FOR IT IS TIME FOR JUDGMENT TO BEGIN WITH THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD; AND IF IT BEGINS WITH US FIRST, WHAT WILL BE THE OUTCOME FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT OBEY THE GOSPEL OF GOD? 1 PETER 4:17

Have you obeyed the gospel the way Jesus said you must in order to be SAVED?

Have You Been Born Again?

Did You Know There is Not a Sinner’s Prayer in the Bible?

 

It’s True! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s plan of salvation, and He Commands Believers to Obey the Gospel unto Eternal Life.

These words may seem harsh to some people, but it’s not my intention to insult or anger anyone. No, my intention is to preach God’s word accurately, the way He intends His truth to be presented.

This writing sets straight the truth about popular false teaching that’s commonly accepted. The teaching is that people may find forgiveness of sin by praying what they call the sinner’s prayer. Such a prayer does not exist anywhere in the Bible. Therefore, it’s a gospel different from what the apostles preached, and that is perilous ground on which to stand.

Teaching forgiveness of sin through prayer is false. And directly opposes what God teaches. Look at what Paul tells the Galatians about preaching a false gospel.

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel, which is not just another account; but there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, even now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” Galatians 1:6-9.

Paul’s language is harsh to those that believe God saves everyone that claims to believe in Jesus, without obeying the gospel. Imagine claiming to love your family, but not showing it with actions. They would either never know you love them, or they would have a false sense of love. Either way, it’s an incomplete love, and therefore, false.

Obeying the gospel requires loving Him enough to be obedient. Out of His own mouth, Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15. Also, in John 14:21, He said, “The one who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.” Therefore, if you love Jesus, you will keep His commandment of obeying the gospel.

I’m perplexed by this popular false teaching. Why is it so many people believe they can pray Jesus into their hearts? Even though it’s not taught anywhere in scripture. How did this false gospel become mainstream among people claiming to be Christians?

Paul gives the answer in 2 Timothy 4:3-4

“For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

Also, look at what Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 about what awaits those that do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

“and to give relief to you who are afflicted, along with us, when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These people will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,”

If your preacher or pastor teaches any other gospel than the one found in scripture, it’s false. I know this sounds mean and insensitive, but there’s just no other way to put it. After all, being right with God is eternally better than accepting what a preacher says if it goes against God’s will.

I know some people will read this and say, but in John 3:16 it says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” Correct, it says those very words. But those that teach this as the gospel of salvation are pulling the scripture from its context, which does not honor God, nor teach the truth of what is being said. Pull out your Bible and read that passage in its context. What did Jesus just finish telling Nicodemus? He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Read the entire chapter, and you’ll find, belief mandates action, and that action is one must be born again. Merely believing is not obeying the gospel.

Did you know that the word gospel occurs approximately 96 (ninety-six) times in the New Testament? It’s an important topic to God and should be to all that desire to be saved.

 

What is The Gospel of Jesus Christ?

 

It’s of the utmost importance to study God’s word prayerfully, with an open mind, a fertile heart, and a willing spirit. The study of scripture is never-ending, and not one of us will live long enough to know it all. However, we should be in the word daily. We eat food and drink water daily to survive. We need the same mindset to survive the wrath to come.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.” Romans 1:18-19.

If you’re a Christian, you’ve most likely heard that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. That’s true, but what is the good news? It’s the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So, where is the definition of The Gospel in scripture?

We find it in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, which you may read below.

“Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received, in which you also stand, by which you also are saved, if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

For I handed down to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.”

Notice that Paul reminds them, that the gospel they received was the gospel he preached. This is important because there were people preaching a gospel other than the one from the apostles.

Again, let’s look at Paul’s exhortation to the Galatians in chapter 1 verses 6-9.

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel, which is not just another account; but there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, even now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

It’s plain to see that preaching any other gospel than the one preached by the apostles carries the penalty of being accursed. The word “accursed” means “a person doomed to destruction”.

I don’t know anyone (any believer) that would purposefully put themselves in the place of being doomed to destruction.

 

How To Obey The Gospel of Jesus Christ?

 

First, let’s recap the definition of the gospel found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8.

Notice Paul’s first statement in verse 1.

“Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received, in which you also stand, by which you also are saved, if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.”

Paul writes that the gospel is the death; burial; and resurrection of Jesus. Also, over 500 people witnessed Him alive after His resurrection. Truly, this is good news.

 

How Does Anyone Obey The Gospel? How Do We Obey The Death; Burial; and Resurrection of Jesus Christ?

 

The best place to start is at the beginning of the Church. Jesus had ascended into heaven, and the apostles returned to Jerusalem. After casting lots to fill the place that Judas had turned aside to go to his own place, the lot fell to Matthias, and he was added to the eleven other apostles.

