Luke 13:1-5 Do You Think That They Were Worse Sinners?

I said last week that not all suffering is caused by specific sins that we have committed. Sometimes tragedy strikes and suffering happens for seemingly no reason at all. Two examples demonstrating this point are found in Luke 13:1-5. These two accounts cannot be found anywhere else in the Bible or in any other historical writings.

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Point 1: Galilean Murders (vv1-3)
We tend to have some compassion for Pilate because we think that he didn’t want Jesus crucified and he washed his hands during the situation, yet these verses paint a different picture of the man. Examples of Pilate’s brutality:
1. In A.D. 26 Pilate brought statues of Roman emperors into Jerusalem which the Jews viewed as idols and protested against Pilate.
2. Pilate used money from the Temple treasury to build a new water aqueduct for Jerusalem and when some began to protest he surrounded them and murdered many.
3. At another point Pilate heard that a prophet had gathered a group in Samaria to supposedly uncover sacred vessels that Moses had buried. Pilate overreacted and wiped the group out.

On the occasion at hand Pilate murdered some Galileans who were in Jerusalem to sacrifice. It could be thought that they were there for Passover. How brutal a man to murder those Jews while they made sacrifices to their God?! Surely there is nothing to deserve death in that manner! Some in the crowd brought this up to Jesus. They would have done so with a heated discussion that ranged from political to theological:
1. Political- What would you do about your fellow Galileans who were so brutally treated by Pilate?
2. Theological- Of what sin do you think that they were guilty, to the degree that God would permit such tragedy?

Point 2: Siloam Tower Falling (vv4-5)Now this is something even closer to home because events such as this happen in America almost everyday. A tower had fallen and killed 18 innocent people. This would have been pure tragedy and caused much suffering for the families. The question is now raised by Jesus Himself on whether these in Jerusalem deserved the death that they experienced.

Point 3: Retributive JusticeFor the ancient Israelites and even the 1st century Jews, questions of suffering and tragedy were answered with the idea of retributive justice which is this: those who suffer do so because they deserve it. This was the common understanding. This idea is displayed a few times in Scripture and I will just offer a few:
1. Job 4:7-8 “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off? Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.”
2. Job 8:4-6 “If your sons have sinned against Him, He has cast them away for their transgression. If you would earnestly seek God and make your supplication to the Almighty, If you were pure and upright, surely now He would awake for you, and prosper your rightful dwelling place.”
3. John 9:1-3 “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”

And it is not far from the minds of many Americans to think this way. When tragedy strikes people ask, out loud many times, what did I do to deserve this?

Point 4: Jesus’ AnswerJesus answers the same way in Luke 13 that He does in John 9.
It is not because of their sin that they suffered this way!
Jesus answers His own questions-
Do you think that the Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans?
Do you think that those at Siloam were worse sinners than all Judeans?
No! I tell you! But unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

The approach that Jesus takes is that retributive justice is not the answer. When His answer in John 9 is compiled with His answers to the two situations here we have a good background for Jesus' teaching on suffering and sudden tragedy. It allows for what we can call “Gratuitous Grief” (gratuitous meaning without cause).
Retributive Justice is rejected in favor of Gratuitous Grief.

What am I saying? I believe that that Lord teaches us that sometimes suffering and tragedy happen by no cause of our own. We live in a fallen world.
We face suffering every day! We face disaster on every turn!

#1 The first application-
Today is the day of salvation!
Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand! Turn to Christ while you can.

#2 The second application-
When we see another in a crisis or with an affliction we should not allow the thought to come into our minds that they have done something to deserve it as if they are worse sinners than any of us. When suffering arrives and tragedy crashes in our own lives we should not ask of ourselves what we have done to deserve it.

In the midst of suffering and tragedy we should ask ourselves,
How can God be glorified in my situation?

