Summary: The central theme of the church in the preaching of the message of the gospel, the cross of Christ. We are losing that message.
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Pastor James May
NEGLECT OF THE GOSPEL
Hebrews 2:1-3, "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;"
If there is one message that needs to be preached in the world today, it is the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the great salvation that He offers to all mankind. That is the greatest message that man could ever receive and yet, it appears as though it is the least heard message of all.
I thank God for each of you who have heard the gospel and have responded to the call of God upon your life. It is a wonderful thing to know Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life. I am afraid though, that most of the church world has begun to let that message slip away without realizing it.
In churches all across our land today, there will be bells ringing, priests and ministers who will stand in the pulpit or the lectionary of each of their various churches to bring forth the message of the gospel to those whom God has entrusted into their care.
But what kind of message will these ministers and priests bring? I fear that most of these messages will not be a true message of the gospel but messages that will only tickle the ear of the hearers so that they will not lose their congregation.
It is becoming more rare all the time that a preacher will stand up and really preach the truth. May God help the preacher who will not stand and deliver that which God says the people must hear!
It isn’t hard to find preachers of love! The message of the love of God is wonderful and there is a great need for man to know the love of God. God’s love reaches out to us and because of the Love of God, we have the gospel because Jesus gave His life for our sin. Love is necessary. Love is great. Love should be preached. But, there is more to the message of the gospel than the message of Love.
If all we ever hear is “God is Love”, then we will get a one-sided and distorted view of who God really is and what He expects of us. The message of love can be misleading because people will come to believe that God’s love will never allow God’s righteousness and holiness to condemn anyone to eternal punishment. Certainly God is love but the message we must preach is more than Love itself.
It isn’t hard to find a preacher of faith and prosperity! The prosperity “gospel” is sweeping our nation today. Every Sunday there are preachers who will stand in the pulpit and bring forth the message of the “name and claim it faith”. In fact, many of these same preachers will tell you that if you aren’t living in prosperity that your faith is weak and you may not get to heaven if you don’t become prosperous. (What a perversion of the gospel this is!) Twice in the 4 gospels of the New Testament Jesus says these words:
Matthew 8:20, "And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."
Luke 9:58, "And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."
Does that sound like Jesus was preaching a prosperity gospel to you? Three different times in the gospels we read of the account of the Rich Young Ruler, who came to Jesus to seek the way to heaven. In all three accounts Jesus told him to sell all that he had, take up the cross of Christ and follow Jesus. That doesn’t sound like Jesus was concerned with the earthly prosperity of the Rich Young Ruler.