THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 8-21-11
LESSON TITLE: “THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: THE RESULTS OF REJECTING THE GOSPEL.”
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children,” Ephesians 5:1. Are you striving to imitate your God as a faithful child in His service?
Thanks for joining us this Lord ’s Day. We are truly excited to have you with us today as we together break the Living Word of God. We are certainly glad that you have chosen this day, to give this time to our Creator - so that together we may Worship and Praise His Holy name!
As we come together this morning, it is my hope and prayer that we will each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before God. As a collective offering of those who love God, and who are willing to submit their own sacrifices before His throne.
So, at this time, as we turn our full attention to the reason we have come together, let’s approach our Father’s throne in prayer:
Now let’s join together in our first song of the morning. The name of the hymn, “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less!”
(SONG # 1)
As a parent I am reminded daily of the fact that my children are going to imitate and learn from all that I do and say. In fact, whether it be a good characteristic or a bad one, they usually pick up on it just the same. Brethren and friends, this reminds me of just how careful I need to be to make sure that all I do and say is proper and good so that when they are imitated it will be a positive lesson.
Now think of God as our Father! As a father don’t you think that God knows that His children will want to imitate Him? That’s why we read the verse earlier, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” Wow, what a challenge this is, what an encouragement this should be to make us want to strive for the perfection which is found in our Creator.
So, just how far must you and I go to make sure that our example is a positive one for all around us. Read with me from 1 Corinthians 11:1, there Paul boldly says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” How many of us can say that? Probably not many! However, isn’t this what we should be striving for? That others may be able to look to us and even imitate what we do, and thus by doing so they are doing the same as they would had they imitated Christ.
Finally, notice a familiar verse in Colossians 3:17. Again Paul tells us this, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus….” You see if everything we do is according to the teachings of Christ, then we can be sure that our example is everything that it needs to be. Furthermore, we can be sure that we will be found faithful in the service of our God and receive the great reward of Heaven in the end. Are you the example for God which you need to be?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. Our topic of the morning, will again deal with another lesson from our series entitled, “The Gospel of Christ.” The specific discussion of the morning will deal with “The Results of Rejecting the Gospel.” So please stay with us and after our next song together I will be leading the thoughts surrounding our main lesson of the day.
Now let’s join together in our next song of the morning. The name of the song, “Mansion over the Hilltop.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
Thank you so much for continuing with us today as we now go to God’s Word and consider yet another lesson from the series concerning “The Gospel of Christ.” For many weeks now we’ve had a very good discussion, I believe, in trying to understand more of what the Gospel is and what it means to us and really how we fit into the whole picture and the whole equation.
Really as we back up to the very beginning of God’s creation, we find that God has always given man a law to follow and it has always been man’s choice as to whether they would hear that law, accept that law, and then obey what God had to say or whether they might hear it and then even though they might understand and accept it to a point and then reject the Law of God altogether. Generally we see this by and through their disobedience.
Was it not Adam and Eve in the very beginning, in the garden, who were disobedient to God although they knew what God’s Law was concerning the tree that they should not eat, and they also seemed to accept that Law at least initially. But before long, they were deceived and they ate of it.
That’s also the trend we find throughout the Old Testament. God’s people also time and time again being challenged to know the Will of God, sometimes obeying it, but how many times do we read about how they rejected it? But it wasn’t because they didn’t know it. It was because they chose to turn their backs on God.
Then we find ourselves in the New Testament. We’ve studied in this series in the Gospel accounts themselves and there specifically for instance in Matthew chapter 4 we see that Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. Immediately after that it gives us the Sermon on the Mount that would be encompassed in that Good News of God. Not only what He had done, what He was doing and what He was going to do, but what we are supposed to do to respond to it. Do you notice how many of the multitudes follow Jesus and believed? But you know it is not too many chapters into the book of Matthew that we begin to find very quickly those who were jealous of Jesus, who rejected His Will and the Will of God and would refuse to believe that He was the Messiah.
