The Wrong Perspective On Salvation And The Gospel
The modern Church often uses ambiguous words and terminology to describe salvation, to explain how a person becomes saved. They often use expressions like:
You need to accept Christ
You need to believe in Christ
Anybody can accept a “Christ” on their own terms and who fits their own false definition of who Jesus Christ is. Anybody can believe in Christ, including the devil himself. But to believe in and be willing and able to OBEY the Christ of the Bible requires a supernatural act of God – it requires regeneration – the imparting of God’s Spirit into a spiritually dead enemy of God.
“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh” [Ezekiel 11:19]
So, instead of telling people that to become saved all they’ve got to do is accept Christ or believe in Christ, we, the truly saved ones, should not be looking for fast formulas or quick fixes. We should be just declaring biblical truth that God’s messengers have used for centuries to convict and convert lost sinners. These truths are found throughout scripture and were revealed to us by the prophets, apostles and Jesus Christ. But today’s preachers usually gloss over them or omit them entirely from their modern seeker-friendly, non-confrontational gospel preaching.
Ezekiel chapter 33 highlights some of those important components of the true Gospel that are absent from many modern salvation “plans”, namely that God views us all as ungodly wicked sinners in dire need of urgent warnings that utter destruction from God (eternal damnation) is on its way and that we despartely need to turn from our sin and flee to God for salvation:
“When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” [Ezekiel 33:8-0]
Questions we need to as ourselves regarding how we share “the Gospel”:
Are we warning the wicked (those who are yet unsaved) of:
- The fact that they really are wicked in the eyes of a thrice-holy God.
- The fact that God says they totally deserve eternal damnation in hell for their sins (and not just for the “sin of unbelief”).
- The fact that God is not at our mercy waiting for us to accept Him, but that rather we are at God’s mercy lest – in His hot displeasure – He could cast us into hell at any moment.
- The fact that we need to plead with God to have mercy on our souls and grant us a complete pardon for our sins based only on the merits of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, and not on any merit of our own.
Remember, the Good News of the Gospel is meaningless, totally pointless to those who do not yet understand the gravity of their lost spiritual condition. So, don’t waste your time telling people about the Good News of Jesus dying to save sinners for those who have no clue nor concern for how terrible a thing it is for unsaved sinners to fall into the hands of the living God.
“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die? [Ezekiel 33:11]
Christ Died For The Ungodly
by Horatius Bonar
The divine testimony concerning man is, that he is a sinner. God bears witness against him, not for him; and testifies that "there is none righteous, no, not one"; that there is "none that doeth good"; none "that understandeth"; none that even seeks after God, and, still more, none that loves Him (Psa. 14:1-3; Rom. 3:10-12). God speaks of man kindly, but severely; as one yearning over a lost child, yet as one who will make no terms with sin, and will "by no means clear the guilty." <continued>
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