Tag: true Gospel

Watch out for the serpent’s cunning!

Scripture reading for August 11th:  2nd Corinthians 11

Key scriptures for over-comers:  2nd Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-14  “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.  I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.  But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. . . . .For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

The apostle Paul was concerned for the church at Corinth.  Some fast-talking ‘super-apostles’ had come into the church and were preaching a ‘different gospel’ about a ‘different Jesus’ and ‘different spirit’ than the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior.  They were out to deceive the believers and lead them astray and some of the church members were falling for it.  Paul was jealous for their souls and sought to expose Satan’s masquerade in these false ‘apostles’!  According to Jesus Christ, these ‘false’ apostles will mark the last days! (Matthew 24:4)

Observations for over-comers:  Believers must know the true Gospel of salvation by grace through faith and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit to avoid deception.  “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”  (Proverbs 23:23)

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Paul’s call and the Gospel!

Scripture reading for September 14th: Galatians 1:1-24

Paul was an apostle who was sent by Jesus Christ and God the Father to minister to Gentiles.  Paul had ministered in Galatia and planted churches there among Gentiles.  Certain false teachers from among the Jewish believers had come along later and tried to persuade these Gentile believers that they needed to follow the Jewish custom of circumcision in order to be saved.  Paul wrote this letter after his first missionary journey and the experience of the council at Jerusalem to encourage the church to trust in Christ’s sacrifice alone to save them.  (Acts 15:28)

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–which is really no Gospel at all.  Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the Gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!  As we have already said, so now I say again:  If anybody is preaching to you a Gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:6-9)  Paul was emphatic, twice repeating the curse on those changing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  No one can change what God has done.  No one can add to Christ’s work on the cross without taking away from the Gospel!  Not even angels can change or add to it!

Paul did not make up the Gospel nor did he get it from some of the other disciples.  He got it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.  (Galatians 1:12)  Paul was a persecutor of the church of Jesus Christ and zealous for the traditions of the fathers of Judaism.   But God revealed Jesus Christ to Paul and called him to preach to the Gentiles.  (Acts 9:5,15)  Paul went immediately to Arabia and then to Damascus.  He spent three years there before going to Jerusalem to visit with Peter and James.  These apostles had heard about his conversion and preaching and now got to meet this man.  They thanked God for what He had done. (Galatians 1:18-24)

Paul’s Gospel message came directly from Christ, not even from the apostles James and Peter.  The Gospel cannot be changed, only preached to those in need of salvation.   Are you trusting in the true Gospel?

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Entering the kingdom through hardship!

Scripture reading for June 22nd: Acts 14:8-28

Today’s prosperity gospel promises health, wealth and good times to those who will believe.  Those who preach this false gospel take the promises of God out of context or pick the ones that sound good and ignore the rest for their own gain and to draw a crowd.  They know how to use the Scriptures to their own advantage and tickle people’s ears!  The record of the ministry of Jesus and the church in Acts tells the true Gospel!

Jesus preached a message of the Kingdom of God that commanded people to repent!  He told his disciples that they would be blessed when they suffered hatred, insults and rejection because of Him.  They would be blessed if they were poor, hungry and weeping for His sake.   In fact if all men were speaking well of you, you probably were a false prophet!  (Luke 6:20-26)

At Lystra, Paul was used by God to heal a crippled man who was lame from birth.  Paul and Barnabas had a time with the crowd that gathered and tried to worship them.  They preached to them until some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came and dragged Paul out of the city and stoned him. The disciples prayed over him and God raised him up and he went back into the city.  (Acts 14:8-20)

“Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.  “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.  Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they put their trust.” (Acts 14:21b-23)  These disciples were fearless, realizing that God would take care of them.  They gave their lives to help God’s church and do what Jesus had commanded them.  They did not experience or preach a ‘prosperity’ gospel, but lived in the power and joy of the Holy Spirit accepting hardship and persecution as part of the package.

As you read these accounts of the early church and the preaching of these first apostles and missionaries, do you think the church today is preaching the same Gospel?  Are you living by the Gospel that Jesus and Paul preached?  Today is a good day to repent and be filled with the Holy Spirit!

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Rising from the dead!

Scripture reading for November 26th: 1st Corinthians 15-16

One of the stumbling blocks for intellectuals is the resurrection.  The resurrection is foreign to anything our mind can truly understand.  To the natural eye, death appears to be irreversible.  Doctors can treat a person, but they can’t keep them from dying or permanently raise them to life.

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” (1st Corinthians 15:3-6)

The resurrected Jesus appeared alive to Mary at the tomb. (John 20:13-18)   Then Peter saw the Lord and then the Twelve, minus Judas, saw Him (Mark 16:14)  The two disciples saw Him on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:31-32) Thomas got to put his fingers in the holes of Jesus’ resurrected body and became a believer. (John 20:26-28) Finally, Jesus appeared to over 500 brothers at the same time!  (1st Corinthians 15:16) These men and women were either lying or telling the truth.  If they were lying, many of them went to their death rather than change their story!

Not only has Christ been raised from the dead, but all who believe in Him will also be raised from the dead!  Resurrection is a key truth of the Christian faith.  “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1st Corinthians 15:20-22)

Paul compares resurrection to planting of a seed.  A seed is planted in the ground and at the proper time it germinates and resurrects.  Likewise, our body is sown in the grave but it will be raised in glory!  It was sown a natural body, but will be raised a spiritual body that lives forever! (1st Corinthians 15:42-44)  This change will happen at the “last trumpet”!  Death will be swallowed up by victory in Christ’s eternal life!  What a glorious day that will be!

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