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Posts Tagged ‘Gospel Message’

As I’ve tried to stress in other blogs, it is critical to emphasize the “bloody” message of our Saviour on Calvary, the message of “the Blood and the Cross”, in every service. This is the core of the gospel – to ignore or downplay the doctrine of the Atonement is an abomination.

Two passages come to mind. Paul said:

“22) Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23) but we preach Christ crucified… (I Cor. 1:22-23a).

And: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8)

I Googled the search string [“Jesus Christ, and Him crucified”] and found many great articles and sermons on the topic. Also, for me many old gospel hymns convey this message in a powerful way. Churches need to sing these hymns again, regularly: “There is a Fountain Filled With Blood”, “The Old Rugged Cross”, etc. I found this YouTube video about these old hymns that seemed appropriate:

I came across an excellent blog from Stand Up for the Truth!, which emphasizes this same theme. Click here for the original site of this blog. I’ve emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

Gospel-less sermons regenerate no one

How important is it to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached each and every Sunday?  That we would even need to ask this question nearly 2,000 years after the Church was first established is heartbreaking to me.

I’ve been told by Christians and even pastors that it is not realistic to expect to hear the Gospel preached in every sermon message. “Sometimes we’re talking about a different subject,” they tell me, or “it doesn’t fit in with section five of our 10-part sermon series.” Or this one: “If you think you need to hear the blood sacrifice being preached in every message, you’re  not going to be happy in any church.”

Really? Am I that demanding that I’ve placed an unfair, unrealistic expectation on our poor pastors who are just trying to reach the lost?

Imagine Paul, or Peter, or John, or even Jesus Himself sitting in a typical seeker-driven service on any given Sunday morning and not hearing the message that martyrs still die for: That we are born sinners into sin-filled world at odds with God and that while we still hated Him, He came to earth as a sinless sacrifice, whose blood on the cross atoned for our sins and the punishment we deserve. He rose from the grave and appeared to hundreds of witnesses, who saw Him ascend to heaven, and those witnesses have been sharing that Good News ever since, that those who believe in Him can repent of their sins and be reconciled to God forever. It is through Christ alone that we are offered Mercy and Grace. Only In His perfect sacrifice, He exchanges His righteousness for our Sin.

In the time I took to read that, 30 seconds have passed. Surely 30 seconds of these life-giving words of the Gospel is the message that we all must hear over and over again. Not just so that we can be saved, but so that we can have real life to the full. A Sunday service without the Gospel regenerates no one.

It is good to talk about making good choices, or treating each other in love. It’s good to sing worship songs and teach about putting God and money in proper perspective. But not at the expense of  The Gospel.  Because if I am still steeped in my sins, unrepentant without knowing who Jesus is, and I’ve just sat through your sermon series on how to have a good marriage or how to feed the hungry, I am still going to Hell when I die.

English: Titian's Ancona Crucifiction, 1558. Unfortunately, many Christians today don’t know what the Gospel is. If you were to ask, they might say that the Gospel is about loving our neighbor, or loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. And while important, these are not the Gospel, but are the essence of the Law. And yes, we need to walk the narrow path and live out what God commands.  But His truth also tells us that as hard as we strive, we can’t love God as perfectly as He commands. And by the way, how did you do at loving your neighbor last week? I fell extremely short.

That’s why we need the Gospel, even as we grow into mature Christians. We hear the Gospel so that we can be reminded of how good He is, and how wretched we are apart from Him. And when we do break the Law – any of them –we can repent of our sins and be forgiven.

As writer Mike Ratliff put it so powerfully, God will not tolerate a perversion of the Gospel because it is the only truth:

However, in our time the Gospel has been retold in all sorts of unbiblical ways. Some are outright lies while others are more subtle, for instance, there is the lie that is mostly true in which the Gospel is given, but that part about repentance and the lordship of Jesus Christ being necessary is left out. People want to make the narrow gate wide and easy, but that has never been God’s way. They want to remove the offense of the Cross, but it has to be there. Preaching against sin “puts people off, offends their sensibilities, puts them on the defensive, and makes them uncomfortable” is being cut from most churches in our time to make them more “seeker friendly.”

