"WE'VE LOST THE GOSPEL"
by Andrew Strom
There is no tragedy in the world worse than this - the church losing the gospel. We could have a hundred terrorist attacks, or earthquakes, or hurricanes, and it would still not outweigh the tragedy of this one thing - WE HAVE LOST THE GOSPEL. Nothing can compare to this disaster - nothing.
For when you lose the gospel, you lose salvation. People are actually no longer becoming saved. (Remember, Paul said that the gospel is the "POWER OF GOD unto salvation"). And when people are no longer truly becoming saved, you also lose the church. For no true gospel = no true church.
People will tell me that I am being too "drastic". Well, I want to say to you that I am not being drastic enough. In fact, if I were to shout through 1000 megaphones directly into your ears, it would not be possible for me to overemphasize just how disastrous and awful and horrific it is that our backslidden Western church today has - to all intents and purposes - lost its gospel. And in doing so it has lost its very reason for being.
We tell everybody that all they need to do is say a little rote prayer accepting Jesus as their "personal savior". Tell me, where is such a thing in Scripture? Does such a thing even come close to existing? Can you recall even ONE person doing such a thing to become a Christian in the Bible? Did any of the Apostles in Acts ever say to someone, "Just repeat this little prayer after me"? Or "Quietly slip up your hand - no need for anyone to see"? Can you remember ANYONE in Scripture doing anything like that?
No, you can't. That is because nobody ever did. It is all a modern fabrication - a complete invention. -This is no salvation at all. We act like people can safely forget about CONVICTION of sin and DEEP REPENTANCE and WATER-BAPTISM and getting FILLED with the Holy Spirit. -Just "optional extras", eh? But look at 'Acts' and tell me - was there ever such a thing as real Christianity with- out these things? And what about getting a CLEAN CONSCIENCE (-washed in the blood) and KEEPING IT CLEAN? Are we ever told how to walk in THAT today?? -To actually "walk" in the washing of the blood of Jesus? To be clean, to be utterly "Clean", to be EVERY WHIT CLEAN?? (-The most important thing in the world). Where is this in our gospel? Where is the transformed life? Where is the "FREEDOM" from sin?
We have lost it all. Our people very rarely repent. They often go for years without baptism (-meaning, according to Romans 6, that their "old man" is not yet dead - and so they simply cannot live a new life in Christ). Read Romans 6 sometime and ask yourself this question- "If I have not been baptized, then is my old life "buried" with Christ or not? Is my 'old man' dead or not?" -This is why the apostles always baptized people RIGHT AWAY.
And then we often fail to get people 'FILLED' with the Spirit straight away too - let alone "walking" in the Spirit. Tell me, how are we supposed to have 'HOLINESS' if we have not even been filled with the "HOLY" Spirit? Why do you think that the apostles always made sure that people became Spirit-filled RIGHT AWAY??
Most of us do not even have "Day One" Christianity as it was in the Bible. We have lost the gospel and we don't even know it. We have invented a gospel of 'convenience', a gospel without the cross, a gospel without holiness or the power to live a Christian life. -A gospel that shows no-one how to get a CLEAN CONSCIENCE or how to WALK IN IT. I want to say to you that such a gospel is NO GOSPEL AT ALL. And we should be ashamed of ourselves for preaching such a travesty.
No wonder today's church is lukewarm! The gospel is the building block upon which everything else is built. Without it we have nothing - literally nothing. It affects all that we do and all that we are. To lose it is simply the worst disaster imaginable. So how on earth can we get it back?
Well, we have spoken about "Revival" many times on this site. But what a lot of people don't realize is that the 'RETURN OF THE GOSPEL' was often the key that brought about the Great Awakenings - the GOSPEL being restored and preached in power. The longest-lasting Revivals always involved the "RETURN OF THE GOSPEL". That is precisely what was happening with the preaching of Wesley, Finney, Whitefield, etc. And it has to happen again today!
So "Revival" to me is far more than just a fleeting visitation. It is to be the long-lasting restoration of the true gospel - and thus the true church also. If we want true Christianity restored today, we must first see THE GOSPEL restored. It is the most important key to it all. O God, send such a Revival! BRING BACK THE GOSPEL and those who will PREACH IT! O God, we cry out to you in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
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