Jesus and the Apostle Paul told us to preach it. So many today say they preach it. Yet so often the key words are omitted—sin, the blood, the cross, repentance, baptism, heaven, hell. So what the people hear is actually nothing like the gospel.
How many non-Christians (cajoled into church by their friends) have heard a long discourse on some Old Testament theme and left none the wiser about Jesus as Saviour? Many I suspect.
There is nothing wrong with the Old Testament as such, but it doesn’t spell out the gospel as clearly as the New.
Also, it's erroneous to think everyone is saved. Pastors and ministers often run the meeting on that assumption.
Surely there is a case for a brief gospel presentation at the end of every sermon in every church. That is if the leaders don’t know for sure that everyone is saved.
It has to be spelt out: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”(1) It must be told: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(2)
People need to know their self-satisfied “good works” are not going to save them. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest anyone should boast.”(3)
Then they must learn: “There is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we can be saved.”(4) The name being Jesus. They need to hear what Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life, No-one comes to the Father except through me.”(5)
Repentance has to be clearly explained. If a person says “the prayer” and doesn’t understand repentance we have failed. Jesus said: “. . . but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”(6)
Peter refers also to repentance, and then baptism. The scripture tells us: “Then Peter said to them, repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”(7)
So no matter how elaborate and intricate the sermon topic may be, let’s give at the end of it a true, accurate, gospel presentation that even an eight-year-old can understand.
Bible refs: (1) Romans 3:23 - (2) Romans 6:23 - (3) Ephesians 2:8-9 - (4) Acts 4:12 - (5) John 14:6 - (6) Luke 13:3 - (7) Acts 2:38.
[I'm not in "Private Messenger" so I can't read and reply to your emails sent there. I live outside the US. You can reach me at saul2_au at yahoo dot com
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