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