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins  2 in which you once walked according to the world system of this age, according to ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among whom also we all conducted ourselves once in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and we were by nature children of wrath, as also the rest. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Paul, speaking to Christians, told them and us that they were once just the rest of the world, which was dead in their own trespasses and sin in which they once walked according to the world system. There are no exceptions t this. A “Gospel message” or “theology” that does not address this is not biblical. In fact, it is false teaching. Those who teach these false teachings are teaching a different Gospel, and God will judge them for it.

The only Gospel is, “Trust in Jesus’ blood as the only redemption from sin.”       (Source: Possessing The Treasure)

In those last four seconds is packed an eternity of truth.  No, I don’t think I’m being demanding by asking to hear the Gospel each and every time. How can we expect anything less for our families, our friends and for a world that does not know Him?  Churches, pastors, Christians: It’s time to step up. Let’s not just squeeze these in around our three main principles or five action points. No, let’s make the Gospel the center of every message, and the rest can flow from Christ’s amazing, perfect love.

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(revised 12/06/12)

Imagine if you could force all of the following Emerging/Emergent heretics to be your captive audience. Specifically, imagine coralling them into a church sanctuary, then locking them in (I realize some of these have passed away):  Rob Bell, Ken Blanchard, Bob Buford, Tony Campolo (click here and here), Shane Claiborne, David Crowder, Mark Driscoll, Peter Drucker, Richard Foster, Stanley Grenz, Bill Hybels, Dan Kimball, Tony Jones, Brennan Manning (click here and here), Brian McLaren, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Henri Nouwen, John Ortberg, Doug Pagitt, Eugene Peterson, John Piper, Andy Stanley, Ed Stetzer, Leonard Sweet, Frank Viola, Jim Wallis, Rick Warren, and Dallas Willard.

Next, announce to your captive Emerging/Emergent audience that you are going to have an evangelistic service. There will be a gospel music singspiration/marathon, interspersed with the reading of salvation-related passages from the King James Bible (1). Then, a salvation message calling sinners to repentance. And finally, an altar call, inviting sinners to repent of their sins and accept Christ as their Saviour. And this congregation-of-sinners will not be allowed to interrupt the service in any way – they will have to sit quietly and listen to the entire service.

Imagine how this captive Emerging/Emergent audience would be behaving by the end of the evangelistic service. Granted, there are some among these names who would perhaps accept the gist of the evangelistic service. But others would be going batty. Some would be inwardly cursing, some outwardly cursing. Some would be pulling their hair out, others would be grinding their teeth, or wringing their hands, or perhaps ripping their clothes. Some would be screaming out in misery, others would be crying “stop, stop”, yet others would be covering their ears.

Sounds like Hell, doesn’t it? Certainly it would feel like Hell, for these heretical Emerging/Emergents to be forced to sit through such an evangelistic service. How many of these Emerging/Emergents would submit to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repent of their sins, and accept Christ as their Saviour? Probably none – this just goes to show how hardened their hearts are.

Seriously, I would challenge Emerging/Emergents (especially those listed at the beginning of this blog) to attend an evangelistic service, sit through the entire thing and listen attentively, take notes, record it, whatever. Perhaps God’s Holy Spirit will get through to you and convict your hardened hearts. Perhaps He will reach you with the Truth,  the gospel message of “The Blood and The Cross”, of Christ’s Atonement on the Cross to save those who repent of sins, believe and receive Him from eternal punishment (John 3:16).  This is what Christianity is all about!

