The True Gospel of Jesus Christ

by Nick Lotter on April 24, 2013

The True GospelThere is so much incorrect teaching on the Gospel that the true Gospel is almost unrecognizable in evangelism these days. Instead of being faithful to the Biblical Gospel message (which is a scandal to the lost), evangelists choose to rather tickle the ears of their listeners and tell them exactly what they want to hear.

Instead of exposing sin and making known our great and desperate need for Jesus Christ, evangelists choose rather to seduce people with promises that you will not find anywhere in the Bible. They tell you that you can have “your best life now”, that you can “reign” right now in every area of your life, that God is just waiting to heal you and make you wealthy, that God has “a wonderful plan for your life”, and that all you have to do to receive all these wonderful blessings is go through a 5 step questionnaire and repeat a prayer after the preacher who will then pronounce you to be saved. Then on your way out the door, you can “sow a seed” into the preacher’s bank account. After all, those private jets and 5 star hotels don’t pay for themselves.

This kind of deceitful message is so far from the true Gospel that it can only be called a fraud. That it has skewed the younger generations’ view of God and given them a totally wrong understanding of what Salvation is should come as no surprise.

Think I’m exaggerating? Just go ahead and ask a group of young people what the Gospel is. You will get answers like “Jesus loves you”, “God has a wonderful plan for your life” and “saying the sinner’s prayer”. If you’re lucky, somebody might say that Jesus died for us. Ask them to explain what that means, though, or why Jesus had to die, and you’re likely to get a few blank stares. I am not making this up; I asked a group of young people in their early twenties this very question and those are the answers they gave me.

I don’t blame the youth for this, though. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of those preachers and TV evangelists who dare to stand up behind the pulpit and preach these deceptions. Rest assured, they will have to give account for their actions one day and they will be held accountable.

I have had enough of this web of deception. Some preachers and teachers may not care enough or love you enough to tell you the truth, but I do. Many preachers will rather not step on toes and prefer to tell you what they think you want to hear. That is the most unloving thing they can do. I will love you enough to risk hurting your feelings in order that you can know the truth about God, what Jesus accomplished for your sake and how much love was displayed on the cross.

The True Gospel of Jesus Christ

In order to properly understand the Gospel, we have to start with the foundation. At the center of everything is God, and we must know and understand who God is and know the character and attributes of God before we can have a good grasp of the Gospel. Not the false god that has been carved out in the imaginations of popular cultural Christianity, but the God of the Bible.

God is Holy

 Habakkuk 1:13  You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong…

Isaiah 59:2  but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. 

God is holy. Being holy doesn’t just mean that God is pure and perfect; it also means that God hates evil and cannot even look at sin. Because God is holy, we must be holy in order to be in His favorable presence or to enjoy fellowship with Him. Anything or anyone who is not holy is hated by God and will ultimately be destroyed by God.

Now there’s a good chance this is upsetting to the liberals reading this. How can I say that God hates anybody? How can I say that God expects us to be holy? Am I teaching Salvation by works here? I encourage you to read this message to the end to get the full picture.

Let’s be clear. We are not talking about how Salvation is achieved (yet), but about the character of God. Because God is holy, we must be holy because God is too pure to even look at sin. That God commands us to be holy is seen all over the Scriptures (Lev 11:44-45, Lev 19:2, Lev 20:7, Lev 20:26, Lev 22:3, 1 Peter 1:14-16).

Some people say that because God is love, He doesn’t hate at all. That is not a Biblical (or even logical) statement. God must hate because God is love. God is love, but God is also GOOD. Because God is good, He hates everything that is not good. Let me give you an example: if you love children, then you must hate abortion and hate the abuse of children. If not, then you cannot truthfully say that you have genuine love for children. God loves all that is pure, holy and good; therefore He hates all that is defiled, unholy and evil.

God is Just

Psalm 11:7  For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face. 

Isaiah 5:16  But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness. 

Psalm 7:11-12  God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow;

The True GospelJust as the holiness of God is seldom preached these days, the justice of God is another of God’s attributes that is being ignored. This is incredibly sad, because understanding and having an appreciation for the justice of God is key to discovering how good God is.

