Vol. 4, No. 9
~ Page 8 ~
(West Virginia Christian, Volume 8, May 2001, No. 5)
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve though his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:1-12).
In this article, I am implying that the Gospel of Christ is rather simple and can be understood when we dismiss from our minds what we think it ought to say and accept what it says. This will eliminate a lot of confusion. Jesus did not write one word of the New Testament, but he said to those whom he sent out to preach or write his word, "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me ..." (Luke 10:16). That means we can depend upon the written Word.
Jesus began his personal ministry with these words, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). There is a terrible penalty for those who do not believe and obey the Gospel.
"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Jesus said, "Repent or perish" (Luke 13:3, 5).
Christ used some common things of life as they touch spiritual truths, such as, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).
He does not say there is no other labor involved in the Christian life. "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Timothy 5:8). When you read John 6:27, you may think that is a contradiction, but it is only saying, "Put first things first."
Jesus uses salt as an illustration to explain his Word, his Gospel. He said to some, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted ..." (Matthew 5:13). This is an example of how his word works through one of his faithful followers, but if it is a haphazard life, it is good for nothing and is trodden underfoot of men. That has happened. Paul said, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Jesus used a great object to describe himself, the "sun." How could we get along without the Sun? We are in a season of the year that we all like to see the sun, but we appreciate it when it is hidden for a short time, which is called night. But Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). John the Baptist spoke of him as being the great light (John 1:6-9). All Christians look to Jesus as the "Son" of God in their lives, as they look to the "Sun" in their physical lives.
He refers to himself as the good Shepherd. He says that he knows his sheep, and "am known of mine" (and they know Me) (John 10:14). He is interested in every lost soul (Luke 19:10). He was that perfect sacrifice who died on the cross to save all mankind that would believe on him and obey him. "... for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). Jesus learned obedience by the things which he suffered.
"And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him" (Hebrews 5:8-9).
He likens his coming as the end of the day. "I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in their graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29).
"When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him ... And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left" (Matthew 25:31-33).
Are you preparing for that great separation? It will mean Grandpa on one hand and Grandma on the other, Father on one hand, Mother on the other. Children will be separated likewise in the same manner -- those who are accountable. Please read Amos 4:12.