Getting back to the nuts and bolts of an evangelistic service that would drive Emerging/Emergents batty: what would such a service look like? Here are some possible items that would be included in such an evangelistic service:

HYMNS

Are You Washed in the Blood” by Elisha A. Hoffman (click here and here)

Power in the Blood” by Lewis E. Jones

There is a Fountain Filled with Blood” by William Cowper (click here and here)

What Can Wash Away My Sin” by Robert Lowry (click here and here)

SERMONS

Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

D.L. Moody, “Hell

D.L. Moody, “Repentance

ALTAR CALL/THE PLAN OF SALVATION

“Are you ready to meet God?”: The plan of salvation presented by Pastor Max Solbrekken

ENDNOTES

(1) I favor the King James Bible (specifically its source documents, the Textus Receptus New Testament and Masoretic Text Old Testament). However, I am not necessarily referring to the Bible version debate in this blog. My point is, reading from the King James Bible will drive Emerging/Emergents batty. I don’t know of any Emerging/Emergents who like the King James Bible.

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(revised 05/13/14)

I have been looking for resources on how to evangelize unsaved Emerging/Emergents. I came across an excellent presentation of the plan of salvation, by Pastor Max Solbrekken. Although his message does not specifically address Emerging/Emergents, the principles are the same.

Click here for the original source of this article. Note – there are various articles on Pastor Solbrekken’s website I don’t agree with doctrinally (specifically, regarding Pentecostalism – he is a continuationist, while I am a soft cessationist). However, I believe this plan of salvation is excellent.

ARE YOU READY TO
MEET GOD

by: Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

SALVATION – ARE YOU READY TO MEET GOD?

The most important question I could ask you and the most important decision of your entire lifetime revolves around the spiritual welfare of your soul and its eternal destiny. 

There are preachers today who have soft-soaped the Gospel and watered down God’s word [sic] to please their listeners in order to keep their parishioners coming to church. 

They are afraid that if they preach the truth, as it is written, people will not like it and their offering plates will not bring in too much money. 

The Bible warns that this would be the case in the end time, of which we are now living. (2 Timothy 3:13) (2 Timothy 4:3-4). The Apostle Paul calls such preachers Food Preachers or Belly Preachers. (Romans 16:18) (Philippians 3:19) These men only preach to earn a living and not to win men and women to Jesus Christ.

I’m going to be absolutely honest with you and tell you the complete truth as found in God’s Word concerning your soul, death, judgment, heaven, hell and eternity and the gift of salvation. Then I will also show you how you can be saved and forgiven by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.


#1 – YOUR SOUL WILL NEVER DIE

Your soul is eternal and will live on even after your body dies. (Genesis 2:7)

#2 – ONE APPOINTMENT YOU CAN’T CANCEL OR POSTPONE

“It is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

#3 – YOU CAN’T FOOL GOD

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) “Be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

#4 – YOU’LL PAY FOR YOUR SINS IF YOU DON’T REPENT OF THEM

“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalms 9:17) “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divided his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46)

#5 – ALL HAVE SINNED

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “And we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) “There is none righteous, no, no one.” (Romans 3:10)

#6 – JESUS DIED TO SAVE SINNERS

Jesus said, “For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”, (Matthew 9:13) and “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matthew 18:11)

“He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

#7 – YOU MUST REPENT OF YOUR SINS

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13) “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7) “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5)

#8 – YOU MUST BELIEVE THE GOSPEL

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

#9 – ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOUR BY FAITH

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) “Come now, and let us reason together saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)

#10 – HE WILL GIVE YOU THE POWER YOU NEED

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:11-12) “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

HOW CAN I BE SAVED?

Many are asking this question today. They are wanting to know how to “make things right with Almighty God.” They realize somewhere along the way, they have lost sight of God – they have lost contact with the Eternal One – the Great Creator, God, who loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die for lost humanity. Multitudes today are groping in darkness – looking for a ray of light to point them to the Heavenly way – but alas, they search in vain, they stumble and fall in the shadows of sin, worry, fear, anxiety, loneliness, heartbreak, sickness and confusion. Many people have tried to live a better life, turn over a new leaf, rehabilitate themselves, only to find that their strength in the time of testing and temptation has failed and they are back where they started. So now, not only are they defeated, but they are also bewildered, perplexed and tormented, not knowing which way to turn.

Dear Reader, perhaps you are one of these poor unfortunate souls. THEN LISTEN CAREFULLY, for I have good news for you. There is still balm in Gilead for your sin sick soul. There is still deliverance for the bound, victory for the defeated and peace for the troubled. There is still healing for the sick and salvation for the lost.