Well you see the reality is that there have always been those who have followed God and thus they know they will be rewarded by God but there also have always been those who have rejected God. Perhaps the saddest part about our discussion today as we consider what happens to those who reject the Gospel of Christ is the reality that so many have done so. Maybe it’s not because again they just out and out reject God. Maybe it’s not because they completely out and out reject some or all of the scripture. Maybe they do believe in some of it and they believe in God to an extent and they want to in a sense have their cake and eat it too and do those things they like and leave those things they don’t like and they are in a pick and choose religion or they are more interested in following what someone has told them rather than what God says and you read to them what God says and they say, “Well, that’s not what I’ve been told!” Although God clearly has said it in His Word! And as we consider all of these things, the sad reality is that so many still in one way or another do reject God.
I want you to notice with me then this morning, that is the very fact of our main topic, as well as the very concept given to us in that main theme and passage we found in Romans 16. Right after we read about Paul saying, “I’m going to go preach the Gospel to all those I’m indebted to in the world.” Right after he says, “I’m not ashamed of it. It’s the power of God unto salvation.” Right after he says that, “You will have faith through it and you will grow and you will have those things.” After all of that, the very next thing that he goes into is a warning. A warning, verse 18, “on those whom the wrath of God is coming.” Don’t you find it interesting that right after he says that if we obey the Gospel we have salvation that he warns people, “Watch out!” because the same God bringing salvation brings wrath. Specifically the verse there says, “On the sons of disobedience.”
Guess what happens if we jump all the way over to Romans chapter 2 verse 16. It actually says there, “In that day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to (guess what) the Gospel. You mean someday Jesus will come again and judge? The Day of Judgment is coming? Certainly! We read that throughout this book and other books of the New Testament. And what is going to happen in that day? I will be judged by the Word of God or as it is mentioned here “the Gospel that Jesus Christ proclaimed.” So that judgment is coming. That judgment is coming when I will someday be set in alignment either in God’s Word or found to be in contrast to the Word of God. So what is it that distinguishes such? Well rather one chooses to obey unto salvation or whether one chooses the wrath of God unto disobediences.
And the key, my brethren and friends, is found back in chapter 1. Guess what he says after he has mentioned all types of sins of the flesh, whether they be of action or even of thought. Notice what he says in verse 32 of that text. He says, “Knowing the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things are deserving of death. The wages of sin are death.” When we choose sin, when we reject the Gospel and certainly the Gospel is of God and His Will and righteousness and when we align ourselves with the Gospel, what do we strive to do? 1 John chapter 3 says that we strive to practice righteousness for God is righteous and we are the children of God, but when we reject that path there is only one other path. The path of disobedience! The path of sin! And as you and I well know, the path of death!
Now not only in this text but we can turn to many other places and find the same implications given.
Look over with me if you will to the book of Galatians. There in the book of Galatians Paul starts out very quickly with the Galatian church in trying to challenge them to understand that they have a choice to know and to hear the Gospel of Christ that he has delivered to them or to respond to a different gospel. Do you remember what he said there beginning in verse 6 of Galatians 1? He says, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you by the grace of Christ to a different gospel.” But then he said, “Not really another gospel,” verse 7, “but there are some among you who trouble you and want to pervert (guess what) the Gospel of Christ.” You mean there is such a thing as the true Gospel and a false gospel? Yes! You mean there are those who would preach the pure true Gospel and there are those who would preach a perverted Gospel? Yes! And guess what happens to those who preach the perverted gospel and guess what happens to those who receive the perverted gospel. Read with me if you will there in verse 8. “But even if we or an angel from Heaven preached any other gospel to you than which we have preached to you let him be accursed.” Verse 9 he reiterates the very same thing. He says, “Those who preach a different gospel are accursed.” Would it not then be the truth that if one follow a perverted gospel that they also are accursed? If I can preach and I am accursed, certainly if I do it when it’s not of God, it as well would be accursed or contrary to the Will of God.