* There is an advantage to responding properly to suffering and there are advantages to responding properly to the Gospel message:
- Romans 2:4-5 say, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
- Close by reading parable of vv6-9: God calls on us to bear fruit:
(1) Repent (2) Be Born Again (3) Abide in His Word

* If you have been counting the cost and considering the Gospel message but have not made a commitment let today be the day. You can come forward as we sing the hymn of response or you can come to me afterward for discussion.

John 5:1-15 Sin No More

There are times when a minister is led to certain texts, seemingly out of no where. Yet, I believe those times are by God’s direction. When I least expected it, I was drawn to John 5:1-15 which works well with last Wednesday’s study and I will also connect it with next week’s sermon and maybe one more to follow that. The subject is suffering. Now, like I said Wednesday night, we would be hard-pressed to find a person that has not suffered at some point by the end of their life. All have/will suffer to a certain degree. Jesus promises that as His disciples, we will suffer that much more for His name’s sake. I look at it this way: all people suffer to some degree or another and all Christians will suffer to a greater extent than all others. Wednesday we discussed John 9 which tells of a man who was born blind and Jesus teaches that the man was not blind because of any specific sin. Today, we are going to discuss a man who has an infirmity (it seems that he is paralyzed) which was caused by a specific sin of his own. Next week, we will talk about the fact that there is suffering and tragedy that happens without cause or we can call it “gratuitous grief.”

This is how I would like go about this sermon- First I would like for us to read it and then pray. Then I would like to go back and discuss some of the details and finally I will make a few main points, especially what is meant by “lest a worse thing come upon you.”

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

Point 1: Details of the Passage1. It is not said what feast this is that the Jews are celebrating, but what is clear is that is the reason why Christ is in Jerusalem.

2. And the Scripture gives us another detail about a pool in Jerusalem. The pool is said to be by the Sheep Gate. In Nehemiah 3:1 we find that the priests rebuilt this gate, “Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors.” This was an important gate that would be for the sheep to be brought in for sacrifice.

3-4. Now at this pool there were five porches and in these five places there were many sick people waiting to find a miracle. We are told that they were there waiting for the water to be stirred and we find in verse four that the people believed that an angel came down to stir it and the first person in would be healed.

5. There was a man there that either many people had become acquainted with or that Jesus knew in a miraculous manner. I tend to believe that Jesus miraculously knew this man because many people would not have gone around this sick man.

6. It appears to me that Jesus sought this man out among a multitude of sick people. Now how many rabbis do we think would have gone into these five porches in the first place? Jesus had a mission to seek out this man. And Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”

7. The sick man doesn’t even say yes, but instead gives a very pitied response. After reading the entire account I come to the conclusion that this man had a lot of self-pity, he wanted it and attention from others, and that he was a trouble maker!

8. Jesus heals the man without any faith being demonstrated. He commands him to be healed.

9. The man was immediately healed just by Jesus’ words and the man took his bed and walked away with no since of gratitude. Maybe he didn’t want to be made well. Maybe he liked the attention from his family, maybe he liked the pity, and maybe he liked the free gifts that people gave him out of that pity. Then we find out that Jesus did this on the Sabbath.

10. The Jews immediately condemn what has happened as soon as they find out. It is even said that the Jews believed that if you carried a sewing needle in your pocket on the Sabbath that you were working and thus breaking the Law.

11-13. The man did not even take a moment to find out his healer’s name!

14. Afterwards, Jesus found him in the Temple. Jesus sought him out because he had not finished ministering to him.

Point 2: Lest a worse thing happen to you
Now what could be worse than 38 years on illness? I’m not sure if he was born with this illness or if he received it later in life, but it is clear that he had this problem most of his life because the majority of people didn’t even live to 38. The man’s infirmity is linked to his personal sin. There is no question. Now we will talk next week about the fact that every suffering is NOT caused by sin, but that does not rule out the fact that some suffering and pain are direct results of sin as in the case of this man.

Many understandings have been offered of what is meant by “a worse thing”:
1. Final Judgment
2. A Worse Physical Ailment
3. Eternal Consequences of Sin
4. Hell
5. Death
I think that maybe all of these are meant, ultimately Wrath to come.

