Preach the gospel
We live in a time where much of the church is historically and biblically illiterate. Because of this we are doomed to repeat some of the same mistakes made throughout history. It has been said, those who do not study history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. When it comes to Christianity, it is unfortunate that many, including pastors do not know their own Christian history.
All of this departure from the truth found in the word took years in the making and is now matured. We are reaping the bad fruit of not hearing the Word.
In America we donít seem to care anymore about what someone does from the womb to the Whitehouse. This same laze faire attitude seems to have crept into the Church. Instead of slipping onto our knees we have slipped down on to another part of our anatomy. You can say we are sleeping -- It is time for us to WAKE UP and stand up.
We live in a multi religious culture where tolerance of nearly everything is a way of life. Many are taught in our schools there are no absolutes, there is no one who is right because they disagree on what truth is or that it even exists. If it doesnít than we can make up our own rules to living. This is applied to both religion and cultural lifestyle.
A poll taken says that 67% of Americans believe there is no such thing as absolute truth. If one was to choose which religious system they would join, truth would not be a criteria in their choosing. They would choose what appeals to them, what they think would work for their individual needs (which is pragmatism). Unfortunately what works is no test for truth. The fact is, this is what the false teachers have taught to the church to practice; relativism. Catering truth to the individual.
Our society has had a radical shift from what was clearly understood as absolute standards to inventing oneís own. Different religions may work for different people temporarily but giving people personal choice on what they think is right or wrong(is there wrong anymore) does not solve the issues of life and death. It is by knowing the true God.
An allowance of any choice is accepted, no matter how depraved it can be. Many are willing to help those who are in need. However it is not love to help people by accepting their wrong choices and have them continue in what can hurt them, love is preventing them from harm.
Today we too many are focusing on church and social improvements. Instead we should be focusing outward, reaching the lost but this cannot be accomplished unless we focus inward and bring people to maturity in Christ. That they would have the confidence and act in faith to reach out to others around them.
The call for unity for unity sake is not the answer either, people are perishing and if we have to wait until we agree on most things, itís going to be longer than you or I will live. Nor should we drop our differences just so we can agree on the surface. If one does not agree with the fundamentals, the core teachings of the bible they are not part of the Church no matter how much they insist they are, spiritual unity cannot be manufactured no matter how hard we try. Unity at the expense of agreeing on the truth is not unity, it is a facade.
Without the crucifixion (the cross) the Church becomes just another cult or religion with teachings about a man named Jesus.
1 Cor. 1:18 ďthe message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Ē
Paul said he and the apostles Ďpreach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Cor. 1:23-25)
The cross, the crucifixion, the gospel has everything to do with our justification and sanctification and future glorification. This is our hope, it is the only hope for mankind.
General Booth of the Salvation Army had said "The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, Heaven without Hell. This time has come, we see it everywhere.
Gal 5: ďAnd I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased ." And this is where he puts his finger on the critical issue. IT WAS THE CRUCIFIXION for our sins that offends! It is about the one who was crucified.
The word "offence" in Greek is "scandalon", meaning "a stumbling block". What the apostles found in their day is still true in our day: THE CROSS OFFENDS MEN WHEREVER IT IS PREACHED AS GOD'S ONLY SAVING MEANS FOR SINFUL MAN. In our presentation of the Gospel, the Cross (crucifixion) of Jesus, who is God come in the flesh must never be viewed as anything other than central to it. What is just as important is the who, the one who died for our sins becomes a stumbling to all who reject Gods love clearly portrayed in the person of Jesus willingly dying for all, even enemies (which we all were before we are saved by his sacrifice).
How can we witness with conviction to someone when we not sure what we believe? We must know what we believe to convey it to others, understanding the basics is crucial to have the ability to explain it to others.
The Cross of Jesus spares no one who relinquishes themselves in surrender. You are alive going to it - and dead when taken down! Thus you begin a new life. The Cross represents sacrifice and commitment, holiness and separation, selflessness and humility - death to self. THAT'S OFFENSIVE TO ALL! this is why Jesus stated whoever desires to save their life will lose it. but whoever loses their life for my sake will find it." (Mk.16:15, this is said 6 times in the gospels) Our life is found in Christ.
Why do all the religions reject and even hate the gospel; Christ crucified? Because it nullifies their own works to be accepted by God, it offends our pride. It points out that we are sinful, not good.
The Bible states It is the "preaching of the cross" that contains "the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18). You can't speak of Christ and salvation to the unsaved without the crucifixion. the gospel is not just speaking of Christ but specifically what can save , this is found in 1 Cor.15:1-4.
1 Cor. 2:1-2 The power of God is found in the place where Christ (God who became man) gave his life for our sins. That is place we have our transaction of our wretchedness for his holiness.
Only Biblical Christianity has this solution for all mankind. That by the saviorís once and only death we are given a new life. This is because the one who died did not stay dead but was raised back to life and is alive forever more. because of him we will be raised in a like manner.
Modern day Christianity is certainly missing these elements. They need to brought back in the message of salvation, to have any rescued from their sins. There is no substitute for the simple gospel message.