Getting Back to the Basics Like 0 Twitter Dr. A. Francine Green Follow Sept. 20, 2016, 10:24 a.m. in Religion Views: 845 Like us on facebook I do not pretend to be a leading authority on the condition of the Church. I love the Church and all that it represents, yet at times I am concerned with the message that is being preached today. The Church is not perfect, the Church can lose its way at times and get too focused on things that will not matter in Heaven. "Claiming to be a "Bible-believing church" does not guarantee that the Bible is faithfully being preached or taught." -Henry Blackaby After Jesus had been tested in the wilderness, He began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." He called His first disciples and "went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people." Matthew 4 When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He preached “the gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:14). The word “gospel” is derived from the Greek word euangelion, which means “good news.” So Jesus was preaching “good news” about the coming Kingdom of God. Throughout the New Testament, the word kingdom consistently refers to the rule of Christ in the hearts of believers, since, for the time being, Christ’s kingdom is not of this world.John 18:36 MEV Jesus’ message is also called “the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1), “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), “the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1), “the glorious gospel” (2 Corinthians 4:4, King James Version), “the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13) and “the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). While there is only one true gospel, each of these descriptions focuses on a different aspect of the same message. The gospel, or good news, of the Kingdom is the message that Jesus urges us to believe today. The gospel of the kingdom is the good-news message of repentance, redemption, and restoration offered by God to all who will receive Christ. Although grace makes this offer available to anyone who will receive it, Jesus warned that it would be very difficult to enter His kingdom and few would do so (Matthew 7:14). Since He is the only Being through whom we may receive salvation (Acts 4:12), we must heed His instruction to “repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). The gospel of the kingdom is the news that there is freedom from our slavery to sin if we will repent and turn to God (Romans 6:18–19). Those who receive the gospel of the kingdom become citizens of heaven and are freed from bondage to this world (Galatians 4:3–9). Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Are we preaching another gospel? Since teaching "another" gospel comes with being accursed and leads God's people astray, then this is a questioned that needs to be considered. It seems that much of what is being taught in mainstream churches today is "another" gospel. During a time of prayer, it came to me that we hear very little taught in our churches today about “The Beatitudes.” As a new believer, I hungered and thirsted for truth so I became a student of the Scriptures. My desire was and still is to know how to live out my spiritual life and my daily walk with the Lord according to His purposes. Many in our congregations are Biblically illiterate and malnourished. When was the last time you heard a message on the “Beatitudes” or “Salvation” or “Grace” or "Holy Spirit." And Lord for forbid if we preach about sin or our sin nature. OMG, people would be ready to stone the Pastor. Why isn’t this being taught in many churches today? It’s time to wake up! I am of the belief that what was spoken of in the New Testament is occurring today, we would be wise to examine our belief system in light of Jesus’ mission while He was here on earth... this may be a painful process, but a necessary one that requires re-examining what we think we know. At times I cringe through some of the messages ministered in churches today whether from the pulpit, television or Internet. It is not that we don't understand the basic tenets or essential doctrines of Christianity necessary to live a balanced Christian life or is it? In many churches you have new believers, middle of the road believers, and non-believers. I wonder if people leave church after the service is over feeling empty…. At times I thought I may have been wrong or too harsh. What I’ve come to realize is that the struggle is related to the call, not because I’m being judgmental. Being a pillar in the local church and someone the pastors can count upon is very important to me, yet my first commitment is to Jesus Christ! Consider this for a minute: what if you were taught and believed and were now preaching "another" gospel and didn't know it? Wouldn’t that be important to discover? Would Jesus approve of some of our messages? Wouldn't you want someone to lovingly pull you aside and share with you the truth that would set you free? That is why I writing this to speak the truth in love and encourage the Church even though the "truth hurts." I believe God's desire is to bring change. As a minister of the gospel, I pour my heart and soul into everything I do, and I assume you are doing the same. I am not challenging your motivation, your dedication, or your labor of love. What I hope to do is help you discover whether or not you are believing and preaching "another" gospel. The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to, “Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (MEV) C. H Spurgeon wrote in a sermon, “Rightly dividing the word of truth” is our authorized version, but we leave it for a little to consider other renderings. Timothy was neither to mutilate, nor twist, nor torture, nor break in pieces the Word of God, nor keep on the outside of it, as those do who never touch the soul of a text, but rightly to divide it, as one taught of God to teach others. The Word of God is not committed to God’s ministers to amuse men with its glitter, nor to charm them with the jewels in its hilt, but to conquer their souls for Jesus! If he does not drive you to this—that you shall either willfully reject, or cheerfully accept Christ—he has not yet known how rightly to handle the great “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH NO. 1217 Paul admonishes the Galatians for deserting the gospel of grace and turning to another gospel. Galatians 1:6-9 These are pretty powerful words. If the Apostle Paul had to admonish the Galatian church, for turning away from the gospel message of Jesus Christ to to a different gospel, the Church today would benefit to examine its message. The Bible also says that a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching and instead will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.… “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Paul instructed the Corinthians ".... if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might submit to it readily enough." 2 Corinthians 11:2-4 We are each responsible to “prove things and hold fast to what is good.” In a time when so many voices are clamoring for our attention, we would be wise to be more like the Bereans. The Bereans not only received Paul’s message, they searched the Scriptures for themselves. “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11 Notice they searched the Word every day! Romans 13:11 says, "Furthermore, knowing the time, now is the moment to awake from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed." It would behoove us as "ministers of the gospel" to discern the signs of the times as the Sons of Issachar, "those having understanding of times and what Israel should do," (1 Chronicles 12:32) and re-examine the message we are preaching! God bless, Published by Dr. A. Francine Green Share Mail Messenger Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Comments Related Article Religion Why Are Africans So Religious? Religion self hug Religion Who's Got the Good?