The Gospel Message & Salvation
Today there are many versions of the Gospel message being presented. There are many false teachers and preachers that are promoting the prosperity gospel. They tell you that if you put your faith in Jesus Christ, then God will bless you. Especially if you make donations to their ministry. They basically tell people what they want to hear, instead of telling them the truth.
In the Bible Jesus warns us that many people will think they are saved, but they are not. He even mentions people that are doing God’s kingdom work and doing ministry work. How can this be ? Today there seems to be a huge misunderstanding of what true salvation is, and especially of what is required for salvation.
Many People In Churches Are Not Saved
In Matthew 7 Jesus makes a very surprising and troubling statement. He tells us that there will be many people that believe or think they are saved and will enter into God’s eternal kingdom, but in reality they are not. He is inferring that most of these will be church people, and Jesus even talks about people that are involved in ministry work and in God’s kingdom work. Here is what Jesus says:
- “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” – Matthew 7:21-23
Well Over 50% In Churches Are Lost
A couple of years before God called us to sell my business and serve Him in full time international missions, I read an article that at first I thought “there is no way that this could be true.” This was about 16 years ago, and since then things have gotten much worse. Many things have changed since then, including in the church, and not for the better.
The article made an incredible statement… that in mainline evangelical Christian churches in the US, well over 50% of church members are not saved and are lost. I couldn’t believe this at first, but I continues to read about how some very well respected Christian leaders agreed with this statement. Men like Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’ son. Another was Bill Bright, who founded Campus Crusade For Christ, now know as Cru. Bill Bright stated that they did their own research and they agreed completely.
Many Churches Have Abandoned God’s Mission & The Gospel
As I said, things have changed a lot in the last 16 years, and things are a lot worse,. The US church has changed drastically since then. Many churches have abandoned God’s mission of spreading the Gospel message & reaching the lost, and making true disciples. Out of fear of offending people, many churches have gone to a different mission of trying to appeal to and attract people to church, so they can have a large church full of people. Then they can have a lot of money and resources, and then they can have programs that can attract even more people to the church. The bottom line is that the majority of churches these days never preach the Gospel message, because the Gospel has some parts in it that offend people… especially the parts that include talking about sin.
These days the problem of having lost people in our churches is much worse than it was 16 years ago. Many people do not hear the Gospel message anymore. Today more positive messages are presented, that are easier to hear and that make people feel good. So now there are far more than 50% of the people in churches that are lost. Estimates show that perhaps there are only 25% or less of people in churches today that have experienced a true salvation experience.
The Gospel Message & True Salvation
Before we talk about what is required for true salvation, which is where most people get off track and are misinformed, we need to talk about what is true salvation. We will find the truth of what is true salvation in God’s Word, and specifically in the Gospel message.
True Salvation & The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Part 1 of The Gospel Message: God’s Great Love For You
God loves you very much. You are God’s first love. He loves you more than anything else that He created.
You are God’s treasure, and you are more valuable and precious than to God than anything else He has created.
You are God’s passion, and He is passionate about you and about having a restored personal love relationship with you.
Because God loves you so much and you are so valuable and precious to Him, more than anything God wants you (and all people) to have true salvation, which is a reconciled and restored personal relationship and then close fellowship with Him. He wants you to have peace with Him, which is a restored personal relationship with God.
- “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 5:1
God also wants you to have eternal life with Him in heaven when your life is done here. He wants you to be a co-heir of His eternal kingdom and spend the rest of eternity with Him.
Many people today think for them to have true salvation, a reconciled personal relationship and close fellowship with God, and peace with Him, and eternal life in heaven later, that they need to be a good moral person so that God will want to give them these things.
Many people today also think that they need to be a good member of a church or an upstanding religious person so that God will want to give them true salvation and these things.
And many others believe that they need to do more good in their life than bad, so their good will outweigh the bad things in their life. Then they will be worthy and God will give them these things.
Eternal Life Is A Gift of God
But the Bible, God’s Word, says something totally different than what most people think or believe. The Bible says that God offers a reconciled and restored relationship with Him, peace with God, and eternal life in heaven as a gift. A gift of His grace and love. Grace simply means that we do not deserve to receive these things, but God offers them anyway.
- “… the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
Even though God offers these wonderful things as a gift of His love and grace, the sad truth is that today in the world most people do not have a restored & reconciled relationship with God, or peace with God, or eternal life in heaven. And most people are very far from God today.
If they are a gift from God and He wants everyone to have them (“God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:4), why do most people today, even most people that are church members, not have them ? Why ?
In the 2nd part of this 4 part series of articles on the Gospel message, we will look at this question. Why are so many people far from God and do not have salvation, a restored relationship wit God, and eternal life ?
Pursuing Intimacy With God
Pursuing Intimacy With God is committed to helping you with the most important thing in your life… your intimacy with God , your fellowship with Him, and your partnership with God in His Kingdom work & mission.
There are hundreds of Bible verses and great truths & promises in the Pursuing Intimacy With God studies book
Preview the Pursuing Intimacy With God Studies Book
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