Monday, February 8, 2010

Someone Who Gets The Gospel Right

Do you remember my series "The Anatomy Of The Gospel"? In it I laid out the five fundamental elements (or five pillars) of presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

1. The Holiness of God
2. The depravity of man
3. The necessity of judgment
4. The work of Christ
5. The human response this demands

Over the last 2 weeks I have been giving an example of a false gospel courtesy of hillsong church who fail at this abysmally. Today I wanted to put an excellent Gospel presentation on display. Jeff Noblit is the pastor of Grace Life Church of the Shoals which is Paul Washer's home fellowship. He has a presentation called The Great Answer To The Great Question. I was so impressed I put it at the top of my website. Be blessed as you read through this and see if you can spot those five pillars (the Holiness of God, the depravity of man, the necessity of judgment, the work of Christ, and the human response this demands) as you read through:

The Great Answer To The Great Question

QUESTION: What is life all about?

ANSWER: Life is all about the glory of God!

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.(GENESIS 1:1 NKJV™)
Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; let the Lord be glad in His works. (PSALM 104:31 NASB®)
May the whole earth be filled with His glory. (PSALM 72:19 NASB®)
The heavens declare the glory of God. (PSALM 19:1 NKJV™)

In a very special and unique way, God created man in His own image to bring Him glory.

God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (GENESIS 1:27 NKJV™)

Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him. (ISAIAH 43:7 NKJV™)
Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples, give to the Lord glory and strength. Give to the Lord the glory due His name. (I CHRONICLES 16:28-29 NKJV™)

Man loves only himself and is constantly disobedient.

For men will be lovers of self…rather than lovers of God. (II TIMOTHY 3:2,4 NASB®)

The Bible calls this lack of love and obedience SIN.

We sin and fail to glorify God in our actions.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way. (ISAIAH 53:6 NKJV™)

Instead of loving and obeying God, man has followed the ways of this sinful world, Satan, and his own lusts.

…in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (EPHESIANS 2:2-3 NASB®)

Think of the ways we all fail to glorify God in our actions: Lying, stealing, gossiping, cheating, adultery, murder, etc. We glorify God when we love God and obey Him with all our heart.

In Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. (NASB®, emphasis added)

We sin and fail to glorify God in our attitudes. God knows all of our thoughts and attitudes.

The Lord knows the thoughts of man. (PSALM 94:11 NKJV™)
Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. (PSALM 139:4 NASB®)
Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me.” (ISAIAH 29:13 NASB®)
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. (MATTHEW 15:18-19 NKJV™)

Think of all the ways we fail to glorify God in our attitudes: Envy, jealousy, anger, lust, hatred, selfishness, etc. Man has miserably failed to love and obey God and bring Him the glory He deserves.

That is what Romans 3:23 means when it says, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (NKJV ™)

It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. (HEBREWS 9:27 NKJV™)
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. (REVELATION 20:11-12 NKJV™)

The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (MATTHEW 13:41-42 NASB®)
In glorifying God for His punishment of sinners, the people already in heaven cry, “Just and true are Your ways.” (REVELATION 15:3 NKJV™)

God is in every way superior to man; therefore, His punishment is greater!

God has glorified Himself through creation. God will glorify Himself through judgment. It is wonderful beyond compare that He has chosen to glorify Himself by saving hopeless, lost sinners!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (JOHN 3:16 NKJV™)

God has love beyond that of man. God has chosen to glorify Himself by saving us when we could not save ourselves. In saving us, He demonstrates the greatness of His love and forgiveness.

…that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. (EPHESIANS 1:12 NKJV™)

God's glorious love was demonstrated when He punished and killed His Son Jesus in our place.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ROMANS 5:8 NKJV™)
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (ROMANS 8:32 NKJV™)
But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering… (ISAIAH 53:10 NASB®)
He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (ISAIAH 53:12 NKJV™)

Jesus, God’s Son, took our wrath and punishment through His death on the cross. Then God raised Him from the dead, and He lives forever. His resurrection proves that 100% of the punishment for sin was paid.

…who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. (ROMANS 4:25 NKJV™)

God’s desire is to glorify Himself by saving us. A change of heart to turn from loving yourself and sin and to begin to love and obey God is called REPENTANCE. A new confidence in Christ to forgive all your sin and to be your new Lord (Boss) is called FAITH. REPENTANCE and FAITH are essential for salvation.

