Boldness in Declaring the Gospel

1 Thessalonians 2:1-2 ESV

“For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.”

The gospel of Jesus Christ is being silenced these days, and I am speaking of here in America. “Where?”, you say. All across the USA, though not completely, not in every situation. “But I am still hearing it,” you say. But are you? Are you hearing the full gospel message (the whole counsel of God), or are you hearing a diluted half-truth (lie) gospel message that is of the flesh of man and not of God? The half-truth gospel is spreading everywhere but the true gospel is largely being snuffed out.

For the half-truth gospel is an altered gospel message intended to appeal to human flesh and to the people of the world. It does teach belief in Jesus Christ, but mostly that is a belief concocted in the thinking of humans to suit their fleshly desires, and you rarely hear it biblically defined or put into practice. And then the altered gospel teaches that if you “believe” in Jesus your sins are now forgiven and you are guaranteed heaven as your eternal destiny regardless of how you live your life while you are still on the earth.

So, we have many professers of faith in Jesus Christ who are not walking in holiness and in righteousness. Jesus Christ is truly not their Lord (Owner-Master). For they were taught that all they had to do was “believe” (one time) in Jesus and now all their sins are covered by the blood of Christ and so their sins no longer matter to God. Some are even being told that God can no longer see when they sin, and when he looks at them all he sees is Jesus. And they believe now heaven is their eternal destiny.

But that is not what the Scriptures teach. And what the Scriptures do teach is largely being silenced. And attempts are being made to discredit the true gospel by calling it “works salvation” or legalistic or Old Covenant teaching or whatever. And so they who are altering the gospel are shushing the true gospel so that people will ignore it and reject it and so that they will believe the diluted half-truth gospel instead. And some are even teaching people not to verbally share the gospel but to just do “good deeds,” instead.

So, when some of us do share the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are largely being ignored or we are being opposed and attacked and falsely accused of teaching “works salvation.” And so many people are now being trained to ignore us or to combat us and what we are teaching. And even if we share with them the Scriptures and what they teach, many are being programmed to not listen and to hold on to what they are being taught which makes no requirements for death to sin and obedience to Christ.

But for those of us who believe in the true gospel and who have accepted the task of sharing the truth of the gospel, we must persevere. We must not let any opposition deter us from the task of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ wherever the Lord says to share it. We must be bold in declaring the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ even in the midst of much conflict and opposing voices. And we must talk about sin and judgment, and call people to repentance, and call them to walks of obedience to the Lord Jesus, too.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

1 Thessalonians 2:3-6 ESV

“For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ.”

Now before any of us attempts to share the gospel of our salvation with anyone, we should examine our own hearts and motives to make certain that our own hearts are in the right place. We must make certain first of all that we are not living in sin, making sin our practice, and that we are not willfully and deliberately and habitually sinning against God and other humans before we tell others that they must die with Christ to sin daily and follow Jesus in obedience to his commands. For we should not be hypocrites.

And we should never use lies or trickery or manipulation of any sort to try to bring people our direction. We should be people of integrity who are honest and forthright in what we say, but we should also be kind. And we should be who we are with whomever we are with. We should not be people who act one way with one group of people and another way with another group of people. And we should never perform for an audience. Always be genuine. Be who you are no matter what you are talking about with people.

For our job is not to try to make other people feel good about themselves. But I am not saying that we should never compliment anyone or that we should never say kind and encouraging words to others. We should, where appropriate, but it should always be honest and from our hearts and not lies just so they will feel good about themselves and/or about us. And we should never deny Christ and his gospel and make it less than what it is in order to make others feel good about themselves and/or about us.

For the truth of the gospel offends. So if we are speaking the truth, most people will not like us. They will not be drawn to us. We are not going to be popular. And that is okay! There will be some people who are hungering after the truth of God’s word and who will want to hear the truth taught, but they are not the majority. They are few in number. For the truth teaches us we must die to ourselves and to sin and we must surrender our lives to Christ and now walk in his ways and in righteousness and holiness.

And the truth teaches us that if we walk by the flesh and not by the Spirit, and if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we don’t know God, we are not in fellowship with him, we are not born of God, we are of the devil, and the truth is not in us, and we do not have eternal life with God. It doesn’t matter what we have professed with our lips, for if we do not walk in obedience to our Lord but we walk in sin, instead, heaven is not our eternal destiny.

[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Mary, Did You Know?

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know?
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