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Volunteers Please Step Forward

Have you felt like you were that guy from the story where the Captain asks for volunteers to go on a dangerous mission and so he asks for volunteers to take a step forward.   The only stepping happens when everyone else but you takes a step back and “there you are.”  You are a volunteer!!  During the Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys Paul established churches with new converts who were just learning how to follow Christ themselves and now they were leaders in the movement to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with their community.  Then some of the new converts get sidetracked and are following teachings that were contrary to the teachings of Paul and other called teachers.  Paul heard of some in the church at Galatia who had drifted from proclaiming the gospel to teaching other ways that people might be able to get saved and in Galatians 1:6-10 Paul says, “6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel [f]contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”  Isn’t it just like a bunch of immature believers to get led astray and allow a very worldly way of looking at the plan of salvation to take the place of God’s Way and try to change the purity of God’s Word to make themselves feel better?  Paul goes on to tell them that even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach a gospel contrary to what we have preached he is to be cursed!!  In other words, “nothing has changed.”

Time warp ahead to present times and the way that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been distorted by teachings of those wanting to change it to fit their understanding and lifestyle.  But, nothing has changed!!  The gospel being preached that is contrary to the gospel of the New Testament is a false gospel that does not create life change.  Some who have not embraced the purity of the gospel and have changed the rules need to be careful because God is going to protect that salvation and the fact is that only through repentance, confession, and belief can you receive eternal life.  Some may say, “Well, I go to this church and our denomination believes thus and so…”  Phooey!!!  Yep, I said it.  Phooey!   Any denomination that does not hold the purity of the gospel is off track and they are spreading deception.  Not to mention, the false religions that show other ways to heaven.  NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!  Just because the world around us is changing doesn’t mean the Word of God has to change.  Some may have a problem with me saying this, but like Paul said in verse 10 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.  I am not preaching to please men, but God.   So deal with it!

We have a daunting task ahead of us in proclaiming the gospel message and adding  false teachings in the mix is just what the evil one wants, but stay focused.  I was in a service leading worship in a fairly contemporary church and shared the message that all need to come to faith in Jesus Christ, and I noticed some of their youth staff laughing at what I was saying.  I guess they thought the words I was sharing were all passe’ and outdated.  If this message is outdated a lot of people are going to miss eternal life and heaven.  God never pulls punches with His truth and we should not either, so laugh all you want because I will not compromise the message of the cross, of redemption, of eternal life, of the need for life change.   When God said “who will volunteer to keep preaching the message of the cross” I guess I was the guy who stood there when others took a step back, but I like my position.  I am up front with God and that is the place where I need to be.

Keep on proclaiming and preaching Jesus and you will see people come alive as never before and guest what?  You will too!

The Pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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