…how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (ACTS 20:20-21 NKJV™)

The Bible also calls faith BELIEF.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (JOHN 3:16 NKJV™)

If we repent of sin and have faith in Christ, we are saved.

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (II CORINTHIANS 6:2 NKJV™)

Do you feel deeply sorry and regretful for your sin and failure to glorify God? Do you truly believe Jesus died in your place, has taken your punishment, and will forgive you? Do you truly desire to begin obeying Him as the Lord (Boss) of your life?

Tell Him of your sin and disobedience. Tell Him of your deep sorrow for failing to glorify Him. Tell Him you now rely on Him through His death to forgive you and to save you from sin. Tell Him you now commit to stop loving sin and self and to start learning to love and obey Him.

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Kyle in Finland said...

Jeff Noblit, what a role model this man is! Please Lord raise us up, in our inner man that we might stand for you as this man does!

What a great message!

I was talking to a young single mother of two, tonight, about the things of God. And I've just realized we naturally covered all five "pillars" in our conversation.
The Gospel is truly precious. It is Good News for sure.
Thanks Cameron for reminding us.

gandalf said...

While I generally find the presentation very good, I must say, that I have to make a few comments:

In speaking about judgment and punishing sin I would prefer to God being righteous instead of being glorified. But that is only because I feel it would avoid possible misunderstandings about God's motives and how he sees punishing/judging.
Surely God is not delighted/pleased in having sinners, aka humans whom he loves so much, sent to damnation. That would be more like the portrayal of Allah in the Quran.

The other issue is speaking of "God's glorious love was demonstrated when He punished and killed His Son Jesus in our place".

Once again this can lead to serious misinterpretation, or, as others have called it, caricatures of the atonement.
Scripture is very clear about this issue in saying that "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (Romans 8,3). He did not punish or condemn Christ He condemned sin in the flesh of the incarnate Christ.

I also found the description given in a paragraph titled "The perfect penitent" in C.S Lewis' "Mere Christianity" helpful for understanding the issue. Its language is more philosophical than theological for he wrote in the manner of his learned profession, but not too difficult to read.

Anonymous said...

Opulently I agree but I contemplate the brief should have more info then it has.

Rick Lannoye said...

So, am I reading you correctly? Are you saying that God intends to inflict the worst sort of pain on billions of people, eternally, and that he will somehow be "glorified" by this act?

If not, then good! But if so, then I can think of one person who would take a huge exception to this notion: Jesus! He did NOT believe in Hell. Based on all that he originally taught about God's nature and the way he lived out God's message, he couldn't have!

I've actually written an entire book on this topic--Hell? No! Why You Can Be Certain There's No Such Place As Hell, (for anyone interested, you can get a free ecopy of Did Jesus Believe in Hell?, one of the most compelling chapters in my book at, but if I may, let me share one of the many points I make in it to explain why.

If one is willing to look, there's substantial evidence contained in the gospels to show that Jesus opposed the idea of Hell. For example, in Luke 9:51-56, is a story about his great disappointment with his disciples when they actually suggested imploring God to rain FIRE on a village just because they had rejected him. His response: "You don't know what spirit is inspiring this kind of talk!" Presumably, it was NOT the Holy Spirit. He went on, trying to explain how he had come to save, heal and relieve suffering, not be the CAUSE of it.

So it only stands to reason that this same Jesus, who was appalled at the very idea of burning a few people, for a few horrific minutes until they were dead, could never, ever burn BILLIONS of people for an ETERNITY!

True, there are a few statements that made their way into the copies of copies of copies of the gospel texts which place “Hell” on Jesus’ lips, but these adulterations came along many decades after his death, most likely due to the Church filling up with Greeks who imported their belief in Hades with them when they converted.

Bear in mind that the historical Protestant doctrine of the inspiration of the Scriptures applies only to the original autographs, not the copies. But sadly, the interpolations that made their way into those copies have provided a convenient excuse for a lot of people to get around following Jesus’ real message.

Apeleutheros said...

Rick Lannoye,

You offer some pretty flimsy proof texts and deny the authenticity of the manuscripts with no solid proof of it. You're depending on your own human notion of love and denying the holiness and justice of God, and the existence of hell which is perfectly evident in scripture ( whether Greek, Hebrew, exc...). I don't use this term lightly but universalism is putrid and rank heresy. I am concerned with the state of your soul and I pray the Holy Ghost would reveal to you the reality of the eternal consequence of sin and unbelief.

