In a Christian world where preachers and teachers stand in front of large crowds of people in nice suits and beautiful buildings I can tell you Christians are less knowledgeable than ever. How can I say this? There are several reasons but I’ll mention just this reason today. People sit in churches all across America and listen to “preaching” every Sunday and CAN’T tell you what the gospel is. As we worked on our new building this past week, we had the opportunity to talk to a young man in his 20’s and I personally asked him what the gospel is. More specifically, how is a person saved today. This young man who was well spoken and knowledgeable of the Bible could not tell me how a person can know that they are saved. If I told you the type of denominational churches he had attended or visited in the past you all would know them. How can it be that this young man can have attended churches in his lifetime that most would call “fundamental” or even “Bible believing” churches and he DOES NOT know the gospel? How is this possible? I tell you this, it’s not his fault. Most Christians trust their preachers and teachers too much. As you know, I tell you to be skeptical of what you hear from anyone. I tell you find out for yourself. I tell you that you will give account of YOURSELF. Stop trusting your eternal destiny to a preacher that was trained at seminary to use the Bible to defend his chosen denomination. This is what seminaries do you know. We have failed to clearly explain the gospel to those sitting under us. Why? The failure to rightly divide the Bible leaves most Christians mixing the gospel of the kingdom given to ISRAEL with the gospel of the grace of God that was delivered to the Apostle Paul. This leaves Christians saying things like we must “ask Jesus into our heart”. There is NO VERSE with this phrase in it in the Bible. And you don’t have to ASK to be saved, you need only BELIEVE. You can find scores of verses in Paul’s books where we are to believe to be saved. NO PRAYING REQUIRED. Just belief in what Jesus accomplished on the cross. The clearest verses in scripture showing how a soul is saved are found in Ephesians 1:13-14.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Notice the order of salvation. After you hear the gospel (Paul’s gospel of the grace of God) you put your belief and trust in what you heard. Once you believe and trust you are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Spirit Baptism). Notice this DOES NOT require asking, just believing.
1Co 15:1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
The gospel is simple and easy to understand when we follow our Apostle Paul. Salvation is trusting in the finished work of the cross, Jesus’ death burial and resurrection as sufficient payment for our sins. NO water, NO works, NO rituals, I challenge you, I dare you to walk around your church and ask people what the gospel is and I pray you don’t get blank stares and long awkward periods of time as Christians struggle to find words to explain the gospel like I have seen. Preachers, YOU are at fault just like I was. For following tradition over the clarity that rightly dividing your Bible gives. We have failed because people walk in and out of churches every week that can’t articulate how a soul is saved according to the Apostle Jesus sent to US, our Apostle Paul. Jesus is our Savior; Paul is the Apostle Jesus sent to us with the message that saves a soul today in the age of grace. It is this simple. Are you teaching it?
If there’s a question Christians wonder about it is; What is God’s purpose for my life? What a shame that youth leaders in churches across the world teach kids that God has some kind of “special” purpose for their life. Kids then pray and wonder what this “special” purpose is, “waiting” on the lord. So, instead of actually DOING something they blindly pray and wait. We have been falsely led to believe we need to find God’s purpose for our life. Let me help you understand the truth. God DOES have a purpose for you. It’s not some special purpose that only you can fulfill because God planned it for you prior to birth as Calvin would teach. God’s purpose for your life is not something you must pray to find because you can actually just read it for yourself. Your youth leader and your pastor were wrong just like I was for a long time. God’s purpose is two-fold. He has a purpose for the EARTH and he has a purpose for HEAVEN. His earthly purpose WILL BE fulfilled BY ISRAEL. His purpose for the heavens WILL BE fulfilled by the body of Christ. Read about Paul’s “cause” below.
Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
YES!!! God has a purpose! I hope you read the words from Paul very closely. Verse 11 states his purpose was an “eternal purpose.” YES, I understand this means it’s not all about YOU, it’s actually all about HIM. It’s all about what HE is doing. Why must we make everything about me me me? God’s eternal purpose for YOUR LIFE is for you to share the manifold wisdom of God. Your purpose is to share the mystery of Christ to the world. We should be operating in “boldness” and “confidence” as stated in verse 12 above. Instead, we want to wait around and pretend God is going to “show me” my “special” purpose. If you just read the 12 verses above and can’t agree this is unbelievably special then I’m not sure what else I could ever say to help you see the truth. As I’ve said before, STOP PRAYING about God’s special purpose and start doing it. To fulfill God’s “eternal purpose” you must let go of your tradition and choose to follow Paul so you can truly understand what Christ would have you do now. Friends, it’s this simple. Stop praying about what the Bible clearly teaches you. Rather pray to God how thankful you are he made this plan for your life so EASY to understand. Throw away all those books about finding God’s will. There wrong. Get on board with what God is doing now. Jesus sent you a spokesman and Apostle specifically to guide you into his will. Why won’t you get on board?
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul