Monday, May 20, 2013

Moving the Landmarks Series Part 2 : Preaching Salvation

The first preachers were the 12 Disciples (minus Judas of course), followed by Paul, and soon others who grew under the teaching of the Apostles, such as Steven, Ignatius, and so on.  They didn't have the First Baptist Church of Jerusalem, but they had locations where they built churches by evangelism--house churches by the hundreds.  They followed the Great Commission, to go out into the world and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They had the Old Testament that they'd learned in the temple (at least those that were Jewish), the Gentiles didn't have that foundation to work with, but the teachings of the Disciples who had been with Jesus. 

As the disciples went preaching and proclaiming Christ after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, they founded many small churches.  These churches weren't built on ear tickling music and fluffy messages.  They were built on the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ, by those who had walked with Him, sat under His direct teaching.

Acts 1:8--But 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 Judea, and in Sumaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

What did these men teach and preach?  Salvation by Jesus Christ alone!

What is the purpose of the local body assembled as the church?

"The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people.  Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers.  The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service.  A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others.  The Great Commission is a comman with three steps--evangelism, baptism, and education.  The Great Commission is the stretegy by which the church at Jerusalem saturated its community with the gospel.  Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God's objectives for that institution."  (Thomas Nelson KJV Study Bible, 1988, Liberty University)

The church's main objective is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Do you hear an unadulterated salvation message in your church?  Do you hear the way to salvation through Jesus Christ alone? 

"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  (4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared.  (5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. (6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.  (7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:3-7)

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.  (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconsiliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you to us:  we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

"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. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  (11) For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.  (12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  (13) FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED. (Romans 10:9-13)

If these verses are not familiar to you, please keep reading!!! 

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:  as it is written THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.  (18)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.  (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:16-20)

"For there is no respect of persons with God." (Romans 2:11)

"As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.  (11)There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  (12)  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  (13) Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:  (14) whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:  (15) Their feet are swift to shed blood: (16) Destruction and mistery are in their ways:  (17)  And the way of peace have they not known:  (18)There is no fear of God before their eyes.  (19) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  (20)Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3:10-20)

"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.  (22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:  for there is no difference.  (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.  (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  (25)  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forebearance of God.  (Romans 3:21-25)

"Repend ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."  (Acts 3:19)

"...believe on the Lorrd Jesus Christ, and though shalt be saved...."  (Acts 16:31)

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."  (Luke 19:10)

"Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."  (John 6:47)

If your still here and awake, and interested in learning more, see Psalm 85:2, Psalm 103:2, I John 2:1, I John 1:9, Hebrews 8:12, Isaiah 55:7, Colossians 2:13, Jeremiah 33:8, Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah 43:25, Psalm 32:1-2, I John 4:14, Epehsians 2:4-5, Psalm 106:8, and 2 Timothy 1:9.

If the church you attend does not tell you how to run to Jesus, find forgiveness in Him, how to get salvation by way of the Cross, then your church has moved the landmark.  Churches are not built for entertaining the masses, for circuses, rock concerts, feeding and clothing the poor, being a social club for the rich.  No, the church is for preaching the Gospel according to the Lord Jesus Christ.  While outreach is a good ministry, it shouldn't be put ahead of preaching the Gospel of Jesus! 

A "church" that does not present the plan of salvation in essence is not a New Testament church.  It is merely a social club in the guise of a church.  A social club church teaches that you're good enough to get to heaven, that good works will save, don't worry about reading the bible, and so on.  That is completely unscriptural.  Unfortunately it is becoming all too common here in America.

If you are in a bible preaching/teaching church, count your blessings!  If your church has stood on the landmark of preaching salvation, thank your pastor for NOT moving the landmark!  Encourage him in his preaching! 

What is your church like?  By all means you're welcome to share your church with readers here!

This concludes part 2 of the "Moving the Landmarks" series....  Stay tuned for Part 3 coming soon!

Joyfully shared with:

The Better Mom

The Modest Mom

Far Above Rubies

Growing Home

Time Warp Wife

Living in the Shoe

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

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