I did a little research on this concept of “accursed.” Really if we go back into the Old Testament ideas of that which was the accursed thing or the cursed thing, we find really those things that were banned in relationship to that which was holy of God. So basically we have the idea of that which is really removed from the presence of God or removed from that which is holy of God. Why? Because it is no longer proclaiming or living within that which is from God. You know when another time that word was used? In relationship to the spoils of war that Israel often would take, but they were told then to do what? Destroy those spoils. Why? Because those spoils were considered as that of the wicked one and therefore they were accursed. So you couldn’t bring those wicked spoils into a holy camp where God was and so they had to remain out or be removed from the camp of Israel. Well brethren, those among us who would preach a perverted gospel or would stand in or live in a perverted gospel are accursed or cursed and we can have nothing to do with them for they will destroy us and lead us away from our God.
Peter deals with a similar concept if you turn over to the book of 1 Peter and chapter 4. Here again this man of God challenges us to see that yes, we were to preach the Gospel there. (1 Peter chapter 4 and verse 6) It’s our job to be proclaimers of it but notice now down in verse 17-18. “Yet if anyone suffers as Christ, let him not be ashamed but let him be glorified in this manner.” Why? “For the time has come for the judgment to begin at the house of God and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the Gospel of God?” Then it goes on to say, “A righteous man will be scarcely saved, so what will then be the condition of the ungodly and the sinner?” If it’s so hard for me to do what’s right even though I love God and I’m trying to get it right, and I know His grace can save me, but if it’s so hard for me to make sure I’m right and have confidence and know God will save me, then how in the world can someone who just rejects Him be saved? Well you see it just doesn’t even make sense. And Peter here is saying that “judgment has come and if you do not obey the Gospel of God, judgment is upon those who do not obey.”
Another text I would like to turn to I think really adequately brings it home there again the book of 2 Thessalonians. There Paul is challenging the Thessalonian church in those things that were according to the righteous and those who would receive tribulation because they had troubled the church, in other words done evil things against it. Look what he says in verse 7. “And to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
What two individuals or groups of individuals will have the vengeance of God or the wrath of God (Romans chapter 1)? Those who do not know God and those who do not obey. Well that gives us a real precedent and need to get out and preach the Gospel, because if someone can be lost for not knowing it then it is my responsibility as a child of God to get that message out. But not only those who don’t know God, but those who do not obey.
Guess what he goes on to say in verses 9 and following. He says, “There is going to be punishment. There’s going to be everlasting destruction when the Day of the Lord comes (verse 10) and God will repay.” So we need to be those who have rest from tribulation because God loves us and because we’ve been obedient or we’re going to be those who have no rest because they have been those who have brought tribulation against the people of God and God Himself because they have not obeyed and they have rejected the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You know really what we have been trying to emphasize, what we’ve been trying to understand together, what we’ve been trying to challenge each other with is that God has promised a faithful, everlasting life. But the only way we can have that everlasting life is through the Gospel. I remember what John said in the book of Revelation there in chapter 14 and verse 6. He said, “I saw another angel flying in the mist of Heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth.” You see it was a Gospel from Heaven that should be proclaimed, that was an everlasting Gospel. Guess what our Good News is from God. The same! An everlasting Gospel!
But brethren, the only thing that will save someone is an obedience to that Gospel. We clearly know that the Bible teaches a rejection of the Gospel will do just the opposite. You know we all want to go to Heaven. So let’s live according to the Gospel of Christ. Let’s live as God has commanded us to. Let’s reject that which is contrary to Him. But also let’s be aware that if we reject God, He will reject us. You know we are all going to go to Heaven someday if we give God our best, if we put Him first, if we obey His commandments, and if we make Heaven our goal every day in life.
(SONG # 3 - “Fairest Lord Jesus!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. What a glorious time we have had before the throne of God. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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How sad it is that so many in our day are rejecting the pure Gospel of Christ. Therefore, may we all do our part to teach a lost and dying world what Jesus requires of one to be faithful. For there is salvation found in no other name or by no other path!