What The Lord Said To Me Today
Preaching The Gospel To Christians

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Why would the Lord direct his servant to preach the gospel to Christians? That is what my pastor asked me to do tonight. As I began to prepare this afternoon, I asked the Lord that question.

I have preached the gospel quite a lot: in prisons and jails, on the boardwalk at Hollywood, FL beach, and in the ghetto at food distributions outreaches, at outdoor amphitheatres and in parking lots. Always, there have been a good number of people present who never have attended church and who did not know Christ. Why would God have his servant preach the gospel to people who are already saved?

The Lord gave me three reasons: 1) People may have heard a gospel that was not a full presentation or it contained additions that made it another gospel, 2) People are easily drawn away to other gospels and 3) People need to be reminded on the prophetic elements of the gospel that have not yet been fulfilled.

Most people are aware of the Hebraic meaning of the word gospel-good news. Most are not aware of it's English root meanings. The word gospel is derived from the word good, which in English came to be derived from God. Hence good and God are synonymous in ancient English. So, it is good (God) plus spell (tale). Hence, the word gospel refers to a God tale. The full meaning is "the story concerning God".

For the gentiles, the good news was the only news they had received concerning God. Their concept of God, prior to that, was only what could be concluded from pondering the created elements, or what could be imagined by man or demon. The story concerning God, as it came to them through God's chosen vessel Paul, was very simple: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, worship him as the Lord God, be baptized in his name, and walk in love toward the others who were following Christ, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. There were only a couple of other rules for Christian living that were given in Acts 15. But from the beginning, the gospel was not always preached in it's fullness or with total accuracy.

The bible describes incomplete presentations of the gospel. Acts 8:14-17 explains an instance when those who believed in Samaria had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, but it required a visit from the apostles for the Holy Spirit to be given. Acts 18:24-26 tells the story of Apollos, who knew the scriptures, and was preaching, but he knew only the baptism of John. Pricilla and Aquila heard him, invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. Acts 19:1-6 describes Paul's initial experience at Ephesus where he met some believers who were only acquainted with the gospel of John's baptism. They had not received the holy spirit either.

So, it has always been quite common for the gospel to be incompletely presented, with the expected baptism of the Holy Spirit not always immediately accompanying the initial preaching, belief, or baptism in water.

People may also come into our churches who have acquired an understanding in a Catholic Church or some cult, where works are added to the justification by faith. There needs to be a preaching of the cross of Christ in the church, so that all are woven together in the unity of the faith.

The second reason why we need to preach the gospel to Christians is that they are so easily drawn away to other gospels. Look at Galatians and Romans. The word "gospel" is used most often there, and the gospel of Christ is most clearly explained in these two epistles. Galatians 1:6 records Paul's reaction as he wrote that "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel."

We are like that too. We easily are drawn away from the simple gospel of repentance and remission of sins through the atoning work of Jesus Christ and His cross. With the Galatians, it was circumcision that was being taught as being required for salvation. To the Colossians, Paul warned about Sabbath Keeping and the keeping of festival days, which were being taught as law. For us, we fall prey to those who teach that those who are good will go to heaven, even if they ignore Christ. The Pope recently showed the depth of his true apostacy by making this statement. Mormons knock on doors with a doctrine of faith plus deeds as a requirement for salvation, but we are told in the true gospel that it is by faith that we are saved, not by works, so that no man may boast. It is important that we contend earnestly for the once delivered faith.

People need to be reminded of the prophetic elements of the gospel that have yet to be fulfilled. We have recently discussed the third day promises given through the prophet Hosea, but there are others. Acts 3:21 says that at some future day, God will bring the restitution of all things. This means that presently, some things need to be restored. Hebrews 2:1 says that everything has been placed under the feet of Jesus, but we do not see everything put under His feet. Daniel 2:44 tells us that the Kingdom of God shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. We clearly do not see all earthly kingdoms yet broken in pieces, but we know it will come. We know that before Jesus removes His church from the earth, the ministers of Christ will do greater works than he did, which is almost unimaginable in our present condition. Yet, we hear reports of these types of events beginning to break forth: 200 resurrections of the dead in Mexico, for example.

Yes, we should never pull ourselves away from the pure and simple gospel that will save the literate as well as the illiterate. We are not saved by what we know, but who we know. And the true gospel must never be stripped of the preaching of repentance of sins and remission of same. Just as Paul chose to think and speak on nothing but the cross of Christ in Corinth, after he had departed from the wisdom and debating of the Athenians, we too must always make frequent trips back to our roots in the pure gospel of Christ crucified.

If it were not for the miraculous, atoning sacrifice of the cross of Jesus Christ, I would not be here!

Stephen L. Bening
a servant and prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ

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