Gospel Refresher

(This is from my women’s Bible study I gave today, sharing here for those who would like to read).

I was going to continue in talking about a believer’s walk here on earth as we become sanctified practically, but some things this week have changed my train of thought. And in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep, I decided on this.

Time is short and we all know the reality of life after death. And we know there are only two destinations, heaven or hell — and people we love will be in one place or another. A recent visit with a non-believing friend, and an upcoming one with another several, led me to want to refresh us all with the good news.

A friend, Gene Greeson, goes into prisons to share the good news of salvation, and they have since about 2003 or 4. They go to 12 prisons in Florida and one in Montana. I asked him about why Montana, and he explained their son had been murdered in 2015. And the woman who murdered him was in that prison. They had forgiven her, and they go to visit her. (You can find the videos on youtube by entering her name. If you’d like to send support to them, contact me). They hope to see her again this summer. He shared this comment recently, that I shared on my page.

Gene: Has anyone noticed how many ways so-called gospel preachers (presenters) add works to their gospel presentation? When they do so, their message is no longer GOOD NEWS. Yet, they all agree that salvation is “not of works, lest anyone should boast.” They all argue that “turning from sin” or “committing to follow Jesus” does not involve works. Hogwash. If God were to require works for salvation, how could He require more works than that?

Here’s another question. How can anyone have assurance of salvation if he believes he had to turn from his sin and commit his life when he looks in a spiritual mirror and recognizes how much sin he hasn’t yet turned from and how far short he falls from living a committed life? He may take pride in the fact that he quit smoking, drinking and drugging, but has he quit his sins of pride, lust, envy, coveting, gossiping, quarreling, and doubting God (a form of unbelief)?

According to 1 John 1:8, if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Some admit that they sin but are deceived into thinking they don’t “practice sin.” Hogwash. They don’t need to practice it. They have been doing it long enough, they are experts already! Then, there are those who think salvation can be lost “if we sin willfully.” What liar is going to say he doesn’t sin willfully? Who doesn’t willfully break the speed limit? Or, who doesn’t willfully do things he knows he shouldn’t or willfully refrains from doing things he knows he should?

Some “frontload” the gospel by adding works to be saved and others back load the gospel by saying if you don’t have works, you are not saved. (Guess they have never read Romans 4:1-8, especially verse 5 – But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness)

When will they ever understand that we are not saved by our righteousness (which are as filthy rags-Isaiah 64:6 tells us)? But we are saved by Jesus’ righteousness being credited to our account. If our righteousness enters into the formula, we are doomed, for a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Jesus made it simple when He said in John 6:47, “He who believes in Me has everlasting life.” He closed the door on ever losing eternal life when he said in John 5:24 that the believer will never be condemned because he has already passed from death into life.

Eternal life begins the instant we believe Him for it. Praise God. EQ

MORE ON GENE & DORI GREESON HERE

A short Gospel presentation


Our unsaved friends

I have a friend, she’s French, about 80, and right now very depressed. She feels alone. She doesn’t understand the Bible at all, and to be truthful, previously, has not really wanted to hear much in the maybe 20 years I’ve known her. She was raised atheist, both grandparents and parents. She had no influences (until me) who were believers (that I know of). Even so, she doesn’t really understand why Jesus had to die. Recently I started to explain again, from the beginning, in the garden, knowing she really probably hasn’t heard much of His Word.

She is big into the planet and the Universe, and how man is destroying it. In essence that is true, just not exactly how she thinks. So I told her about the first sin when Adam disobeyed God — he did it having already been warned it would cause his death. And since man sinned, man had to die, and this is where Jesus came as a man to take everyone’s place in dying for us. Since the first sin, things began to change for the worse. Adam would die, and the earth would also change. There would be sorrow, sickness, and all manner of sins (as we see in this world we live in today). Animals would eventually become food to eat and afraid of humans.

I explained to her that Heaven is a perfect place (Rev 21:27 tells us), and not even one lie (white or otherwise) can make it into heaven, or we’d have all the same problems, sicknesses and sorrows, and worse for eternity.

I shared how we need to believe on Him (who Jesus is). I told her He was the one and only Son of God, who came to the world to die on the cross and pay the price (death) for all of our sins – everything, past, present, and even the sins we have not yet sinned. There is nothing left to pay for. He paid for them ALL in full on the cross, as He said, It is Finished.

Victory over Sin, Death and the Grave

He is God, the Savior. Jesus rose again from the dead as He said He would, proving He is God, because He had the power to take His life back up again (John 10:17-18). 1 Corinthians 15 reminds us that resurrection had the victory over sin, death and the grave. All He asks of us is to believe on Him and we will be saved from this death of eternal torment and separation from the One who loves us.

We know the wages of sin is death because God is perfect and just. God doesn’t desire any of His Creation, which He loves, to die. Yet sin has to be judged as He said, He is perfect, so nothing less than perfect will do. And we know none of us are, we have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. Not one person can reach God by any means but the one way He gave.

