Don't Muddy The Gospel. Explain It Simply.

John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

I found this excellent blog today by Army Chaplain David Rutkin, which I wanted to share with my blog readers. ...
Don't muddy the Gospel. Explain it simply so it can be understood by the hearer.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most significant element of the Christian faith.

Needless to say, the Gospel should be preached at church and I firmly believe at every occasion.

The Apostle Paul separated himself from others according to the clear Gospel message of Christ (Rom. 1:1). The Gospel is where he divided himself from another.

The clear Gospel message should be the foundation of where a church stands. If one does not get the Gospel saving message correct (Rom. 1:16), then they are likely to err in other understandings of Scripture.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is His sinless shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection as the full substitute payment which saves a sinner from eternal damnation when believed by faith.

If the Gospel is tampered with at all and not explained vividly, it can lose its saving effect. Notice the verses below.

“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” - 1 Corinthians 1:17

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” - 2 Corinthians 11:3

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” - Galatians 5:4

This is a harsh reality, and a real tragedy which is going on in many Christian churches today. Every Bible-believing church should give a clear presentation of the Gospel and invitation to accept Jesus Christ alone as Savior by personal faith.

I’m a stickler for a clear presentation of the Gospel.

Salvation is not a sinner promising to turn from sin, sorrow for sin, or giving their life/heart to Jesus so that He will save them. Salvation has nothing to do with our promises or gifts to Christ. Salvation is simply us accepting Jesus’ satisfactory payment on the cross of Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. We simply trust in Jesus alone to save us (Acts 16:31, Rom. 4:5, 1 Cor. 15:1-4, Eph. 2:8-9).

Jesus gave His life for us (Gal. 1:4, 1 Tim. 2:6, Tit. 2:14); we don’t give anything to Christ for salvation.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21).

If we make salvation about us or something we promise to do for God, then salvation is no longer a gift, but we earned it (Rom. 4:16, 11:6). A sinner must understand they have nothing to offer Christ, but simply trust in Him alone to save them by accepting His substitutionary payment for their sins.

I do not believe I am splitting hairs because as seen from numerous Scripture above, the Apostle Paul was just as dogmatic.

SOURCE: The Crystal Clear Gospel Of Jesus Christ

Like David Rutkin, I don't know the exact year that I was saved. I believe it was in 1980, when I was age 13. I remember the event and the place. I was saved on a Sunday morning in an old-fashioned church on Chicago's northside. It was the Northland Baptist Church. The pastor preached, saying that if you can sin without any conviction from the Holy Spirit you aren't saved. When I heard that, I knew I wasn't a redeemed child of God. For the first time in my life I felt real conviction that day!

From the pew in back of the church, the best I knew how I accepted Jesus as the Christ, the only begotten Son of God. I believed that Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believed that He had been buried but three days later resurrected from the dead miraculously. That Sunday mothing I placed my faith in Jesus as my personal Savior, and He gloriously and permanently saved me by faith alone in the Good News (i.e., the Gospel). From that day until present I have felt the very real presence of God's Holy Spirit in my life.

I love something that Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold said:
“There is power in this Gospel message. Most people just don't know how to present it... The clarity of the Gospel is what makes it easy for them to believe.” —Pastor Yankee Arnold, a quote from the excellent MP3 sermon titled, “WHY GRACE CAN SAVE THE WORST MAN!
False religions teach that if you're good, if you're sorry, if you turn away from your sinning, if you repent of your sin, if you surrender to Jesus as “Lord (Master) of your life, count the cost and pay the price, live a lifestyle of repentance, and faithfully run the Christian race until the end—only then can you go to Heaven. But those are LIES of the Devil! You can do all of these things and yet never have been saved at all. Jesus emphatically declared in John 3:7, “YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.

I am proud of David Rutkin as my dear brother in Christ, because he preaches a free grace Gospel. In these perilous times of anarchy and apostasy in the United States and abroad, the inspired Word of God (the King James Bible) is being replaced with counterfeit Bibles that are doctrinally corrupted. For example: Look how the Easy-To-Read Version (ERV) changes and corrupts God's simple plan of salvation. Consequently, the Devil is succeeding at redefining the Gospel into a perverse religious package that cannot produce the new birth. Satan's greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born-again!

I was delighted to find David Rutkin's website today, finding another brother in Christ who gets the Gospel correct! ...
“Salvation is not a sinner promising to turn from sin, sorrow for sin, or giving their life/heart to Jesus so that He will save them. Salvation has nothing to do with our promises or gifts to Christ. Salvation is simply us accepting Jesus’ satisfactory payment on the cross of Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. We simply trust in Jesus alone to save us (Acts 16:31, Rom. 4:5, 1 Cor. 15:1-4, Eph. 2:8-9).”

SOURCE: The Crystal Clear Gospel Of Jesus Christ

Bravo! That reminds me of some wonderful quotes from one of my favorite preachers, Pastor Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951), which I will share with you in a moment. Pastor Ironside DIDN'T teach Lordship Salvation, he simply taught that Biblical repentance was necessary for salvation, which is evidenced in the following quote by Pastor Ironside:
"Repentance is the very opposite of meritorious experience. It is the confession that one is utterly without merit, and if he is ever saved at all it can only be through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, 'who gave himself a ransom for all.' Here is firm footing for the soul who realizes that all self-effort is but sinking sand. Christ alone is the Rock of our salvation."

SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside; Except Ye Repent, pg. 36
Clearly, Harry Ironside taught a free grace Gospel:
“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past …

Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”

SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: “What Is The Gospel?
Read these helpful words from Dr. Ironside's Gospel tract: “
"When anyone comes promising salvation to those ‘who make full surrender' of all that they have to God, and who 'pay the price of full salvation' he is preaching another gospel, for the price was paid on Calvary's cross and the work that saves is finished. It was Christ Jesus who made the full surrender when He yielded His life on Calvary that saves us, not our surrender in any way to Him."

SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside, from the Gospel tract, “Another Gospel
Harry Ironside just contradicted everything Pastor John MacArthur (pastor of Grace Community Church in California) teaches concerning salvation. In sharp contrast to Harry Ironside, here are some of MacArthur's foolish unbiblical teachings from his book: “The Gospel According to Jesus (Zondervan 1988):
Saving faith is "unconditional surrender, a complete resignation of self and absolute submission" (page 153).

"Salvation is for those who are willing to forsake everything" (page 78).

"Saving faith is a commitment to leave sin and follow Jesus Christ at all costs. Jesus takes no one unwilling to come on those terms" (page 87).

"Eternal life brings immediate death to self" (page 140).
Is this true? Absolutely not. John MacArthur is of the Devil and his doctrines are demonic!!! There is no way possible to reconcile the beliefs of John MacArthur with the inspired Word of God. Only a wicked person would even try to do so. Dr. MacArthur clearly teaches that no one can be saved unless they are willing to UNCONDITIONALLY SURRENDER and FORSAKE EVERYTHING. This is not what the Word of God teaches. Dear reader, Christ died on the cross to pay for our sins, not demand that we stop committing them to be rescued from Hell.

Certainly God wants every child of His to forsake evil and live a holy life, but that is an entirely different matter of sanctification and service, which has NOTHING to do with being justified. I love what Pilgrim's Progress author, John Bunyan (1628-1688), wisely said:
“If you do not put a difference between justification wrought by the man Christ without and sanctification wrought by the Spirit of Christ within, you are not able to divide the Word aright; but contrariwise, you corrupt the Word of God, and cast stumbling blocks before the people.” —John Bunyan (1628-1688)
Amen and amen! The fatal error that so many clergy are making today is that they don't put a difference between the legal matter of justification, wrought without by the man Christ Jesus without; verses the paternal matter of sanctification, wrought by the indwelling Holy Spirit in every child of God (Romans 8:9; 1st John 3:24; Hebrews 12:6-8). That is sound doctrine!

Now let me quote to you again the great man of God, Harry A. Ironside:
"Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all."

SOURCE: Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: “What Is The Gospel?
Salvation is a gift, paid for by Jesus' literal, physical, precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19; 1st John 1:7; Hebrews 9:12; Revelation 1:5). We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (Matthew 6:33; Romans 10:3,4; 1st Corinthians 5:21), and not our own willingness to do better (Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; Romans 4:5,6,22).

We don't give up our sins to get saved, we SHOULD give up our sins because we are saved; and that requires time to grow in God's grace (1st Peter 2:2). The Bible repeatedly uses that very word, “SHOULD,” plainly evidencing that we don't have to make an effort to stop sinning to get to Heaven. For example: Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” The Bible is doctrinally accurate! You can trust your inspired King James Bible!!!
The Bible doesn't say:
  • We MUST live the Christian life to be saved (that would be WORKS).
  • We WILL live the Christian life if we are saved (that would be CALVINISM).
  • The Bible does say:

  • We SHOULD live the Christian life (to prove that we love Jesus - John 15:14).
I have been persecuted for my faith (2nd Timothy 3:12). Praise the Lord! I have been reprimanded, shunned and mistreated by umpteen church pastors, because I preach a free grace Gospel and sharply rebuke those who preach another gospel (Titus 1:9-14). I have been forced out of Baptist churches, scolded by pastors for contending for God's simple plan of salvation. One Baptist pastor called me “obsessed over the Bible.” What a tragic thing for any church leader to say! Buster, you better believe I'm obsessed about the things of God!

So was king David “obsessed” over God's Word in Psalms 119:139-140, “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. In Psalms chapter one, David said that he meditates upon God's Word day and night. That sounds obsessive a bit, don't you think? I say amen! Would to God that more Christians would obsess over the inspired Word of God. Dear friend, there is a direct link between the Bible version that you hold in your hand and the doctrines that you believe, your global view, and the lifestyle you ascribe to.

Here is a wonderful excerpt from Michael P. Bowen's helpful book titled: “I NEVER KNEW YOU: The Horror Of The Great White Throne Judgement And How You Can Avoid It”:
Here is the gospel: God says that we are sinners and that no amount of good works or behavioral changes on our part could ever make us holy enough to enter heaven. God sent His Son to pay for all of our sins. Jesus paid for our crimes by dying on the cross for us all. His dead body was buried in a grave. On the third day, Jesus arose from the dead. The instant you believe this, He knows it and He saves you. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me hath everlasting life”(John 6:47). The free gift is based solely upon your trust in what Jesus did for you and has nothing at all to do with what you do for Him. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). ~Michael P. Bowen, “I Never Knew You,” p. xii
There you have it friend, how to know that you're going to Heaven in just 30 seconds!

“But we've so muddied the Gospel, that when men want to make a decision to trust Christ, we've made it so complicated that they can't make a simple decision to 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' We'll say, 'If you don't do this' or 'You don't do that' or 'You haven't done that,' you're not saved'; but the truth of the matter is that when asked in the Bible, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?,' one clear simple answer was given to him — 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.'” —Pastor Curtis Hutson, “Things That Are Different Are Not The Same” (preached at Southwide Baptist Fellowship on October 3, 1994)

God bless you dear reader and thank you for taking the time to read my blog. To God alone be ALL the praise, credit, thanks and glory, because without Jesus we can do nothing (John 15:5). Jesus is precious!!!

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