Recently we’ve been talking about discernment and false teaching. This morning I read the following devotional from Greg Laurie that I want to share, followed by the Scripture I read this morning. No matter that icons like Oprah Winfrey tout that trusting in Jesus is only one way to the Father, He is the ONLY way. We must tell others the truth. We may not be able to preserve the culture from is decline, but we can preserve individuals’ lives by our being salt. And yet, how many pastors and leaders are there who have lost their saltiness? “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6) Are you salt that is being used? Or are you trampled underfoot by your enemies and just sitting on a shelf useless?
From time to time we hear of quack doctors who perform surgeries they aren’t qualified for. But there are some quack preachers out there, too. They are guilty of spiritual malpractice because they present a gospel message that lacks the essentials. They tell people to just believe, but they don’t warn them of Hell. They don’t tell them of the importance of repentance. They don’t emphasize the death of Jesus on the cross. They don’t tell them of the importance of repentance. They don’t share that Jesus is the only way to God. Instead, they offer Jesus as though He were a product to buy that will make life a little bit better.
Sometimes people embrace a watered-down version of the gospel, and they have false hope as a result. That is why God said of false prophets, “They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 6:14)
When God led Philip to the desert to share the gospel with a government official from Ethiopia, his message was centered on the Scriptures. We read in Acts 8:35, “So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.”
Any effective presentation of the gospel must be biblical, because God’s Word will not return void. “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” (Isaiah 55:11) Our words will return void, but God’s Word never will. Philip’s presentation of the gospel was centered on Jesus Christ. It is all about Him. The gospel is Jesus. It is Jesus born, crucified, resurrected from the dead, and coming again. It is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, the ONLY way to the Father.
The gospel, in a nutshell, is this: Christ died for our sins and was raised again on the third day. This–the only true gospel–is what we need to share with our family, our friends and the world. To let others believe anything less is not truly loving them. Jesus said: “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.” (Matt. 7:21-23)