THERE IS STILL HOPE – LOOK TO JESUS

THERE IS STILL HOPE FOR YOU. There is life for you. There is still forgiveness and happiness for you. LOOK TO JESUS, the author and finisher of your faith, (Hebrews 12:3). LOOK TO JESUS, the mighty conqueror (Revelation 1:17-18). LOOK TO JESUS, the Saviour of the World (Luke 2:11). Don’t look at your sinful condition, LOOK TO JESUS; don’t look at your hopelessness, frustration and bewilderment, LOOK TO JESUS. Don’t look at your sickness, grief and loneliness, LOOK TO JESUS. Don’t look at your friends of other Christians who have failed, but LOOK TO JESUS who never fails.

The Bible says in Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is NONE else.”

There is only one way to be saved and that is through Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Jesus said in (John 14:6), “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Jesus said in (John 10:9), “I am the Door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be SAVED, and shall go in and out and find pasture.” THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO GO – that way is JESUS. There is only one door to God, and that door is Jesus. There is no other.

Mohammed, Buddha and the Roman Pope, a church organization – none of these will open the doors to the Kingdom of Heaven, but Jesus Christ, the one who came from heaven, who died on the Cross, rose again from the dead – He is able to forgive you, save you and bring you into the Kingdom of God. GLORY TO HIS NAME FOREVER.

The Apostle Peter said in (Acts 4:12) concerning Jesus Christ, “Neither is there Salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven, given among men whereby we must be SAVED.” There you have it. the only name that can bring salvation, blessing and deliverance is the Mighty Name of Jesus. The Angel said unto Joseph (Matthew 1:21), “Ye shall call His Name Jesus, for He shall SAVE His people from their sins.” In (Romans 10:13) we read, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be SAVED.”

The Philippian jailer asked the same question many today are asking and he got an answer he was converted, his life was changed. He met the master, Jesus. You can do the same. There in the prison house he cried out (Acts 16:30), “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be Saved.” He believed on Jesus Christ and was Saved. you can do the same.

But you ask – how can I believe? What must I do to believe in Jesus Christ? Where do I start? I am glad you asked these questions, because I have the answer for you from God’s word – Here is what you must do to be saved.

#1 – REPENT OF YOUR SINS – To be saved you must repent of your sins and see yourself as you really are – You must realize you are lost and undone, without hope. You must see God’s Holiness and realize that you have sinned against the Almighty. You must be sorry for your sins, you must hate your sins and be willing to forsake them (Matthew 4:17) your sins have condemned you (John 3:18) your sins have separated you from God (Isaiah 59:2). The Bible says (Romans 3:23), “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” Also in (Isaiah 53:6) the word of God says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

GOD HATES YOUR SINS – but God loves you. God wants to rescue you out of your sins. You must be willing to give yourself completely over to God and turn your back on all unrighteousness.

#2 – YOU MUST CONFESS YOU SINS TO GOD – (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins (to God), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You must tell God you are a sinner and that you cannot save yourself. You must confess to God that no one else can save you except Jesus Christ. You must ask God to have mercy on you (Luke 18:13) and to forgive you. Then you must confess to God that you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that Jesus Christ died on the Cross of Calvary for your sins, that He rose again from the dead and that He is able to save you (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) (Hebrews 7:25).

#3 – YOU MUST ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOUR – Tell God that you accept His pardon and that you now, through faith in God’s word accept Jesus Christ into your heart and life. (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Salvation is absolutely free – you cannot work for it – you cannot pay for it – It is free – you just receive it from God.

After you have prayed to God asking Him to forgive you – then you must believe He has heard your prayer and forgiven your sins. That is faith. You say that is hard to do. No – it isn’t. If you believe that God told the truth and the Bible is God’s word – God will do what He said He would do. If you have prayed the sinner’s prayer asking God to forgive you, (then he has forgiven you; His word tells you that and His word is the truth) and if you are forgiven, then you are saved. You must then continue to live in God’s way – you must live for God. Believe that you are saved, begin to praise and worship God and thank him for saving your soul.

