Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Admonition to Preach the Gospel in its Fullness

To the Staff of ------- Church:

My name is Arthur Schaper, a believer in Jesus Christ, who saved me through His loving power.

[I have sent you one letter already. I am sending this letter with some revisions of the previous letter]

I found one of your advertising postcards "Got Jesus?" lying on the ground near Wilson Park a week ago.

There is some concern regarding the message, which needs to be addressed in order to reach out effectively for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Yes, God created us with value and worth, for we are made in the image of the Creator.

We are all God's creatures, but we are not all His children. That requires being born again, receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior over our lives.

Yes, Jesus came to this Earth to restore us to right relationship with his Father.

He even said to Mary Magdalene: "G to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God! (Jn 20:17)

Your card states that we need a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, but why? Why do we have to trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior?

To save us from the wrath to come! To save us from the righteous judgment of God the Father!

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23)

This scripture is listed on the card. But why should a man care about his sins? Why should he worry?
"Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." (2 Cor. 5:11) And
"It is appointed for man to die once, and after that the judgment." (Heb. 9:27)

Why are we judged? Because we have broken God's immutable, Holy Law. From Adam's fall, we sinned all. As soon as we know right from wrong, we invariably choose wrong. That is damnable human nature. (See Rom. 7)
Yet are we then condemned without hope?

The Law is our schoolmaster which leads us to Christ. (Gal. 3:24)
How does God's Law lead us to Christ? It shows us that we cannot make ourselves holy. (Rom. 3:19) It demands righteousness from us, which we cannot achieve.

Praise God the Father, then, for sending His Son JESUS CHRIST, that while we were yet sinners, he died for us, taking upon himself the wrath of a righteous God, that we may live with him, through him, and for him forever. (Romans 5:8)

Jesus Christ became sin, that we might become . . .righteous? Yea, more than that . . .that we may become the righteousness of God! (2 Cor. 5:21) That is why we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:37)

When Jesus preached the Gospel, he gave the law to the self-righteous, but grace to the broken-hearted. He condemned the Pharisees who foolishly boasted in the law, but he extended grace to lepers, tax-collectors, and sinners, i.e. to those who knew already that they were law breakers and in need of grace.
In John 8, the woman caught in the act of adultery could not defend or justify herself. She broke God's law, simple as that. Yet when Jesus charged the crowd: "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone," the crowd dispersed, leaving the woman along with Jesus. What then did he say: "I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more." The woman could not escape or deny her condemnation before the law. Yet before the Lord Jesus Christ, she had a heart prepared to receive his infinite grace.
This is the Gospel! It is far more than "You need to have a relationship with God." It is more than "You have sins keep you from having a personal relationship with God." We have to tell as many as we can why they must "personally respond by trusting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Yes "He has a plan and purpose for your life." (Jer. 29:11), but many people are content where they are now, without God. Every soul that does not believe shall die. That is an end we would not want to wish on our worst enemy!
The Gospel is ultimate Hope: God the Father, our Creator, wants to rescue fallen humanity from their just condemnation as law-breakers and sinners. When a man is confronted with his sorry, sinful state, he fully appreciates his need for a Savior and Lord. Any other gospel merely masquerades the power of the Cross and diminishes the Great Price of Christ's shed blood. What's worse, in times of trial and tribulation, a man will easily fall away if he believes that Christ came to give him a happy, fulfilling life. Those are the effects of salvation, but not the reasons for our need for a Savior.
Preach the Gospel, the full Gospel with all its power and merit (2 Tim, 4:1-2)! The world needs the Savior, but they need to know why!
Thank you, and God bless you!

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