Have you ever heard the Gospel?
Notice, I didn't ask if have you heard a sermon!
Everyone's heard more than a few of those. Hey, I'm a fan too! I very much appreciate a great sermon. I'm actually fascinated with the art of preaching and love to watch and glean from the best sermonize-rs the world has ever seen. But, just because you've heard a sermon, or maybe in some cases a lot of sermons, doesn't necessarily mean you've heard the Truth of the Gospel (Colossians 1:5 KJV). The first time I realized this I was shocked!
My intent is not to make enemies. I have said that from the beginning. I am not going to bash ministries and churches that are trying to make a difference in the world for the Glory of Jesus! No matter what I think about what people preach, if the Name of Jesus is preached, I'm for it! Besides, my opinion is worthless as anyone else's.
So, these are simply my convictions. I don't expect everyone to like them. Although, I do expect everyone to respect what I have to say as I do same for them.
Back to what I was saying....
I don't believe, that every person attending church on Sunday morning, or went to a building that has a steeple on the roof necessarily heard the gospel. Is it OK for me to make such a statement?
My answer about the scripture will come from the scripture. Galatians 2:11
"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed."
Sometimes there is no other way to deal with things than head on, and toe to toe. The kind of issue I'm asking you to address goes to the very core of your heart and who you are. So, yes I do tread lightly around these things but still press forward.
"16For 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. 17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
Conclusion: in the Gospel the Righteousness of God is Revealed.
How much of the sermons that we hear preached are pointing us to the Righteousness of God? According to the verse above... in order for the truth of the Gospel to have been qualified as preached, you would have to have heard about the Righteousness of God. To me, we don't hear a lot of sermons that point to His Righteousness. According to Romans 5:17 Gods Righteousness is a free gift to be received - never earned.
Ask yourself: Does the sermon I just heard point me to Jesus or does it point me to me? The conviction of my heart is that not that many people are hearing the Truth of the Gospel. For this reason, and possibly many more, the body of Christ hurts in ways it shouldn't have to.
If the sermon points you back to you then you have not heard the Gospel. The Gospel is not about you, its about the Finished Works of Jesus!
Friend, when Jesus said "It is Finished," He really meant it.