But you have doubts and say, “I don’t feel any different.” You say you still feel the way you did before, you don’t feel like you are saved. Always remember, you are NOT SAVED by your feelings, you are saved by FAITH IN GOD’S WORD. If God said it – it is the truth, whether you feel like it or not. However, when you stand of God’s word and by faith accept the Salvation that God offers, you WILL FEEL DIFFERENT. 

You will believe before you feel – you will feel the cleansing, you will feel the forgiveness of God, you will feel the assurance when you believe God’s word and have confessed Jesus Christ as your Saviour (Romans 10:9-10). 

You will begin to feel peace, the peace that comes from knowing you are saved, that your sins have been forgiven and you will feel hope and optimism. 

The Word of God states (John 6:37), Jesus said, “Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out.” You have come to Jesus by faith; He has not cast you out – Jesus has taken you in – you are SAVED. Praise God. 

Raise your hands to God (in complete obedience and surrender). Say “thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul.” Praise Him and Worship Him for what He has done for you. 

You are now saved, you have passed from death unto life (John 5:24). Your name has now been written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 20:15) The Angels are rejoicing in Heaven over this great victory over the devil. God has snatched your soul from Satan’s grasp and the angels are rejoicing over this. (Luke 15:7)

RISE from you knees full of peace (John 14:27). Now go and tell someone about Jesus Christ and his love. Tell people what God has done for you. (Romans 10:9-10) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be SAVED. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto Salvation.”

Seek the Lord (James 4:8) and ask Him to fill you with the holy Ghost and Fire.

Ask God to give you power for service (Luke 3:16) (Acts 1:4) (Acts 1:8) (Acts 2:4) (Acts 2:38-39). Read your Bible every day and pray to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

As you go about your life, witness to people about Jesus Christ. Find a good church where the pastor and the congregation believe the whole Bible, where they believe in holiness of life and separation from the world. 

Find a church where they believe in prayer for the sick and where the pastor and congregation have a burden to see the lost saved and brought to Jesus Christ.

May the Lord bless you and give you peace. Write me a letter if you have accepted the lord Jesus Christ as a result of reading this message.

Solbrekken Evangelistic Association
Max Solbrekken
Box 5000
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5P 4C1

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My wife and I love wholesome family shows like “The Waltons.” But what really bothers me is that – even in supposedly “Christian” scenes – I rarely hear Jesus’ name mentioned or the gospel of salvation mentioned. I have reposted a blog which expresses this concern well. Click here for the original source of the following blog:

Where’s the gospel?

July 6, 2012 by | 3 Comments

Sheila and I love watching shows like The Waltons, Andy Griffith and Little House on the Prairie and even sometimes Veggie Tales. They’re good wholesome programs with good lessons about living but there’s something missing. Even Bible quotes are not uncommon but there’s something missing. Forgiveness, sharing what you have and love thy neighbor are frequent themes but there’s something missing.

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The bible quotes while welcome are almost universally Old Testament and “law” oriented. Our family shows are seemingly just moralistic tales. Where’s the Gospel? Where’s cross of Christ the redeemer? The law says if I’m good enough, God will accept me. The message of the gospel is vastly different in that I cannot be good enough and never will be able to (be good enough on my own) apart through saving faith in Christ. It comes down to what is our motivation for our morals and ethics; are we good to seek God’s favor or because we have God’s favor (in Christ alone), we strive to be good. Paul devotes a lot of time to this in the letter to the church in Rome.

But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed —attested by the Law and the Prophets  —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ,to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  – Romans 3:21-24 HCSB

We must never forget or misunderstand; we are not saved through works and that message must be heard clearly and consistently.

For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift– not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation–created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:8-10 HCSB

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(revised 12/19/12)

Attending Evangelical Friends (EFCI) churches back in the 1960s (before they left their first love), I remember salvation messages about “the Blood and the Cross”, as well as hymns of Calvary such as “Power in the Blood“, “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood“, etc.