On the day of Pentecost, the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and He gave the apostles the ability to speak out. (Read Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:14-35) In verse 36, Peter proclaimed, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

After hearing Peter’s sermon, and the proclamation that the crucified Jesus is Christ, some in the audience v. 37 “were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, brothers, what are we to do?” Peter said to them, v. 38 “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” v. 41 “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.”

This is the first account of the apostles doing what Jesus had instructed them in Matthew 28:19. Jesus said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We can see from this, the first scriptural examples of believers responded to and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is just the beginning. Every example of people responding in obedience to the word of life, they did so by obeying the gospel.

In Romans 6:3-6, Paul explains baptism, and how it’s a believer’s obedient response to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, detailing how we are to die to sin and walk in newness of life.

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for the one who has died is freed from sin.” Romans 6:3-6

Remember, the gospel is the good news that Christ suffered and died for the sins of the world, for all those that call on His name. Keeping in mind, God commands us to obey the gospel preached by apostles and given to them by the Holy Spirit.

Let’s look at another example from 1 Peter 3:21-22. I always recommend you read the entire context to receive the full meaning, and so you accurately handle God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15).

“Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” 1 Peter 3:21-22

Peter makes it simple, stating, that just as Noah and his family were saved through water. Now we have a type of overwhelming flood that saves us. Just as the flood washed the wickedness from the world, baptism washes away our sins. God made it so simple to understand, yet many consider it foolishness to be baptized for the forgiveness of sin. Paul even addressed this way of thinking in 1 Corinthians 1:18. “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written:”

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the understanding of those who have understanding, I will confound.”

In this context (which I hope you’ll read), Paul is correcting some erroneous practices that were creating division among the brethren. They were quarreling about individual loyalty to the one who baptized them. Paul’s goal was to bring them into unity in Christ because being baptized by a man did not make them disciples of that man.

People have dealt with this error since the dawn of the Church. And even in modern times since the establishment of organized religion. You don’t have to go far to find examples of this way of thinking. A study in church history will prove why, and where denominations originated. It’s never been part of God’s plan. Why? Because God established ONE Church.

Read the book of Ephesians, specifically for this conversation, Ephesians 4:1-3. “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

It has always been God’s plan for His people to be united in belief and practice. When people are busy creating division, the mission of the Church suffers.

My apology, I got a bit off track.

Let’s look back at the book of Acts and return to some examples of those being saved by responding to the gospel.

The story (Acts 8:25-39) about the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch amazes me. The reason being, I see him engaged in casual reading like we would a book today. I draw that conclusion because when Philip asks, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He responds, “Well, how could I unless someone guides me?” Then, he invited Philip to come up and sit with him in the chariot. The passage of scripture he was reading is a prophecy about Jesus from Isaiah 53:6-8. Philip began from that scripture and preached Jesus to him. Acts 8:36-39 reads, “As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he ordered that the chariot stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.”

This not only an example of someone obeying the gospel. It’s an example of the gospel being carried far and wide. The Ethiopian was on a road between Jerusalem and Gaza, during his journey home to Ethiopia. The journey from Gaza to Ethiopia was 2,561 km, that’s 1,591 miles. At 50 miles per day, he was a month away from home.

Below are more references from the Book of Acts:

John 3:23
And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

Acts 8:40
”But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through, he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.”

Acts 14:7
”and there they continued to preach the gospel.

Acts 14:15
“Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men, of the same nature as you, preaching the gospel to you, to turn from these useless things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything that is in them.”

Acts 14:21
”And after they had preached the gospel to that city and had made a good number of disciples,”

I pray you will look carefully at each of these references. These are but a few. Please seek the others. There’s an approximate total of 96 gospel references in the New Testament. If you have not obeyed the gospel, your soul is in jeopardy.

Also, there are approximately 67 references to Baptism in the New Testament. God only needs to say something once, so when He says it on dozens of occasions, we better take heed!

Let’s look at Saul’s/Paul’s conversion. You’re probably familiar with the story. If you’re not, it’s a great read and is in Acts 9:1-19.

He was on a road to Damascus when he met Jesus, and I think because he was figuratively blind, Jesus gave him the opportunity to be literally blind (just my opinion). Because he could not see, he needed help to make his way into the city. After arriving, he spent three days without sight, food, and water. The Lord told a man named Ananias about Saul, who was praying and instructed him to go to the house where Saul was. Ananias went and enter the house, and after laying hands on him, he regained his sight. He then got up and was baptized, ate food, and was strengthened.

From that time on, Paul served God in Christ and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ through many trials and tribulations, until his death many years later.

Friends, that is the Gospel of God defined in His Holy Word. God tells us what it is, what it does, and how to obey it. He does so in no uncertain language.

Will you obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I hope so!