Point 3: Stop Sinning
Another major point that I would like to make is that there is enough suffering in this world so we don’t need any more caused by your/my personal sins. Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.” May we know that we are spiritually healed in order to repent. We should not harden our hearts against God's goodness and turn back to our sinful lifestyles and attitudes. Repent, turn from, your sins and turn to Christ. Christians face enough hardship in this world and need no more from brothers and sisters.

Conclusion:Jesus does warn the man and we could even say that he threatens the man. There is an element of threat in the Gospel message. If there wasn’t then there would be no reason for good news. The good news is that our sin is forgiven when we turn to Christ and that we can stop sinning so that something worse than the suffering of this life will not come upon us. The truth of the matter is that there is wrath to come and we must stop sinning so that we may escape it!

Now how do we stop sinning? We make Christ our treasure!
Turn to Him, trust Him, rely on Him, believe Him, abide in His words!

1 Peter 2:4-8 A Building Project

It is really something to watch true professional stone masons in action. These guys are fast in their work. As they build a wall, or a stone facing on a building, they take a stone from the pile, look it over to see where it would fit in any of the open spaces, and stick it in place. They then move on to the next stone. Every so often they take their hammer and give a chip here or there to shape up the stone and make it fit in certain places, but rarely do they cast a stone aside. They are so efficient in their work; they can spot weakness in a stone with one glance. They know a defective stone almost instinctively.

In the first century, during Jesus time, stone was the main building material. The cornerstone was the first stone to be laid in construction. It became the foundation upon which all the other stones were set. The cornerstone had to be the perfect stone and set perfectly because if it was off, even a little bit, the whole building was off. Once the cornerstone was set they could then build out from that point. There have been many cornerstones found in archeological digs in the Middle East; one was measured at 69 feet by 12 feet by 13 feet. These stones were very important in Ancient architecture. The Old and New Testaments speak of these important building stones and they are usually references to Messiah.

Peter uses this same thought in his first letter. Today we will discuss Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone and how, as Christians, we participate in the Temple and priesthood.

READ SCRIPTURE- This is the Word of God

Point 1: We are Living StonesA. Christ is the Cornerstone. He is the Life-Giving Stone.
a. All other stones are aligned by the Cornerstone.
b. We are the living stones that are aligned by Christ Jesus.
c. Jesus is a strong foundation. (A tested stone)
d. He is right. (Must be to build)

B. We are being built together.
a. To be a spiritual house for God to dwell.
b. Stones used for building must be shaped and formed, ready for construction use. Therefore, God doesn’t simply choose random, raw, natural rocks.
c. God has taken those who believe in His Son and molded us into the living stones that He needs for this building project.

C. The Spiritual House Continues to be Built.
a. As more come to belief in Christ, Jesus echoes the statement He said to Peter- “Upon this rock, I will build my church.”
b. The fact that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God” is the Stone upon which everything is built.

D. Reference: Ephesians 2:19-22
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

E. We are being built into a Temple of the Living God.
a. For the Hebrews, the Temple was a security blank
aa. As long as the Temple was standing, they felt safe.
bb. They felt that the Temple was firm and unmovable.
b. As the church, we are the Living Temple. We should feel safe and unmovable.
c. The Jerusalem Temple was built upon a conquerable foundation.
The Living Temple (which is the church) is built upon Christ Jesus.

And so we know that God is using us for a special building project. We are being built together for God’s Spirit to dwell among us. We know that Jesus is the Cornerstone. He is the beginning and the most essential part of this building. Let’s talk about Jesus as the Cornerstone for just a few minutes.

Point 2: Jesus is the Living Stone (Chief Cornerstone)**As the Cornerstone, Jesus has determined the design and details of the building.
A. Some trust Christ
a. The Lord has placed a tested Cornerstone in Zion, for a sure foundation.
b. To those who believe, He is a precious stone.

B. Others Reject Christ
a. As a result- They stumble and Fall.
b. Reference- Hosea 14:9
“Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.”
c. Many have even become hostile towards the Gospel.