Today “The Blood and The Cross” message – the blunt, straightforward, bloody gospel message of repentance-of-sin and salvation that offends and convicts sinners – is seldom heard in the EFCI (particularly the ultra-liberal Northwest Yearly Meeting aka NWYM) and other evangelical denominations.  Sermons, hymns and tracts about Calvary used to be common, but no longer.

Today most evangelical pastors have become deeply entrenched in the Emerging/Emergent church movements. These pastors seldom use these terms in their sermons: sin, judgment, perish, eternal damnation, Hell, Lake of Fire, repentance of sin, the Blood, the Cross, etc. It seems these pastors are hesitant to offend or turn off unsaved seekers in their congregations/audiences, for fear they’ll scurry off to churches which are “less offensive.”

I know of a large Evangelical Friends church which – praise the Lord – was offering a series of classes in “evangelism training.” Yet when this church obtained a new pastor, the pastor discontinued the evangelism training classes. Now the church has many “fun” activities (Life Groups for devotees of amateur radio, classic cars,  scrapbooking, etc.) Apparently the pastor wants unsaved seekers to become involved in “fun” secular activities alongside born again church members, become comfortable attending seeker sensitive church services, then eventually be presented with the “full” salvation message. But when is this “full” salvation message presented by the church? I have never heard “hellfire and brimstone” preaching from the pastor, nor the “bloody” message of Christ on Calvary (picture the movie “The Passion of the Christ.”)

Frankly, Pastor, you (like so many other Emerging/Emergents today) are way off track. For sinners to repent of their sins and accept Christ as their Saviour, to truly become born again, you must preach an “offensive” gospel of  “the Blood and the Cross” that will be hated by  unsaved church attenders who insist on remaining in their sin. And unsaved seekers don’t need to be “eased in” to a church setting – they need confronted head on, as soon as possible, with the so-called “negative” message of the Blood and the Cross.

This pertinent excerpt is from a post by my Facebook Friend John Henderson, posted  here   09/24/12:

“That old Baptist preacher didn’t pull any punches when he dangled my feet over the flames of Hell. I am glad that he did. It was what I needed. I had already been hearing soothing and nice things from other “preachers” and remained lost. I needed to know and feel that I was lost and, when I did, it was a simple matter to run to the Cross.

Believe me, if the church has failed to reach the world it is right here. We do not need to come up with something more appealing to the world; we need to revive and sharpen the only things that will pierce their hearts with holy conviction so they know the choices are clear.”

Following are some more excerpts along this line, from A.W. Tozer. (Tozer had his flaws. He was not perfect, but I don’t know of any godly preacher or writer who ever has been.) These excerpts are from “The Old Cross and the New”, by A. W. Tozer. Click here (Berit Kjos’ website) for the original source of these excerpts. I have emphasized certain points by bolding, and inserted comments in [brackets].

Excerpts from …

The Old Cross and The New

                     By A. W. Tozer

This wise saint went to be with the Lord in 1963. His messages were written more than forty years ago, yet they are as relevant now as they were then!


Unannounced and mostly undetected there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique — a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.

The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam’s proud flesh it meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.

The new cross does not slay the sinner, it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self-assertive it says, “Come and assert yourself for Christ.” To the egotist it says, “Come and do your boasting in the Lord.” To the thrill-seeker it says, “Come and enjoy the thrill of Christian fellowship.” The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.

The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.

The old cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said good-by to his friends. He was not coming back. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.

The race of Adam is under death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life.

That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.

We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.

God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him. What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.

Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ….

Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we… alter the pattern shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will know the old power.  


“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

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NOTE: This article first appeared in The Alliance Witness in 1946.  It has been printed in virtually every English-speaking country in the world and has been put into tract form by various publishers, including Christian Publications, Inc.  It still appears now and then in the religious press.

FOR FURTHER READING

Some comments on “The Old Cross and the New”

A.W. Tozer, The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ  – This book contains, under one cover, many essays by Tozer about the Atonement and related doctrines.

These are just a few of the many essays included:

“The Cross Does Interfere”
“The Cross is a Radical Thing”
“Each His Own Cross”

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