I’ve heard preachers ask the question “is the Gospel ONLY about forgiveness of sins” like forgiveness of sin is no big deal. What is going on here? People seem to be more interested in therapy and self esteem than double imputation. A tree of humanism has been allowed to grow in the soil of a wrong view of God and a wrong view of man.
A Wrong View Of God and Man
So much could be said about this. But a clear line of distinction between a true and false gospel is this. Is God presented as Someone who we need to accept or as Someone we need acceptance from? Can you imagine standing before a judge and saying "I accept you into my heart?". And how about people. Is man presented as a victim or a criminal. This is not to say that some people aren't victims. But as long as we see ourselves solely as victims we will never see our need to have our sins imputed to Christ. As long as we see God as Someone Who places no demands on us we will never see our need to have Christ's righteousness imputed to our account.
Our need is forgiveness and not therapy. Our need is righteousness not happiness. Every day I grow older and older and by God's grace I am seeing more and more how stupid it is to chase things in this world. Set your affections on the eternal home. Get excited about the promise of heaven - Jesus said he is going away to prepare a place (John 14:2-3). He said there are many mansions there - I sleep well at night when the Creator of the universe is building me a new house. Especially when this house (my body) is starting to fall apart.
Death – The Ultimate Statistic
In the late 80’s and early 90’s Corey Haim, Andrew Koenig, and Kirk Cameron were all big TV stars on the cover of most youth magazines. They had access to everything this world has to offer. I've just spent two months in the city where they all live. During those two months I spent some time with one of those guys and the other two died. Corey Haim and Andrew Koenig died tragic deaths within three weeks of each other. During that time Kirk Cameron was interviewed several times on prime time television on some of the biggest shows in America to give his thoughts. Kirk said that the biggest revelation through all of this is that our day is coming too. I am 40 now and I am shocked about how many friends and family have died since I have moved to Denmark. I am learning that their funerals are more about me than them. They serve as a warning that my day is coming. They are a warning not to worry about "my best life now" but about Christ's death 2000 years ago.
I have often been criticized by professing Christians for talking too much about Christ's death on the cross. "Can we please move onto something more interesting?" They tell me that once you are saved it is time to move on to other more important things in the new life. Excuse me! What song are believers going to sing for all eternity?
And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth." Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" (Revelation 5:9-13)
In heaven we will sing about a murder. Why should we "move on" from the cross when we will sing about it in eternity. We don't move on from the cross - we need to grow in our understanding of it and our thankfulness for it. Yes, there are other subjects in the Bible - but they all point to the cross!
If we preach on love it should point to how God demonstrated His love by dying for us while we were sinning.
If we preach on faith it should point to our need to trust in Christ and His completed work on the cross.
If we preach on giving it should point to the One Who gave His life on the cross.
If we preach on marriage it should point to the Bridegroom Who went to the cross for His bride.
I am not going to "move on" to other things. I am captivated with Calvary - and I'm not moving anywhere. We do need to be seeker friendly, but we also need to understand that there is only One Seeker!
To be continued on Friday - What Does A Gospel Without Double Imputation Look Like?
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The Unexpected Sequel: “Trellis & Vine II”
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