C. God has chosen Him.
a. Many have rejected Christ, but God has exalted Him.
b. Unbelievers have said Christ is useless and undesirable.
c. God says Christ is a Precious Living Stone.

D. This may be a subtle attack on the dead stone idols once worshipped by these readers.

E. In this text, Peter declares that Jesus is greater than:
1. Traditions of the Forefathers
2. Temple in Jerusalem
3. Traditions of the Pagans.

We see that Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone. He is the Living Stone and we also are living stones being built into a spiritual house for God’s Spirit to dwell. Peter now changes his illustration from a Spiritual Temple being built to a Priesthood being assembled.

Point 3: Priesthood- conduct worship
A. OT references of what God desires:
1. Reference- Hosea 6:6 “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”
2. Reference- Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?”

B. God doesn’t want physical sacrifice, but spiritual sacrifices:
1. Bodies offered to God as living sacrifices (Rom. 12)
2. Money or material goods (Ph. 4, Heb. 13)
3. Sacrifice of praise (Heb. 13)
4. Sacrifices of doing good (Heb. 13:16)

C. These are the things acceptable to God.

We are part of a building project. Jesus is the Living Stone who has given life to believers and enabled us to be living stones who support one another, are joined to one another, and are bearing each others weight. Not only are we a spiritual house, but also a spiritual priesthood.

God is the Master Mason that is building us together to form a spiritual house. He first laid the Chief Cornerstone in Zion and then has taken those who believe that Jesus is Christ the Son of God (including us) and shaped us into living stones, ready to be built into that spiritual house. God laid the foundation of our faith, which is the only way to salvation (Jesus Christ).

Today, let us wrestle with these things. Are we letting God shape us into living stones? Are we looking to the Chief Cornerstone to make sure that we are in line? Are we offering the spiritual sacrifices that God desires?

Matthew 15:21-28 O Woman, Great is Your Faith! (Mother's Day)

Text: Matthew 15:21-28 Title: O Woman, Great is Your Faith!

First, I would like to say Happy Mother’s Day to all of our mothers and I want you all to know that you are very special and that you have an essential role in this world and in this church.

Secondly, I feel that I need to say that I sympathize with all of you who have a difficult time on Mother’s Day. This day (and Father’s Day) can be a challenge for the Minister. There are some here that have strained relationships with there mothers and vice-versa. Others here only have memories of their mothers. There may be mothers here that feel that in some way they have fallen short of their goals in motherhood. To all that struggle on this day I have a Scripture that I would like to specifically read for you before we turn to our main text for the sermon.

God has said,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Turn to Christ and lay everything down before Him. Cry out like Hannah who said, “I am a woman of sorrowful spirit…and have poured out my soul before the LORD.”

Today I am not going to pretend that I know how to be a mother. I am not going to pretend that I know the mind of a woman, her challenges and feelings. So, I am going to do my best in praising what women do by looking at a certain text. It should be said that what a woman does and what she should be praised for is very different than what a man does. God has ordained specific roles for women and men in the home and in the church. There is no glass ceiling for either women or men and this is why- God wants every man to be the best man that he can be and God wants every woman to be the best woman that she can be and that should never be confused. Women have a unique role to be responsible for and it is my responsibility to encourage you to continue in what God has ordained for you. Each woman has her own dreams, needs, wants, challenges, difficulties, goals, responsibilities, duties, callings, gifts, and talents that are specific to her as a person and as a woman.

In order to honor all of the women in the congregation, especially the mothers, I would like to study a text from Matthew 15:21-28. Many have titled this ‘The Canaanite Woman’ yet it could be titled ‘The Canaanite Mother.’

