..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Is Our Gospel Pure?

"...keep that which is committed to
thy trust...which some professing
have erred concerning the faith"
1 Timothy 6:20,21).

Part of our call as Christians is to to
faithfully hold and live out the faith
that has been passed onto us. Each
generation has a commission to carry
the faith for the time they are given
on earth.

Within each generation many things will
happen. Wars arise, technology changes,
worldviews evolve, opinions rage, values
shift, religious furvor rises and falls.
And yet, the gospel, and the job of
carrying forth the gospel, remain.

The question we must ask ourselves in
this hour is, "How pure is our gospel?"
For right now it is this generation's
charge to carry it forward in truth. Are
we being faithful to the Lord in its
proclamation? Untold millions have given
their lives to deliver the gospel,
rightly divided, to us" now it is our turn.

Each generation has had to wrestle with the
demons of compromise, false doctrine, complacency
and the spirit of antichrist. Attacks on
the gospel are nothing new.

We need to ask ourselves, "What is currently
attacking the gospel?" Some earmarks of
our age, especially in America, is an
extreme emphasis on the individual and
his or her right to think and choose for
themselves. Amen to freedom! But too
much "freedom" can lead to "every man doing
what seems right in his own eyes" (Judges

In the Book of Judges, we read of the
burial of Joshua, one of only two original
men of faith, that God allowed into
the Promised Land. Joshua is buried
and with his passing an era of faith comes
to an end.

It then says, "and also all that
generation were gathered unto their
fathers: and there arose another generation
after them, which knew not the Lord, nor
yet the works which he had done for Israel,
and the children of Israel did evil in
the sight of the Lord." (Judges 2: 8-11).
The passing forward of the knowledge of the
Lord had failed. People did as they pleased.
They did not know God.

Israel entered into a time when people
just free-wheeled: they did as they
saw fit. What was the problem with
that? One of the main problems is
that there was no ultimate standard,
each person would make decisions based
on whatever components informed his morals
and whims.

Human nature being what it is, caused
things to quickly deteriorate. Israel
no longer thought in terms of being in
covenant with God, or being in submission
to Him, she just went ahead and did
whatever suited her.

As we look at our responsibility to
be stewards of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, we must ask ourselves if
we are sure we know what the gospel is,
and if what is being put forward matches
that which Jesus entrusted to His Church.
Then we must ask ourselves if we are
carrying that message forward in the
purest way we know how to.

It seems apparent that there is
serious lack on both counts. One of
the attacks on the gospel is caused by
a serious lack of understanding of
even the most basic revelation of
God as revealed to us in Scripture.
Knowing who God is cuts the slack
out of a lot of error. If the church
does not know who God is, then how
can the world?

Should not everyone be free to
read the scripture and interpret it
as they see fit? Yes, and no.
Each person is thankfully free to read the
Scripture, but we cannot think
that any one individual, or even
one sector of the Church, has the
whole mind of God or the whole
counsel of God. At least up
until now, there has been general
consensus that the Scriptures are an
essential, primary, component
for measuring the purity of whatever
gospel is preached and bringing it back
to purity.

But what if there is a further shift
to "everyone doing as they see fit?"
What if we are only nominally
informed by Scripture or not
informed at all? What if we feel
that we can trust our experience
and our interpretation of our
experience apart from the Word? What
if we refuse to honor that which
has been passed down to us and
decide to do with it whatever we
will? What if we change the gospel
and don't even recognize that we've
changed it? Worse yet, what if we do
change it because we think that it
needs to be changed?

Throughout church history there
have always been reform movements
when things get out of balance.
The reforms that come from God
lead us back to God. The reforms
that come from man lead to death
and a perversion of the truth.
The old-fashioned word for that
is "heresy." Although folks can
try, there, at this point, is
nothing really knew under the
sun. Most current "new revelations"
are old heresies reappearing. If would
be a shame if we failed to
recognize that because we haven't
been doing our scriptural, historical,
and devotional homework.

God has already given us what we
need to know, and that will keep
us pretty busy. Even this much
of it is a full time job:
"Love the Lord thy God with all
thy heart, soul and mind,
and love thy neighbor as thyself."
(Matthew 22-37-40).

We are stewards of the gospel
of God and we need to be found
faithful to it. Let us be people
who seek God, people who pray much,
people who love much, people who
read the Word of God and take
heed to it, people who love the
truth, so that the next generation
and the world around us, receive
from us the gospel of God in its
purest possible state.

We need to look at the gospel or
gospels that are circulating and
we need to make our commitment
to preaching the gospel in purity,
simplicity, and boldness lest "another
gospel" overtake us and cause us to fall
short of our call and allow many to
perish. The days are frought with
change and the danger of falling away
from a simple, unhindered devotion to
the Lord Jesus Christ. Submit all that
you perceive the gospel to be to the
Lord. Allow Him to judge it, allow
Scripture to judge it. Aim for
a pure gospel. Begin with a pure

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