live in such a way to apply these three elements to every aspect of our lives.

The gospel must be and is most effectively proven by it being lived out in everyday life, its effects on us lived out. Community life cannot be simply restricted to a Sunday morning service and/or a mid-week gathering. It must extend radically beyond these events to accomplish all the “one another passages” and what we see in passages like Acts 2:42-48, just as it is true that evangelism (mission) cannot be accomplished through programs nor by only a hand full of “professional evangelist”. Our missionary methods must expand into the ordinary everyday activities of our lives if we are to follow the scriptural models we read of, and Jesus’ life example. We must purposely form our everyday lives around the gospel and Christ. We’ve must move away from the program-based way of “doing” the Christian life, and doing church, move to a more ordinary, real and organic everyday way of life.

Begin by looking at all your daily ordinary activities through a tri-fold lens of community, mission, and gospel, things like going out to dinner, grocery shopping, going to the mall, taking the kids to the park. You want to seek out how you can take these activities and infuse each of these three elements.

Lets take going out to dinner, to add the community element you invite a Christian friend, someone from your church gathering. The gospel element can be added in a natural but intentional way as you converse throughout dinner, by partaking in the breaking of bread and the cup of the new covenant. Community is achieved by the very nature of coming together and have a meal together, you intentional engage in the one another’s of Christian fellowship. The mission element is accomplished by your intent of being there with a mission purpose, to reach, take the gospel to the world around you. By engaging your servers and possible those around you with the gospel.

Lets change up the situation a little: To add the mission element to your dinning out would be to invite a non-Christian friend, neighbor or co-worker to join you and your Christian friends. The community element is added in by both having community with the Christian as well as the non-Christian friends, but also the non-Christian getting to experience first hand real Christian community happening before them between you and your Christian friends. Allowing them to see a glimpse of the Kingdom life lived out by you. The gospel element can be added in again in a natural way as you converse throughout dinner. By you and the believers partaking in the breaking of bread and taking the cup, and explaining what is happening and why, and how this effects you life and who you are. And by them hearing how God and the gospel effects and directs your daily lives. And of course the mission element is also accomplished by the fact you are proclaiming the gospel through natural conversation and community with the intent to expand the kingdom by making disciples. And you still add in the active mission element of reaching out the your servers and others around you.

See how easily this way of living where we think of everyday activities through the lenses of Gospel, Community, and Mission, can be applied to basically every activity of everyday life, everything we do. Perhaps the element of community cannot be always applied to every situation but the gospel and mission can be applied to every thing we do in life.