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

Let me make some observations from this text:

1. There were atleast three discouragements to not contact Jesus:
1) She was a Gentile 2) She was a Canaanite 3) She was a Woman

2. Yet this woman approached Jesus in this manner:
1) She recognized Him as King with historic significance (Son of David)
2) She submitted to Him by calling out and bowing down (Lord)
3) She prayed a simple prayer (have mercy on me…help me)

3. This account is similar to the encounter Jesus had with the unnamed woman in Samaria.
1) Jesus was out of character for the average Jew. Of course He was not average!
2) He met these people in Gentile territory
3) And these people were women that he had long encounters with
4) These are two women from peoples that are despised by the Jews

4. It is a lesson for us that this woman first came to Jesus and second cried out to Him yet there was no answer. If we look at verse 22 we see that this was not a demanding cry, but a humble cry for the woman said have mercy on me. As humble and repentant as this cry was, there was no answer the first time. Verse 23 demonstrates that the woman didn’t simply make a request one time and then go home after not hearing a response. She continued her cries to the Lord.

5. It is not clear in verse 23 if the disciples were annoyed by this woman, or if they perceived that Jesus was annoyed by her, or whether they wanted Jesus to send this woman away with her requests granted. In any case, the disciples wanted Jesus to act.

6. Verse 24 and verse 26 teach a Scriptural principle- salvation is of the Jews and the blessings of God begin with the house of Israel. Jesus wants his disciples and this Canaanite woman to know that principle and that His earthly ministry is primarily to the house of Israel.
The children and little dog language of verse 26 is in no way related to what Jesus rebuked in the Sermon on the Mount. This is a conversation of precedence. Many households have children and pets of which both must be fed. It is the parent’s responsibility to feed both and the order of responsibility begins with the children and then what is left is given to the pets. Thus Jesus is stating and the woman is agreeing that Israel takes precedence in the order of responsibility and that Gentiles are next in line. “To the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

7. The woman’s pleadings are simple, “Have mercy on me O Lord” and “Lord help me.” Her requests can teach us much about prayer because what she was truly doing was praying. Her prayer was a crying out to the Lord and it was a conversation with the Lord. What all was encompassed? Repentance, Proper Direction, Reverence, Naming the Request, Persistence, Humility, Cries, Conversation…

8. We know that God does what He wills and nothing is done outside of who He is, yet if we are to make a request and expect it to be fulfilled we must do so in the proper, Scriptural manner.

This woman’s love for her daughter is highly impressive. She goes out of her way to visit and submit to a man that descended from an ancient enemy. Yet it is not her love for her daughter that is most impressive, it is her faith that is most extraordinary. She was persistent, intelligent, and simple with her cries to the Lord. Thus Jesus could say with tremendous emotion,
“O woman, great is your faith!”

The church needs women of great faith to rise up and assume motherly roles. If you have children, do your best to be a mother of great faith. Women who do not have children for a variety of reasons, do not let that hinder you from being a motherly figure in another young woman’s life. The Scripture teaches that older women are to teach younger women.

Turn with me to Titus 2:1-5 and READ.
Women, make it a goal to teach younger women and girls how to be women and mothers and do so in many small ways. Encourage them to do what God has ordained.

May the Lord be able to say with great emotion to all of the women and mothers of Fort Trial Christian Church, O woman, great is your faith!

Galatians 1:6-10 Let Him Be Accursed

We will be coming off and on to Galatians for the next few months ahead in order to ground us more fully in the Gospel of Christ. Today we are going to discuss the fact that there is only ONE Gospel and yet there are even modern perversions of it today. The Scripture says that anyone who perverts the Gospel should be accursed and that those who follow those perversions will be troubled.

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

There is Only ONE Gospel

It is astonishing when someone leaves the Gospel. The Galatians were enticed by a perversion of the Gospel quickly. This undoing was from some who troubled them with another form of what the missionaries had originally proclaimed in those cities. People turn to things so quickly because it is done without thinking. A few weeks ago I pointed out through the Scripture that our minds (though processes) must be our first line of defense. What does Jesus say about counting the cost?

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

So it is astonishing when someone believes, but is carried away so quickly. We must count the cost of every decision we make. We must be like the Bereans who “were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

I want you all to grow to trust me more and more, but never get to the point that you simply accept what is said. Instead look to the Scriptures and verify what has been taught.

