Friday, July 15, 2011

Our Unclear Bugle

1 Corinthians 14:8
"And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?" ESV

As I try to follow the Lord in an evangelistic ministry the chief end for all in obedience is to be true to the gospel. The frustration in this and cause I feel in failure of the Body of Christ to share the gospel is that many church bodies, denominations and preachers do not agree what the gospel is and does.

Everyone who has spent anytime in Sunday School can tell you that gospel means "Good News". A lot of things in our selfish lustful lives are good news to us. We hear about social gospels, liberation theology, new perspectives on Paul. People act if the gospel is a smorgasbord and they can declare or pick the truth parts of the gospel by what is relative to them. But there is a God who declared what sin is and and what He designated his Son for. We pick and choose. When Hilary Clinton was a candidate she recalled what she wrote for her United Methodist conformation class an essay "What Jesus Means to Me." Like all politicians they have to be religious enough -but not too religious. This is unfortunatly American style Chrisitanity.
Here is the overlooked part of Christianity and especially what counters
American style Christianity. God did say what sin was. God did say how salvation would be. Good Americans need to be Christians right? So we make a Christianity in our own image.

Ray Comfort of Living Water's Ministries said

"In the late seventies, God very graciously opened an itinerant ministry to me. As I began to travel, I found that I had access to church growth records, and found to my horror that something like 80 to 90% of those making a decision for Christ were falling away from the faith. That is, modern evangelism with its methods is creating something like 80 to 90 of what we commonly call backsliders for every hundred decisions for Christ.
Let me make it more real for you. In 1991, in the first year of the decade of harvest, a major denomination in the U.S. was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. That is, in one year, this major denomination of 11,500 churches was able to obtain 294,000 decisions for Christ. Unfortunately, they could only find 14,000 in fellowship, which means they couldn't’t account for 280,000 of their decisions,".
This denomination was the Southern Baptist Convention. "

I once worked at a sports youth camp where we had a rousing speaker. The majority of kids raised their hand to respond to the intended gospel message. Many adults there said they had never seen such a response. On school had eighteen boys on a team raise their hand. I never heard that any lasting impact was made on their lives.
In the "Great Awakening" in America and the great Wesleyan revivals in the United Kindom during the 1700's people changed then society changed. What are people being converted to today? Not biblical salvation

" Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness." 1 John 3:4 ESV

I have heard all the missing the mark and Greek word breakdown as you have as what sin is. "
Oops!I did it again"
to quote one of own Southern baptist girls who walked one of
our aisles- Brittany Spears. That's O.K we all sin.
No-Sin shatters all respect for God and breaks his laws in full defiance.
Yea I just messed up some, look at others. God said look at his commandments.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 ESV "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

Before you know the "Good News" you need to know the bad news. God is Holy and you are not. You are not like him at all. You were made in His image distorted by sin.
Leviticus 1144 "For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy."

Hebrews 12:29 says "for our God is a consuming fire."

American Christianity hates this bad news and often neglects to preach it.

John 1:48 ESV "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."

This verse is quickly forgotten by the folks who raise hands or walk our aisles.

God is love and soft so he will take whatever we dish out. There are no expectations or responsibilities because it is a soft gospel with no responsibility for sin, attempting to live a holy life or any responsibility.

Our Holy God hates sin yet made provision for salvation for us even as we spit and trample or even deny his law.

Matthew 20:25-28
"Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Jesus,the baby from Christmas, the "Good Teacher" that those of other religions will agree with-But this is the real Jesus the one the world hated and hates. Why He claimed to be God. He broke no law or commandment. He died to appease the wrath of a Holy God. The hellish wrath poured out on Christ on the cross was intended for
all of humanity forever.
God made a way of salvation. He is Holy, a consuming Fire and love and he made a way of salvation.

Romans 3:24–25 ESV
"4 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins."

The real gospel gets real conversions. While liberals soften or weaken the gospel to nonexistence and ultimately universalism the world is headed to wrath.

While conservatives trump the merits of John Calvin or Jacob Arminius
the world is headed to wrath while debates rage on humans perspectives of an Almighty God take the lead of the missional purpose.

2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV

2For he says,
"In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you."

1. We are sinners who will fully die in our sin.
Arrogant people will ignore this. Take them to the 10 Commandments which is the Law we trample.
2. Those who have knowledge of breaking God's law will
be humbled.
3. Lead them to repentance and trust that Jesus Christ is Lord and not a way but the way God has planned for salvation to those who {all of us} have trampled his law.

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