Other religions

Too many religions think they can be good enough to get to heaven, or that they don’t do the ‘big sins’. Or maybe some think they can do good works to get there, or stop certain bad habits, be a church goer, read the Bible, turn from sins, all good works but not good enough, and we know good works cannot contribute to the free gift of eternal life (Eph 2:8-9).

The Bible says, there is none good, no not one. I remember when I said that about myself, she told me I was the best person she knew. That I was ‘good’. Instead of arguing with her (knowing I was a sinner like everyone else), I just simply said, ‘not good enough’ to reach God, none of us are good enough. But He’s made a way, an easy way, that people find hard because sadly most prefer their own way, or what they are used to knowing. The Word of God says there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death.

What do we need to do to be saved?

Some of us know Pastor Cucuzza, his gospel booklet talks of some of the things people think they need to do in order to be saved.

  • Trying to keep the commandments.
  • Repenting of all your sin.
  • Going to church.
  • Sincerely trying to turn from sin.
  • Getting water baptized.
  • Being sorry for your sin.
  • Keeping ordinances or sacraments.
  • Committing yourself to God to try to live a better life.
  • Making Jesus the Lord of your life.
  • Trying to get rid of bad habits.
  • Giving money.
  • Promising to be a better husband or wife.
  • Asking Jesus into your heart.
  • Giving your life to Christ.

But that is not what the Bible says. The Scriptures say in Eph 2:8-9

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.

God doesn’t want them to perish. That’s why we sure need to pray for them, pray for other believers to labor in the harvest. He loves them far more than we love them, He made them. So, we should share His Word when we can, be ready to answer their questions from His Word. (Prov 22:17-21; 1 Pet 3:15)

Who is the Living Water?

They need the Living Water. Jesus talked of being born again in John 3. Nicodemus asked how that could happen. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Some have debated that to mean water baptism but I like the explanation of Hank Lindstrom that says it would be better translated, unless one is born of water EVEN the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom. That makes sense in light of other Scriptures. Because we know it is the Living Water that regenerates us. Who is the Living Water?

Jesus went on to say, (Jn 3)

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

In chapter 4, as Jesus speaks to the Prostitute Samaritan at the well, He said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” (We know the Gift of God, is the Spirit giving us everlasting life when we believe – Acts 2:38; Eph 1:13-14; Acts 10:45; Rom 6:23; Eph 2:8-9). Jesus continued to say that anyone who drank of the well water would thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that He would give would never thirst. He said that water would become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Jesus also speaks of the Living Water in John 7:37-39

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,  “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (ascended into heaven).

Romans 5 tells us while we were in our sin, ungodly, unrighteous, without strength — He died for us.

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:6-8

He made it easy. People corrupt the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3-4). He only asks us to believe Him, and He says we can do so by hearing His Word (Rom 10:17). So people need His Word. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 explains that even a child can understand by hearing the Scriptures, when it says, to “continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Jesus died as a ransom for all

God wants people to know that He was a ransom for all, from Kings to paupers. In 1 Timothy 2:1-6, we are told it pleases God for us to pray for all, because He desires all people to saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. And we know there is one God and one mediator between God and man and that is Christ Jesus who gave himself in great love (John 3:16; 15:13) as a ransom for Everyone. As we know, for God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe on Him, would not perish, but have everlasting life. And we can know for sure that we have that everlasting life, (1 Jn 5:9-13) because God promised eternal life (before time began-Titus 1:2), and He says in John 10 (28-29) that He will not lose one of us. And I know this to be true.

Other Scriptures to read: John 3:14-17, 36; John 5:24; John 6:28-29, 35-40, 47, 68-69; John 7:37-39; John 9:35-39; John 11:25-27; Rom 4:1-6, 11:6; Rom 5:15-ff; Rom 6:23

 

6 Responses to “Gospel Refresher

  • Wade Youngblood
    1 year ago

    Perfectly said Holly. I think it’s good for us all to be reminded what the gospel is, since we have an enemy that would corrupt our minds, if we aren’t diligently abiding in His word.

    • Thanks Wade, was just thinking of you guys. Yes, if Paul warned the elders in Acts 20:25-32 for 3 years day and night in tears, it is very apparent that even elders can have their minds corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

  • David J Busciglio
    1 year ago

    Well said. Totally and everlastingly true. The one and ONLY gospel of the grace of God. It NEVER gets old: By faith alone in HIS FINISHED work alone, we receive the FREE and unmerited GIFT of God. …. ” … Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift. ” (II Corinthians 9:15)

    • David, I love how you worded that (Totally and everlastingly true). It does and should never grow old. I love 2 Cor 9:15, thanks for posting it. May we show His love to others! God bless you.

  • David J Busciglio
    1 year ago

    And likewise, amen and God bless you, sister. Grateful and heartening to check into your web articles and always seeing Scripture compared with Scripture, ie, always rightly dividing.

    • Thank you David, and I always want to be held to the standard of His Word, if something doesn’t sound right, always feel free to say something. Love in Christ.

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