I was convicted and transformed powerfully by the power of God through His Word, and I assure you there is most certainly a hell. Not only does the bible teach it, but God's own Spirit made CERTAIN I knew it too.

Apeleutheros said...

Mr. Lannoye,

You plainly denied the authority of God's Word in order to make an appeal for your false reality. I agree that the truth about hell is a difficult truth to accept, but God has gone to great lengths to ensure we have the truth and Hell is real.

You are forced to deny both the sovereignty of God and the authority of scripture in your assertion.

It seems horrible that God would burn billions of people for an eternity, but in reality you have no clue how evil men are. It's obvious the Spirit of the Lord has never come to you if you deny the truth. You hold to humanistic hope and an unjust form of love that Christ never taught. It is abundantly clear in scripture God is both righteous in His judgments and merciful to the believing who repent and adhere to Him. He has provided every means necessary to be free but men love darkness more than light.

If God does not punish the wicked and unbelieving then I pray He would make a hell to throw me into because I simply cannot worship a lollypop for all of eternity.

I can never worship a god who is unloving OR unjust... He must be both or else He cannot be God at all.

truth mission said...

If you have a copy of the original autographs;please share them with us...but if not you will have to accept the scriptures as God in His keeping power has delivered them to us.Almighty God has strong views about distorting His Word and I ,for one, wouldn't want you to find out the hard way what Jesus meant when He spoke of a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Glenn Christopherson

Kyle in Finland said...

Dear Mr Lannoye,

Sir,I would ask you the question then, if there is no Hell, "Do you understan why our Lord Jesus had to die for ungodly men?"

A very simple question, perhaps?

Is justice ever wrong? I mean, here on earth, when the perpetrator of some terrible crime against humanity is caught and sentence is passed apon them in a court of Law.
And their jugdement is fitting to their crimes. No right minded person would be offended by the Courts decision and sentencing of this individual.
No, we would congratulate the courts, we would esteem them for their keen sense right and wrong, for their ability to follow the letter of the Law. We would praise them and declare that they have delivered the correct judgement.

In doing all this, we are giving "glory" to the those individuals passing judgement. And in this case, because the act of right judgement passed on the criminal was right.

One day when we are all gathered before the Great Judge of all the Earth, will He not do what is right?

When the hearts of all men are laid open before Him and nothing is hidden. When the fullness of our wickness is witnessed. The extend of all of our rejection and rebellion of His Righteousness is revealled.

Will not the Judge of all the Earth what is right?

Of course He will! And when he does we, (yes Sir, you as well) will declare that His Judgement is right and deserved. That His Justice is complete and perfect, lacking nothing.We will give Him His desired glory.
In His presense, we will understand the absolute crime of rejecting Him. And we shall hear "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.!"

Sir I say to you, He will be glorifed in justly judging and punishing the wicked indeed those who have rejected Him.
We know that the Great Judgement will take place, for it is there is Scripture, (Rev20:11-15)
Everything that God does is Good, or else He would not be God. The ultimate act of the Judgement of God is an act of ultimate goodness on God's part.

Rev 21:3-5 And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away.
5 And He sitting on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful.

Sir,your understanding of Scripture appears to be at fault.
And so I would ask you once again, "Do you understand why our Lord had to die for you?"
This IS the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! Because of Him you never need face the Wrath of the Almighty God, repent and believe, repent and believe!

Apeleutheros said...



Bull said...

Mr Lannoye,

I suppose that the number of Christians who believe in Hell is in decline. However, everything I know about Hell and who will go there and for how long, I have learned from the lips of Jesus.

Jesus preached hell. He preached it to His disciples. "Don't fear those who can kill your body and do nothing more to you. Rather fear Him who can throw body and soul into hell."

I am sorry to tell you that this is a Salvation question. To suggest that Jesus did not die an Atoning sacrifice for people and that it is unnecessary for belief in Jesus to enter the new Universe or the idea that unrepentant sinners will be annihilated rather than eternally punished is presenting a different Jesus and a different Gospel.

You urgently need to look at this again ... it is a Salvation issue.