Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Enduring Gospel - 4-20-08


The BRIDGE ILLUSTRATION demonstrates the Basic Gospel Message.

This message is: God created Man to have fellowship with him.

Man sinned and therefore became separated from God, because, even though God is loving and merciful and kind, He is also JUST and no sin can enter into His presence. Now God and man are separated from each other by this wide gulf called “sin”.

The wages of sin is DEATH. No matter how hard man tries to get across that gulf and reach God, his efforts always fail. The gulf is too wide. Man can NEVER span it on his own.

However, God still wants to have a close relationship with man.

So, since man could not get to God on His own, God made a way for man to come back into His presence.

God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth, to live as a man, tempted as a human, but living a sinless life, and Jesus became the sacrifice that paid the sin debt that man owed.

When Christ died on the cross and became sin, He, in effect, paid the price demanded by a Holy God for sin. He became the bridge by which sinful man could be reconciled to a Holy God.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice – He had no sin of His own, so was able to take on the sins of mankind and pay the debt that was owed.

Once that debt was paid, once and for all, the way was open for man to again come into God’s presence and have fellowship with Him.

However, just because the way (the bridge) is in place doesn’t automatically put a person in a relationship with God. To get from one side of a bridge to the other side of a bridge, YOU HAVE TO CROSS THE BRIDGE. It is not enough to believe that the bridge is there. You have to cross it.

This is the gospel (good news) in a nutshell.

In the 2000+ years since Jesus lived, died and rose again, many things have changed.

However, much remains the same.


#1. The Message. Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name ……… by which we must be saved.”

We are separated from God due to sin. We are reconciled to God through Christ.
This has not changed at all.

#2. The Simplicity of the Message.

On the one hand, the message is very profound. It’s beyond our comprehension.

But, on the other hand, it is very simple – simple enough for a child to grasp. It can be illustrated with the bridge, or the Wordless Book, or the story of the just Judge, or many other ways that are easy to grasp.

Romans 10:8 & 10 – “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. ……”

The gospel message is as simple as A B C. AAdmit –own sinfulness

BBelieve –Jesus came and paid for own sins.

C Confess – separation from God and need of a Savior, Jesus is Lord, desire to have Him as Lord

#3 The Need for the Message Matt. 1:21 “…….you will give Him the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.”

Man has advanced technologically and many other ways, but he has not advanced morally or ethically.

There has been NO change in man’s condition (sinful), or in his need (of a Savior)

Question: What would the world be like if man was freed not only from the penalty of sin, but from the power of sin?

Would it be like it was in Eden?

That’s the world that God created and desires to have.

#4. The Primacy of the Message. We need teaching on family, finances, forgiving one another, etc.

BUT, the Gospel is the FOUNDATION! I Cor. 15:14 & 15/ 17 -19 “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless……..if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins…….If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to e pitied more than all men.”

#5. The Offense of the Message. Which is: All have sinned. Therefore, all are separated from God. Jesus is the only salvation.

NOTE: A. Just because the message is offensive, does NOT does not necessarily mean it is UNTRUE.

B. An offensive message does NOT justify an offensive messenger!

The Gospel message will always be offensive but should be presented with love and caring, not obnoxious and pushy and “in your face.’

For example: The Ugly Pill.- I have in my possession a pill that will totally cure ugliness. It is free, I have an abundant supply of them, and I’m willing to share. That’s the good news. The bad news is: YOU really need one of these pills. That’s offensive. And that’s how it is with the Gospel message. It’s a great message – for someone else, but many people do not want to admit that it applies to them.

#6. The Responsibility for Conveying the Message. 2 Cor. 5:18-20All this is from God, who……..gave us the ministry of reconciliation……….and he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors,…..”

The Great Commission says: “Go and make disciples of all nations,…..”

Rom. 10:13 & 14 – “…….How, can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

There are many people right here where we live who have no concept of the basic gospel message.

#7. The Means of Conveying the Message.

Now, we have the printing press, the radio, TV, Internet. These are tools we use.

BUT – it is still people telling people.

Mark 5a:18 & 19 – “……..Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,…”

Acts 1:8 – “……and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, …….. and to the ends of the earth.”

We were not witnesses to the miracles and the resurrection, BUT we are witness to “what He’s done for us Share what you know with others.

#8. The Power of the Message. Rom. 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation,…….”

1 Cor. 1:18/21 – “For the message of God is foolishness to those who are erishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. …..”

John 12:32 – “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

When we properly portray Christ, the Holy Spirit will work through that portrayal.

#9. The Response to the Message. Some will accept, some won’t. The response is NOT our responsibility. WE present.
GOD draws.
THEY decide.

#10. The Central Figure in the Message Heb. 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Jesus Christ IS the gospel message, and He never changes.

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