Rev. 3:14 As the faithful and true witness (cf. 1:5 ), Jesus brings accusing testimony that contradicts the church's boast, “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing” ( 3:17 ). Jesus' self-designation as the beginning of God's creation does not mean that he is God's first creation (cf. notes on Col. 1:15–17 ) but that he is the one who began God's creation (cf. note on John 1:3 ). In Revelation, “the beginning” with its complement “the end” is an expression for God's eternity (cf. Rev. 21:6; 22:13 ), and here it signifies Christ's sovereign rule over the created order. « Less Rev. 3:15–16 The waters of the nearby Lycus River were muddy and undrinkable, and the waters flowing by aqueduct from hot springs 5 miles (8 km) away were lukewarm when they reached Laodicea. Likewise, Jesus found his church's tepid indifference repugnant. Cold and hot water represent something positive, for cold water refreshes in the heat, and hot water is a tonic when one is chilly. Rev. 3:17–18 The spiritually blind, bankrupt, naked Laodiceans obviously had no resources to buy from Jesus gold or garments or salve for their eyes. They could “purchase” these necessities only by his grace, as the Lord had once invited thirsty spiritual paupers to “buy wine and milk without money” ( Isa. 55:1–4 ). Rev. 3:19–20 Like a loving father, Christ will reprove those whom he loves (cf. Prov. 3:12 ), calling them to repent before he intervenes in judgment. I stand at the door and knock , not as a homeless transient seeking shelter but as the master of the house, expecting alert servants to respond immediately to his signal and welcome his entrance ( Luke 12:35–36 ; James 5:9 ). To the one who opens the door , Christ will come in and will eat with him , a picture of close personal fellowship. « Less Rev. 3:21 I will grant him to sit with me on my throne implies that Christ will delegate some of his ruling authority to his people (cf. 20:4; 22:6 ; Luke 19:17 ; 1 Cor. 6:3 ; 2 Tim. 2:12 ). Premillennialists also see this as a promise of reigning with Christ in the millennium (see notes on Rev. 2:26–28 ; 20:1–6 ).
Mark 16:14-15 14 Afterward m he appeared p to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their q unbelief and r hardness of heart, because s they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, t “Go into all the world and u proclaim the gospel to v the whole creation. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 10:9-11 9 because, if m you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and n believe in your heart o that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, p “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:13-15 13 For t “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him u of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear v without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, w “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 16:25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God 18 For the word of the cross is b folly to c those who are perishing, but to us d who are being saved it is e the power of God. 19 For it is written, f “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 g Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? h Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For i Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ j crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ k the power of God and l the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 2 Corinthians 4:1-5 4 Therefore, having x this ministry y by the mercy of God,  we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced z disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or a to tamper with God's word, but b by the open statement of the truth c we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even d if our gospel is veiled, e it is veiled only to f those who are perishing. 4 In their case g the god of this world d has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing h the light of i the gospel of the glory of Christ, j who is the image of God. 5 For what k we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with l ourselves as your servants  for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, m “Let light shine out of darkness,” n has shone in our hearts to give o the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
32 o So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but p whoever denies me before men, q I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
The Problem Concerning The Gospel 2009 09 20
The Problem Concerning the Gospel
Have you seen this painting before? “ Christ at Heart's Door” by Warner Sallman
Jesus is Knocking <ul><li>“Many times sinners are told, ‘Jesus stands at the door of your hearts; you must decide to let Him in.’ This is based on a passage in Revelation (Rev 3:20) and the famous painting of Jesus at a door.” </li></ul><ul><li>“When you look at the painting of Jesus at the door, you notice there is no door knob on the outside; you have to let Him in.” 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s read Revelations 3:13-22 together. </li></ul>2 Ibid DeWaay, Bob; “The Demise of Gospel Preaching in the Modern Evangelical Church”, Critical Issues Commentary, Issue #73, November/December 2002
