Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 9 September 2015
Page 10

If Jesus Had Not Come…

Gary C. Hampton

Gary C. HamptonChristians should regularly pause to give thanks for God sending His Son to earth. There are many blessings we could not know if He had not come.

For instance, if Jesus had not come to earth, there would be no Gospel. The Gospel is God’s power to salvation (Romans 1:16). Paul described it when he wrote, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

If Jesus had not come, there would be no church. Jesus told His disciples that He would build His church on the rock, the foundational fact that He is the Christ, the Son of God (Matthew 16:18). Paul instructed, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:25-26).

There would be no hope if Jesus had not come. “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27; Romans 5:1-2).

There would be no forgiveness if the Lord had not come. Redemption from sin and forgiveness are only found in Jesus’ blood (Ephesians 1:7). Paul’s instructions on forgiveness include, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Salvation from sin is only available because Jesus came. Peter told the rulers, elders, scribes and priests, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Paul recognized his own struggle with sinful desire and exclaimed, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a).

Let us rejoice and give thanks because Jesus came. The Gospel, the church, hope, forgiveness and salvation are all available to those who submit to His Lordship!

[Editor’s Note: It’s not really submission to Jesus Christ if one does not obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9)—on His terms (Mark 16:16)! “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 NKJV). ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

“The Simple Believes Every Word,
But the Prudent Considers
Well His Steps” (Proverbs 14:15).

Sunny David

Some people are too willing to believe or accept what other people tell them, and therefore, they are easily tricked. It is folly to be credulous or naive, to heed every flying news, to give ear to every man’s story, and to trust and to accept everything as true. There are all kinds of scams, and too often people get duped or tricked fraudulently by clever, dishonest scammers. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world get conned by investing in Ponzi schemes that appear to be very lucrative to many simple people. However, they soon discover with great shock that they had been duped and swindled of their hard earned, and in many cases borrowed, money.

Not only is this true physically, but it is also true spiritually (Romans 16:17-18). Many honest and simple people have believed lies as though they were God’s truth of the Bible because they have heard them stated and seen them followed since their childhood over and over again by those who claim to be Christians. On the Day of Judgment, Christ will say, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:22-23). Were they sincere? Yes, they were sincere and honest both in what they believed and in what they claimed. Yet, they were sincerely and honestly mistaken and deceived. They believed and claimed they had served the Lord while they were on earth, but the Lord said, you “practiced lawlessness” or iniquity.

Just think how many millions and perhaps billions of honest and sincere religious people will be lost on the Day of Judgment just because they did not make a prudent decision on how to be followers of Christ. As God-fearing, Bible-loving followers of Jesus Christ, desiring to inherit eternal life in heaven, which Christ through His magnificent and loving sacrifice has made possible for all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:8-9), what criterion or standard should we follow to make certain that on the Day of Judgment we may not hear the Lord say to us, “depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”?

One of the apostles of Christ wrote in an epistle to Christians, “We [the apostles] are of God, he who knows God hear us [the apostles]; he who is not of God does not hear us [the apostles]. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). He also wrote, in another epistle, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine do not receive him into your house nor greet him” (2 John 9-10).

Like the first century Christians, we should continue “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42) to make sure that we inherit eternal life in the kingdom of God. The doctrine of the apostles contained in the epistles of the New Testament is the doctrine of Christ. Christ Himself never wrote any book. However, He had promised the apostles that when He would go back to heaven that He would send to them the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who would teach them all things and would bring to their remembrance all things He had taught them while He was present with them on earth. The Holy Spirit was to guide them into all truth (John 14:25-26; 16:12-13). This promise of the Lord to the apostles was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the apostles were miraculously filled with the Holy Spirit, as we read in Acts 2:1-4. The Spirit of God enabled the memory of the apostles to deliver to humanity the things Jesus taught. The Spirit of God guided them to preach, to teach and to write His message in the New Testament of the Bible for us today.

The notion that the Spirit of God guides men in spiritual matters today in any manner of contradicting or going beyond the Scriptures is therefore wrong. The apostles themselves taught Christians “not to go beyond the things which are written” (1 Corinthians 4:6). The ground of certainty of the Word of God is that the Spirit guided the apostles into all truth stated in the New Testament books of the Bible. To give up the Word of God as the only sure direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit is to give loose reigns to dreams, imaginations, reasoning, and the doctrines and the philosophies of men.

[Editor’s Note: Anyone who would become a child of God and furthermore remain a faithful child of God—a Christian—must handle correctly the Bible. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV). Further, he or she must discern Bible truth from manmade religious error. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Only by turning to the Bible can a person avoid being tossed about on the waves of religious error (Ephesians 4:12-15). That, though, requires one to be exercised or experienced in the Word of God (Hebrews 5:12-14). No one can afford to be gullible regarding religious matters since one’s eternal habitation will be affected by what one believes and practices religiously. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

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