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?
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