God is righteous and just, and will always see to it that justice is done. All sin, all rebellion against God, all evil and all that is unholy will be destroyed by God with fire and nobody will be able to withstand His justice. All who have sinned against God will feel the full wrath of God, the righteous judgment and justice of God in hell.

We live in a society that is surrounded by and filled with corruption and injustice, so we can hardly comprehend what justice truly is anymore, but know this: God is just, and He will ensure that justice is done against every evil deed that has ever been committed. That is good news. Any god who does not carry out justice against ALL evil is not a good god, but an evil one.

The Depravity and Condemnation of Man

Romans 3:10-12  as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Isaiah 64:6  We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment.

Galatians 3:10  For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED BE EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, AND DO THEM.” 

The True GospelEvery single one of us has sinned against God. We have all rebelled against God, broken every law He gave us and turned against Him to follow our own lusts.

Even those of us who think we are good people and better than others are guilty and equally deserving of God’s wrath. The Bible says that even our greatest works and best deeds are like filthy rags to God, and we fall short of the standard of holiness and righteousness that God requires and demands.

From the beginning, God has revealed Himself to us and made His perfect Law abundantly clear. None of us have an excuse – not even those who have never heard of Christ, because the Bible says that God has written His Law in our hearts and our consciences bear witness against us (Romans 1:18-25, Romans 2:15).

God gave us the Ten Commandments. Have you broken any of them? Have you ever told a lie? Even a little white lie makes you a liar. Have you ever stolen anything? No? Oh come on! We’ve just discussed the fact that you’re a liar!

Have you ever committed murder? No? Jesus said that if you are angry with your neighbor, you are just as guilty (Matthew 5:21-22). Have you ever committed adultery? Jesus said that even if you have thoughts of lust towards a woman, you have committed adultery in your heart (Matthew 5:27-28). Have you always worshipped God alone? If you have ever given anything in your life a higher priority than worshipping God, then you are guilty of breaking God’s first commandment (Deuteronomy 20:3-5).

If you have broken just one of God’s commandments, you have sinned against God and have been placed under a curse (Deuteronomy 27:26, Galatians 3:10). The curse is death; you have been cut off from the favorable presence of God and an eternity of suffering in hell awaits you (Romans 6:23).

Now I’m sure the liberals are falling off their chairs again at this point. Why am I teaching the Ten Commandments? Hasn’t all that Old Testament stuff been done away with? I thought the Ten Commandments no longer applied to us? Aren’t we living under Grace now?

My friend, if that is what you have been taught, you need to unlearn it. Jesus said the Law will never be abolished, and that whoever continues to do and to teach the Law will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:17-19  “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. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The Law was given so that we would know the standard of holiness that is required of us by God. Jesus Christ fulfilled every requirement of  the Law while He walked this earth. He walked in absolute obedience and righteousness, so that He would be the spotless Lamb. But just because Jesus fulfilled the Law, it does not mean that we will no longer be held accountable if we break the Law.

Let’s understand a few things about the Law and how it applies to us:

Romans 3:19-20  Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

Romans 4:15  For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 7:7  Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin…

Romans 3:31  Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Galatians 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (KJV)

Psalm 19:7  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul (KJV)

The True GospelThe above Scriptures show us that the Law was given to expose our sin. Through the Law we have the knowledge of sin – it is through the Law that we know we have sinned and are charged and found guilty. If the Law was abolished, there would be no means by which the wicked could be charged with guilt. Therefore, as Paul says in Romans 3:31, we uphold the Law and continue to teach the Law, because as per Psalm 19:7 the Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.

I want you to take notice of what Psalm 19:7 is saying. Knowing the Law and recognizing that we have broken the Law is a key element in our conversion and Salvation. Think about it logically: the first step in humbling yourself and asking for mercy is having the knowledge that you have committed a grave offense and deserve a very serious penalty. Why would you ask for mercy when you don’t know or don’t believe that you have done anything wrong?

This is one of the big reasons that the watered-down Gospel message that is taught in most places these days is so useless and fails 90% of the time. Even of the number of people who do respond to the Gospel message that is taught these days, 90% of them will fall away from the faith. This is because there is no more teaching on the Law, and very little (if any) preaching against sin. This message that “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life, and all you have to do is ask Jesus to come into your heart and God will bless you” is totally unbiblical and powerless to bring about a real conversion in anybody, because when those people who react to such a gospel call do not receive all these promises of blessings but instead encounter all the mockery and persecution that the followers of Christ are bound to go through (John 15:20), they quickly throw in the towel and fall away, often never to return. This is because they were never told the truth to begin with: that they have broken God’s Law and are under a curse, and are desperately in need of God’s mercy in order to escape from the judgment they deserve.

It is only by knowing the Law and recognizing that we have broken the Law and deserve God’s wrath, that the soul can truly be converted.

The Great Dilemma

Proverbs 17:15  He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.

Genesis 18:25  Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?

Mankind has a tremendous dilemma. Being separated from God and placed under a curse for our wickedness and transgressions against God’s Law, how can we hope to receive God’s mercy? How can we escape the punishment that we deserve?

Genesis 18:25 says that God will judge all the earth and He will deal justly with us, putting the wicked to death and rightly so. It also says that God will not put the righteous to death together with the wicked. Our problem, though, is that, as we have already discussed, there is nobody who is righteous (Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23). We are all wicked and deserve to be put to death by God.

As Judge, God must do justice.

If God is good and just, He must carry out the full extent of the law against every transgressor and see that justice is done. What that means, is that if you have sinned against God and broken the Law, God cannot forgive you! No matter how much remorse you feel or how much you beg for mercy, He must bring that hammer down and condemn you to death for what you have done. No mercy, no forgiveness. Only justice.

Let me give you an illustration, because I can sense that many will be jolted by such a statement. Suppose you witnessed a gruesome and violent murder and were able to apprehend the murderer. The police come and arrest the man, and after a few weeks he stands before the judge. While the entire town watches in anticipation of justice, the judge looks lovingly down at the murderer, who has been caught red-handed and cannot escape the mountain of evidence against him, and says to him, “I am a very loving and merciful judge. I forgive you for what you have done. You may go free!”

How would you react to such a judgment? How would the public react? There would be such a huge uproar against the judge! It would be headline news all over the country and even the around the world that there is a judge who is more corrupt than the murderers he is setting free!

So then, if that would be our reaction to this judge, why would we think that God would deal with mankind in such an unjust manner? Why would we say that God is a loving and merciful God who forgives us for our sins against Him without any consequence of judgment? There are people who teach that God could have been just with us, He could have sentenced us to the death we deserved but instead of being just, He was loving and merciful. That is a lie. By saying so, those people are saying that God’s love and mercy is unjust. To say such a thing is blasphemy.

The God of the Bible is just. Proverbs 17:15 says that whoever justifies the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. The word “abomination” is the strongest word used in the Bible to define something that is detestable and vile to God. God will not simply justify the wicked, or simply forgive sin. He says that whoever does such a thing is an abomination!

So the great dilemma that faces mankind is, how can we who are deserving of God’s righteous anger, wrath and judgment, possibly escape and receive the mercy and forgiveness of God that we so desperately need?

God’s Action

Up to this point, all I have done is hammer you with bad news and broken you down (I pray) that, by God’s grace, you’re wondering if there’s any hope for you. I declare to you that there is good news!

The True GospelWhile maintaining His holiness and justice, God IS love, and in love He has responded to the plight of mankind. Motivated by love, God has come to our rescue.

1 John 4:9-10  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

It is God who has acted in love and come to our rescue. Knowing that we are inwardly so corrupt and completely and hopelessly unable to rescue ourselves, and while we were still sinful, God-hating and rebellious evil doers, God sent His Son to bare the guilt of our wickedness on His shoulders and die accursed on the cross. He sent His only Son to be a propitiation, a sacrifice in our place.

Romans 3:23-26  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 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. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 4:25  who (Jesus) was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. 

This passage in Romans is one of the most incredible passages of Scripture in the Bible. Here, Paul explains that though all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (and deserve to face the consequences), God has made a way for us to be saved. Even though we are wicked, God has made it possible for us to be justified.

Wait a minute… Here’s a problem! Remember Proverbs 17:15?

Proverbs 17:15  He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.

How can God justify us if we are wicked? Wouldn’t that make God unjust, as we have already discussed? Am I contradicting myself here?

Not at all! This is the glory of the Gospel!

Romans 3:24-25 says that we are justified by grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.

That word propitiation is one of the most important words in Scripture. A propitiation is a sacrifice that satisfies justice, an offering for the sake of mercy. Jesus Christ was sent by God to be the perfect sacrifice, the spotless Lamb, to pay the price for all of mankind’s sins. While hanging on the cross, all of the guilt for every sin ever committed and every sin ever to be committed was placed on Jesus, and as was prophecied by the prophet Isaiah many years before (Isaiah 53:10), God the Father brought down the full extent of His wrath on His only begotten Son, and it was Jesus who paid the penalty of our sins on our behalf.

The death of Jesus Christ – the only One who could pay such a price – at the Hand of the Father, satisfied justice and makes it possible for God to justify us and forgive us for our transgressions, to declare us to be righteous in His sight and cleanse us from all unrighteousness – to justify us by His grace as a gift. God is able to forgive us and justify us, and at the same time remain just.

God’s justice has been satisfied by His Son!

How is this wonderful gift of grace and mercy received? It is received by FAITH! By having faith in Jesus Christ, knowing and believing that He died for our sins, rose from the dead and ascended to the Throne to be seated at the right hand of the Father, we are justified and made righteous in God’s sight.

If only our puny little brains could comprehend what God has done for us! If only God would allow us to catch a glimpse of what Jesus Christ paid on our behalf…

John Flavel wrote a piece that I think comes closest to illustrating the love of Jesus Christ on the cross. His illustration shows a conversation between the Father and the Son:

Father. My son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls?

Son. O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety; bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-reckonings with them; at my hand shalt thou require it. I will rather choose to suffer thy wrath than they should suffer it: upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.

Father. But, my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, I will not spare thee.

Son. Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures, yet I am content to undertake it.

All praise and glory to God for His grace!

Psalm 150:1-6 Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

Man’s Response

What is your response to this good news?

The Gospel is the greatest news anybody could hope for! God’s love is unparalleled. Because He loves you, in spite of your wickedness and rebellion against Him, He sent His only Son – Whom He loves more than anything else – to stand in your place and to bear all of your guilt, and to take upon Himself all of the punishment that you deserve.

Jesus Christ swallowed up every last drop of God’s wrath on your behalf. God’s righteous arm was moving to bring justice against you, but Jesus Christ came and stood in your place and took the full force of God’s justice on Himself. You were cursed, but Jesus became cursed for you and was crushed for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5).

The beauty of Christ’s death on the cross is that His sacrifice was perfect, and the atonement that He bought with His blood was perfect. It doesn’t matter how evil you have been or what you have done, Christ’s blood is sufficient as payment. Don’t ever think that you are beyond being saved!

God’s free gift to you is His grace. By His grace, we can be saved by faith in Jesus Christ even though we don’t deserve it. It is not as a result of anything that you have done. There is nothing you did (nor that you could ever do) that deserved God’s grace… God’s grace is given as a free, undeserved gift!

So what does man’s response to the Gospel look like?

Well, there are only two possible responses. There is no grey area, and no fence to sit on. On hearing the Gospel, man will have one of two responses: he will either turn against the Gospel with pride, indignation and even hatred, or he will respond with faith, believing in the Gospel, repenting and turning away from sin and following Jesus Christ.

When Jesus preached the Gospel in Galilee, He said “repent and believe the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

FAITH

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 

Romans 4:21  Being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 

Man’s response to the Gospel must be FAITH. The Bible describes faith as being assured in our hearts that the Gospel is  true; having the conviction within our souls that the Word of God is the truth, and being absolutely convinced that what God has promised in His Word, He is able to perform.

Faith is based on the promises of God:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Acts 16:31  “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”

REPENTANCE

Man’s response to the Gospel must be REPENTANCE, and repentance begins with the recognition and confession that what God says about us is true – we have sinned against God.

Psalm 51:3-4  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

A genuine recognition and confession of our sin and guilt will also lead to genuine sorrow and shame, and we will hate what we have done. The sin that we once loved to do, we will now hate.

Romans 7:15  For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Romans 7:24  Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 

Now the problem with a lot of modern evangelism and gospel teaching is that we end right there. Even if the preacher opens up what the Scriptures say about God’s holiness, His justice, and our condemnation before Him (all of which, let’s be honest, is hardly ever preached anymore), they end at the part where the lost person repeats the sinner’s prayer and asks Jesus to come into their heart. They have the poor girl / guy say a prayer and then declare them to be saved.

Is that Biblical? Will every person who just says out loud that they believe in God and they repent of their sin be saved? Is it is easy as simply saying a prayer, following a formula and BAM! You’re saved?

We know it can’t be that way. There are so many people who say that prayer and there is no change in their lives, and they continue to live like devils. We must give the whole message, and teach that there is a way for us to examine ourselves and see that there will be evidence that we have been saved.

BIBLICAL ASSURANCE

Confession alone, no matter how sincere it appears to be, is not definite evidence of genuine repentance. If your repentance was genuine and real, it WILL be accompanied by a turning away from sin. That is what true repentance is – its a turning away from sin and turning towards God. If you make a confession of your sinfulness and declare belief in the Gospel, but do not turn away from sin, then there is no real evidence that your repentance was genuine.

Isaiah 1:16  Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 

Matthew 3:10  Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 

I feel it’s necessary to talk about this issue in a little more detail. Some people think that when we say genuine repentance will be accompanied by a turning away from sin and a compulsion to be obedient to God, that we are teaching a gospel of Salvation by works. While it is true that we are saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ, we must not confuse our efforts of the flesh with the evidence that we have responded to the Gospel.

The evidence that you have truly repented is that you will hate the sin that you once loved to do, you will turn away from the sinful habits of your past, and you will turn towards God in obedience. This is the working of the Holy Spirit in us, because we have been made a new creation. It is not us who are willing ourselves to be obedient, but the Holy Spirit within us who is changing us from the inside out.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 

If you have not turned away from your sin, and continue without conscience to sin against God, then there is no evidence that the Holy Spirit is in you, there is no evidence that you have been made a new creation, and there is no evidence that you have been converted.

You see, we are talking about evidence, not effort.

We cannot earn Salvation by works. We cannot earn Salvation by trying to stop sinning with our own will power or strength. We cannot earn Salvation by trying to be a good person. The Bible declares this truth, and testifies that the one who is truly saved will not be trusting in his own flesh (his own works or effort) but will be trusting in the finished work of Christ alone.

Philippians 3:3  …who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh

We know that we are saved not because of what we have done, but because of what Jesus Christ has done. Therefore, we trust only in the finished work of Christ. If we are asked why we are saved, we don’t say that we are saved because we are seeking to be obedient and trying not to sin. We say and confess that we are saved only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and we cling to Him as our Savior and our only hope!

However, we must understand that there is a difference between somebody who simply claims to be a Christian, and somebody who truly is a born again Christian and supernaturally saved by God. Please understand also, that there is a difference between trying to be obedient because you think it will save you, and being obedient as a natural response to the Gospel and as a result of the purifying work that is being done in you by the Holy Spirit.

I am trying to give you the key to understand, that this is not the way to be saved, but it is the way that you know that you are saved!

The Bible tells us that turning away from sin and obedience to God are all the evidence – the fruit – the work done by the Holy Spirit in the person who has truly repented unto Salvation. So the question is, is the Holy Spirit working in you to sanctify you (to cleanse you and mold you into a vessel for fit for every good work [2 Timothy 2:21])? Has the process of sanctification in you begun?

Is there evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in you?

My friends, I just don’t want you to be deceived. I want you to really know where you stand with God, to examine yourselves, to test yourselves to make sure that you really are saved and that you have not been deceived.

