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The True Gospel

Introduction

All scripture references are from the NASV unless otherwise noted.

Two things have greatly concerned me over the years. One is the vast number of people in evangelical Christian churches that believe themselves to be born again children of God when, in fact, they have never truly been born of God. The other is the vast number of weak and poor Christians that desperately cling to their faith while they fail constantly, wandering endlessly in a desert of dearth and starvation, unable to come into the promises of God found in the Bible, forever tearing the scripture down to their level of experience. Both of these unfortunate conditions, I believe, are a result of a modern false and powerless gospel that deceives people into settling for so little, when God has provided for so much.

This false gospel is so vastly propagated today, that I find that very few have ever embraced the true gospel, and if they have, it is as they were taught it of God directly, often in contradiction to what religious leaders and "laymen" alike might endorse. Some, having embraced this modern hybrid gospel, are truly born of God, but live a powerless existence, far removed from New Testament Christianity. Others, though they embraced this gospel, were never truly born of God, and these lost sinners live undetected within the walls of the church because we have been taught for so long that if someone believes in Jesus enough to pray the "sinner's prayer", they are of necessity born of God. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Mat. 7:21 NKJV).

The more the Lord reveals to me concerning conversion, salvation, and the true gospel message, the more I recognize I don't yet understand. It seems to be a subject that is infinite in depth and expanse, and the more I come to understand, the more I see of its vastness. I could never begin to cover the subject in any great depth, but I hope to share with you some principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I believe the Lord wants to reveal and restore to His people in this hour of restoration. We are commanded to "earnestly contend for the faith that was delivered unto the saints" (Jude 1:3), and that's what I hope to do to some extent. I don't wish to contend for any particular doctrine, but for the faith of our father Abraham and his journey to know God, which the scripture holds up to us as the example of saving faith.

I have had what I suppose could be considered a rare privilege. I have lived two separate Christian lives. I have experienced personally both gospels spoken of earlier (the true and the false), and I have experienced the power of each. I was born again at the age of seven when I embraced the savior, and I had a true and life changing relationship with Jesus Christ. I experienced much of God, and lived what I believed to be the only Christian life available. It didn't really work, but it worked as well for me as for those around me. My prayers were rarely answered. I had no power to perform any of the signs the scripture promises will follow "those who believe": healing the sick, casting out devils, etc. I heard God speak only very rarely, and I was unable to go to Him at any and all times and get direction for any circumstance in which I needed to know His will. I was a slave to besetting sin, and could only relate to most of the scripture from a doctrinal point of view, rather than from an experiential point of view. In short, I was in great spiritual poverty, and was hanging on to a powerless gospel, yet unaware of this fact. Eventually (after twenty years or so) the plant died because it was planted on rocky soil and the plant had no depth of root (Mat. 13:3-21).

Later in life, I came into a new experience; a new realm I never knew existed except in the biographies of men long passed. It is from this perspective, this perspective of experiential knowledge of the way that works and the way that doesn't, that I wish to earnestly contend for the true faith and the true gospel message.

In subsequent articles, I hope to uncover for you some of the eternal principles of salvation. These principles are foundational, and may appear "old hat" to many in an hour when God's people are running after new revelation that tends to tickle more than establish. However, these foundational principles of the Kingdom of God are not mundane or shallow, but deeper than the ocean depths, and for those who truly discover these principles, they discover the doorway into all the treasured secrets of God's hidden wisdom. These principles are the gate to everything in God for those who discover, not the knowledge of them (as we think of knowledge), but the experience of them that brings true knowledge, for all true knowledge is relational knowledge. We only truly know that which we have experienced.

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full" (1 John 1:1-4 KJV).

In coming articles, I hope to share with you what I have seen and what my hands have handled of the Word of life, that you might have fellowship with us and with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. These things I'm writing to you that your joy may be full!

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