Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Gospel vs. The Cheats of Modern Christendom (as explained by an orthodox rebel)

"And, behold, they brought Him a paralytic lying on a bed; and Jesus, seeing their faith, said unto the paralytic, 'Son, be of good cheer: they sins be forgiven thee.'" Matt. 9:2

Jesus' primary concern while on this earth was Sin, viz., its forgiveness and subsequent eradication: "And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins...that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:5, 8). Any religion, and especially any branch of so-called "Christianity," that does not begin with the fact of Sin and the fact of Christ's forgiveness of Sin has absolutely nothing to offer humanity.

There are many sincere yet misguided people out there who see planting trees and building hospitals as the cure-all for men's souls. It is never a cure if it leaves us still separated from God by Sin. Erecting hospitals and rebuilding homes are wonderful acts of love, but they can only touch symptoms. The true cause of all human misery is Sin, and no man can touch that. Only God can and only God did in the person of Jesus Christ.

The gospel is not reupholstered furniture, medical services, or a western education. Here is the gospel: "The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" (Matt. 9:6). If we do not offer mankind that first, then everything that we do offer them will be a mere insult added to injury. What good will all our best efforts do for them on the day of holy judgment (Heb. 9:27)? It is not our good acts or actions that save people. It is not even the mere love of God that saves people. What saves us is the love of God manifested in this particular way, that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). This is the gospel: there is no other hope but Him.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011

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