Next we see that someone who perverts the Gospel should be accursed. Paul is not the one who can curse, but calls on God to do so by saying, “Let him be accursed.” If anyone or even an angel from heaven preaches another Gospel “let him be accursed.” At that time many believed that angels ministered the first covenant to Moses. Paul, with that possibly in mind, says that even an angel should be cursed if they proclaimed anything other than the Gospel proclaimed by Paul and the missionaries.

Third, a person of the Gospel lives to please God. Saying that he seeks to please God here does not mean that he wants to displease as many people as possible. That does not seek God. 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 this same apostolic author says, “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” It is that when it comes down to pleasing God or man, a person of the Gospel lives to please God. Of course, God-pleasers are doing what is best for other people. As difficult as it may have been for the Galatians to hear what Paul said, it was best for them. Paul acted and taught that if there is anyway possible we are to please both God and people.

It is astonishing when someone leaves the Gospel after being enlightened, tasting the heavenly gift, partaking of the Holy Spirit, tasting the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come. What they are doing is crucifying again for themselves the Son of God, and putting Him to an open shame. Someone who starts that process of perverting the Gospel should be accursed by God because a person of the Gospel lives to please God not people or themselves.

This brings me to a major point of emphasis- are there modern perversions of the Gospel?

What are Modern Perversions?
Paul does not say that there are other versions of the Gospel, but other perversions. The perversions that are spoken of are not of some far off religion that is so apparently incorrect, but the perversions come from supposed Christians. The New Testament shows that false teachers and false gospels usually come from inside the community of Believers. This is a startling fact and we should accept it as a warning.

Today we have two major perversions of the Gospel that I can identify:

Legalistic Gospel (which is no Gospel at all) This is what Paul argued so powerfully against.
The Legalistic Gospel Perversion has this message:
1. God shows favoritism to some.
2. There are works of the Law that must be completed for salvation.
3. It usually leaves Jesus out and turns back to works = righteousness.
4. Essentially they are saying that Jesus has not accomplished enough.

Entertainment Gospel (which is no Gospel at all)

I would possibly place dualism/Gnosticism from the early centuries A.D. in this category.

The Entertainment Gospel Perversion has this message:
1. There are secrets to success.
2. God wants you to be healthy and wealthy.
3. There is no need for theology, or truth, or corrective discipline and there is no need to talk about judgment or things like repentance.

In a society that is rapidly believing that there is no absolute truth, we must communicate and defend the ONE Gospel of Jesus Christ. Fort Trial Christian Church must correctly communicate and defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What is this ONE Gospel?

1. The ONE GOSPEL proclaims that Jesus has accomplished everything that we could not and that it has been imputed to us. That is the GOOD NEWS. Apart from that we are left in our sins to die a lonely death. If I could sum up the Gospel in one sentence it would be this verse from the New Testament, “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2. The Gospel is what Paul proclaimed- Galatians 2:16-21 and he has already started this way in Galatians 1:3-4.
3. It is the Gospel OF Jesus Christ, it begins and ends with Him. All we must do is believe.

The Galatians weren’t turning away so soon from a philosophy, but from a person.
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel.” They were turning from Him to a False Gospel.
Our faith is in a person. It is in our Lord Jesus.

The majority of you have stated that Fort Trial Christian Church is in a transition period. A new minister has come and it is a time for new members. I will add this though- our main focus should never be growth because that will easily become our god, yet we must always have our eyes and hearts open to those who may take interest in the Gospel and God will give us opportunities and God will add to this church as He sees fit. You have already done many things that will appeal to the younger generations like PowerPoint and such. And in all that may be done, the primary thing that can never change is the Gospel that comes from the pulpit and in these classrooms. And if we want to take advantage of the opportunities to teach the Gospel, then we must be prepared. We must know how to correctly explain the Gospel and we must be somewhat prepared for many questions from interested people.

There is only ONE Gospel.
If that message changes then there is no Good News at all and Christ died for nothing.