Jesus said that whoever does not bear good fruit will be thrown into the fire (Matthew 3:10).

It is absolutely critical that we teach this and that you understand it. So many people are deceived and believe they are Christians and going to heaven, when in reality they are lost. They believe they are saved, but they are clinging to a prayer they once prayed and a statement of faith that they made. However, there are no fruits of repentance in their lives and they are just as wicked and sinful as unbelievers.

Watch this short video where the issue of deceived church goers is discussed:

Did you know that various polls have uncovered that there is just as much divorce inside the church as there is outside of the church? God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). A provision was made for at least a right way to divorce because God knows the wickedness of our hearts, but marriage is a covenant that is designed by God not to be broken. Marriage was designed by God to be an image of the covenant relationship between Jesus Christ and His bride, the church. Divorce misrepresents that covenant, and therefore misrepresents the Gospel. Jesus Christ will NEVER leave His bride, and His bride will never leave Him. Why, then, do so many people, who claim to be Christians, break the covenant of marriage they made without trying everything to save the marriage, knowing that divorce is not God’s will?

Go knock on every door in your city and ask everybody if they are a Christian. 90% of them will probably tell you they are, yet most of them probably don’t attend church, have no interest in attending church, and even if they do, most have no concern for obedience to God, no interest at all in being active in the church or being a worker for the sake of the Gospel.

Jesus warned us that He would separate the fake Christians from the true born again Christians.

Matthew 7:17-23  So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

This declaration of Jesus should send chills down your spine.

The evidence that you have been saved is not that you repeated the sinner’s prayer after somebody and made a statement of faith in Jesus Christ. The evidence that you are saved is that your statement of faith and your repentance is followed by good fruit – a turning away from sin and turning towards God in obedience.

Jesus said that not everybody who says to Him “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven. He is talking about those who emphatically declare that Jesus is Lord, they go to church every Sunday, they probably stand and dance in the front and raise their hands in worship, they are the first to pray for others… they do all these things, yet if they are not bearing good fruit, it’s not genuine. It’s a show. They will say “but we have prophecied and cast out demons and healed people, all in Jesus’ Name!”, but Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.

If you claim to be a follower of Jesus, yet you are not bearing fruit that evidences your conversion, and continue in sin and to do what is evil in God’s sight, there is a very good chance that you are deceived and are lost.

The True GospelA true, born again Christian is a new creation and will live a life that reflects God’s radical work of re-creation in his or her life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Matthew 7:16). Assurance that you have been saved is based upon self-examination in the light of Scripture.

The apostle Paul came to the church in Corinth, where the congregation was wrapped up in all sorts of sin and error. How did Paul confront them? He told them to examine themselves in light of Scripture; to compare their lives and their way of living to the Word of God to see if they really were saved, or if their confession of faith was false or not genuine.

2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Peter also encouraged us to be diligent and to make sure of our Salvation.

2 Peter 1:10  Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election

John wrote the epistle 1 John to Christians so that they would have assurance that they were saved when they read it – so that they could compare themselves and test themselves to confirm their salvation.

1 John 5:13  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 

In 1 John, at least 8 tests of Biblical assurance are laid out: 1 John 1:5-7 (walking in the light), 1 John 1:8-10 (confession of sin), 1 John 2:3-4 (obedience), 1 John 2:9-11 (love for other Christians), 1 John 2:15-17 (hatred of the world / worldly things), 1 John 2:24-25 (perseverance in doctrine), 1 John 3:10 (righteousness) and 1 John 4:13 (Spirit’s testimony). Also see Hebrews 12:5-8 (discipline).

Jesus Christ is coming back. The signs indicate that He is coming back very soon. When that day comes, and you stand before the throne of God, will your statement of faith in Jesus Christ hold true?

Even if Jesus Christ is only going to return 700 years from now, one way or another – whether it be through His return or your death – you will see Jesus Christ within the next 100 years. Maybe sooner. Are you ready to meet Him?

Put your trust and your faith 100% in Jesus Christ. Give up everything and follow Him. He is the only Savior, the only One who can save you and the only One through Whom we can have eternal life.

Repent and believe the Gospel.

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