2Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Not only believing the gospel, but obeying it is essential to salvation. Those who do not obey the gospel shall suffer the vengeance of God and be punished with everlasting destruction. This is a fearful and dreadful consequence for disobedience, but it is the justice of God. For those who are saved, there is rest in knowing that God will take vengeance upon the disobedient. For those who disobey the gospel "there is hell to pay."
Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. blips 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Christ Jesus Himself learned obedience by the things He suffered. Thus He became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him. He is worthy to be obeyed because He humbled Himself and learned to obey. So it is that, when Jesus tells us "Ye must be born again." (John 3:7) and that "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24), we must obey Him or take everlasting damnation.
1Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. God's word is the gospel. We are saved by God's word, both the living and the written. John 1:1 & 4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. We are saved by God's word or damned by it, based upon whether we have chosen to obey of disobey the gospel.
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, It is through the word of truth that we hear the gospel of our salvation. 1Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thoBlipnd instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. We are begotten through the gospel. John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. We are sanctified by God's word.
Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: We are made fellowheirs and partakers of the blessings in Christ by the gospel.
2Thessalonians 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are called by the gospel. To disobey this call is to damn your own soul. This is why we are told in 2Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: Because Romans10:16 tells us, But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Obviously there is not salvation outside of obedience to the gospel in God's word. So, what is the gospel that we must obey. Since it is the word of God, we must look there for the answer.
It is described for us clearly in 1Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
First we see several things regarding the gospel in verses 1 and 2. You must receive it, and stand in it. You are saved by it. It is preached. (1Corinthians 1:18-21) Lastly, you can believe in vain! (This is part of the reason why an "only believe" gospel is so perilous.)
We also see the basic gospel outlined here for us by Paul under the
inspiration of God:
1) Christ died for our sins.
2) He was buried.
3) He rose again the third day.
4) He was seen.
5) He saved me! (Allelujah! Amen!)
Espebliplly note how often the phrase "according to the scriptures" appears in the above passage.
Next the gospel is ...repentance topiano coversd God, and faith topiano coversd our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21
Romans 10:9-11 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. It is repenting with heart, confessing with the mouth, and no being ashamed! Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the blip first, and also to the Greek.
1Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
The gospel comes with the power of a new life. 2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 1Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. As a dear old saint we knew used to say; "If you aren't changed, you better find out why not!"
It comes with the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
The gospel comes with much assurance. Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. blips 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
The gospel brings life and immortality. 2Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
The gospel brings suffering, reproach and affliction. 2Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 2Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (Philemon 13) 1Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. This is why we are told to count the cost before following Christ (Luke 14:27-33), and that we must take up our cross daily. Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
There are several things that the gospel does not include:
1) Works. Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; The works of the law are not part of salvation. 1Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. The law is to make sin exceeding sinful. Romans 7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. The gospel is for those ready to repent. The law has NO part in the actual saving process. Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
2) Baptism. 1Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. Baptism is an ordinance that we are to do after we have obeyed the gospel. It shows what has happened to us. It is not part of the gospel to bring us salvation.
3) Man's tradition and wisdom. Man's wisdom: 1Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Man's traditions: 1Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. Colossians 2:8 Bepiano coverse lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Some traditions and human wisdom that destroy the gospel:
- Roman Catholic Mass and infant baptism (along with other doctrines).
- Reformed (Calvinist) infant baptism.
- The Church of Christ baptism for salvation (in their church).
- Charismatics "if you get the gifts, you are saved."
- Mormons demand of belief in the "Book of Moron," baptism in their church.
- Jehovah's Witness working for salvation and must join their church.
- 7th Day Adventists (and some 7th Day Baptists) keeping the law and meeting on the 7th day.
- Some Baptist Briders come close to teaching baptism in their church far salvation.
There are others as well.
Romans 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 1Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? Wrath and indignation from God in going to come upon all who do not obey the gospel of God's word! Thus it is of the utmost importance that we not only obey the gospel, but that we obey and preach the true gospel, not a perverted one! Both our own and other people's souls depend on it!
Many false gospels are being preached today, as they have been all along. Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. There are those who ignorantly pervert the gospel of Christ because they were not given the gospel correctly themselves. On these we should have compassion. (Jude 22) Others are corrupting the gospel of evil intent. 2Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. If they cannot be saved by fear (Jude 23), then they are doomed to the suffer the wrath of God.
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. We are responsible not only for our own soul to obey the gospel, but also to see to it that we preach the right gospel. Ezekiel 33:1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and piano coversn the people; 4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not piano coversning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not piano coversning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh piano coversning shall deliver his soul. 6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not piano coversned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of blip; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and piano coversn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to piano coversn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou piano coversn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Now, it is true that in the New Testament era we will not lose our soul for preaching a false gospel, but we will surely be held responsible to God for it! It is of the utmost importance then that we know the true gospel and tell it to others.
blips 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire. The consequences of believing and preaching the wrong gospel are clear. What about you? Have you believed and obeyed the true gospel "from the heart"(Romans 6:17)? What about your "Christian" friends and relatives? Have they? What gospel are you giving to others? Is it "the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls"(James 1:21)?
blips 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
graphics by mary van nattan