Did You Know the Real Meaning? <ul><li>“ The passage in Revelation about Jesus knocking at the door is given as an ironic rebuke to a church. The Laodicean church had become complacent and self-satisfied. Jesus would “reprove and discipline” those He loves ( Revelation 3:19 ). Jesus tells them to repent and open the door and so restore fellowship with their Lord ( Revelation 3:20 ).14 This was written to a church, not the lost. Its misuse in evangelism obscures the true nature of the gospel and the power of God. When Jesus saved Paul in Acts 9, He did not knock on Paul’s door to see if Paul would decide whether or not to let Him in.” 2 </li></ul>2 Ibid DeWaay, November/December 2002
Problems in Evangelical Christianity <ul><li>The Gospel is being: </li></ul><ul><li>Avoided </li></ul><ul><li>Ignored </li></ul><ul><li>Watered-down </li></ul><ul><li>Twisted and distorted </li></ul>
What is an Evangelical? <ul><li>“ The word “gospel” is a translation of the Greek work euaggelion from which we get our English word “evangel.” By definition “evangelical” means those who are committed to the gospel. Therefore, to claim that “evangelicals” are not preaching the gospel is a strong indictment.” 3 </li></ul>3 Ibid DeWaay, Bob, November/December 2002
Common Phrases <ul><li>Make a “decision for Jesus,” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Accept Jesus.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Ask Jesus into your heart.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ God has a wonderful plan for your life.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ What would Jesus do? WWJD” </li></ul><ul><li>If you believe in Jesus, God will bless your life with abundance. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Say this prayer and you will be saved.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ and then Sign this card.” </li></ul>
When Witnessing to Someone What Do You Prefer? <ul><li>Sharing your personal testimony. </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing the Gospel. </li></ul>
Witnessing to People <ul><li>It has become very common in recent decades for Evangelical Christians to prefer using their own testimony. </li></ul><ul><li>While there is definitely a place for telling friends and neighbors about the difference that Christ has made in our lives or telling them how we came to faith through the gospel…. </li></ul>
Why the Gospel? <ul><li>Well, frankly, my story isn’t really that relevant. </li></ul><ul><li>My personal story will not save anybody. The gospel is the good news not about what Jesus will do , but about what Jesus Christ already has done for them. </li></ul><ul><li>The gospel is what happened to Jesus Christ . It is His life story, not ours. </li></ul><ul><li>Our lives are grafted onto His. We were dead in our sins and become born again upon the hearing of the gospel. The Holy Spirit reviving our dead bodies in Jesus Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>What happened to us is the result of the gospel, but it isn't the gospel. </li></ul><ul><li>We must become less, so that Christ may become more. </li></ul>
Why is the Gospel Important? <ul><li>Mark 16:14-15 </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 1:16 </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 10:9-11 </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 10:13-15 </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 16:25 </li></ul>
Why is the Gospel Important? <ul><li>Nobody can be saved apart from hearing the Gospel. </li></ul>
What is the Gospel? <ul><li>In the beginning, God created everything. </li></ul><ul><li>God created humans in His image . </li></ul><ul><li>In Adam, we all rebelled against God. We became His enemy . </li></ul><ul><li>God gave the world over to the curse of sin. </li></ul><ul><li>All of us are born into the slavery of sin. </li></ul><ul><li>On our own, we are justly destined for Hell . </li></ul><ul><li>However, God in His mercy and grace , has always had a plan of redemption to save the lost. </li></ul><ul><li>While we were still enemies of God, God sent his Son. </li></ul><ul><li>Born of a virgin . </li></ul><ul><li>He lived a sinless life. </li></ul><ul><li>Although innocent, He was crucified on a cross for all of our sins. He was the unblemished, sacrificial lamb. </li></ul><ul><li>He was raised from the dead and rules today at the right hand of God. </li></ul><ul><li>Eternal salvation is available to those who do two things: </li></ul><ul><li>1) Truly believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior and your only hope. 2) Repent from your sinful ways. </li></ul>
How Often Do We Need to Hear the Gospel? <ul><li>One time? </li></ul><ul><li>From time-to-time? </li></ul><ul><li>Yearly? </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly? </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly? </li></ul><ul><li>Every Day! Throughout the day! </li></ul><ul><li>Why? To keep you. To remind you whose you are. It is the power of God. </li></ul>
They May Not Like What I Say <ul><li>1 Corinthians 1:18-19 </li></ul><ul><li>2 Corinthians 4:1-5 </li></ul><ul><li>Yep. Not all will believe. The best efforts of the best evangelist cannot make all believe. </li></ul><ul><li>Fortunately, that is not our role. </li></ul><ul><li>Our command is to boldy share the Gospel. </li></ul><ul><li>God will decide who will believe. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>The problem concerning the Gospel is that the Gospel is missing from our lives too much. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to hear it more. </li></ul><ul><li>We need to say it more. </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew 10:32-33 </li></ul>