Pulling Out All The Stops

The simple gospel of Jesus Christ (salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus)  is truly good news.  There were some in the region of Galatia who were, as Paul put it, “trying to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7, NIV).  They were adding to it by placing unnecessary burdens on the Gentiles who were turning to faith in Christ.  There were Jews who were telling the Gentiles that they first had to become Jews by circumcision before they could become Christians.  The Jerusalem council of Acts 15 dealt with this issue as well.  I love what Jesus’ brother, James, says in Acts 15:19 (NIV):

It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

I believe that when we place heavy burdens on people who want to turn to Christ, we make it more difficult than God ever intended faith and salvation to be.  We, as followers of Jesus, should be pulling out any hindrances to salvation that might possibly exist.  If someone wants to follow Jesus, we should do everything in our power to nurture that desire.  The church should be bending over backwards to get lost people into God’s Kingdom.  We should do everything short of perverting the Gospel by watering it down to reach those who are far from God.  Our primary purpose is to be a missionary agency to those who are dying in their sins.  Christ is the fire escape and we should be shouting from the rooftops (in word and deed) to tell people how to escape the fires of hell!  If we really believe that there is judgment coming (and there is), then the reality of the situation is that people we know who don’t know Christ will be found guilty and will be condemned to an eternity separated from God in hell.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is so simple and yet we can make it so complex.  Let us commit ourselves to make hearing and receiving the good news as easy as possible.

Galatians 1:6-10 (NIV)

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.


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