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My Daily Life and Thoughts while in San Diego | List of Best Posts
This blog is where I express myself to the world or at least to those who might stop by to read what I post . Maybe God will use what I post (I am a Christian and this blog will have a most decidedly Christian bent to it) to good effect in the lives of my readers.

I may turn some of my posts into a book. I may cease blogging here altogether. Who knows. But for now..I am content to post away in this, my own little corner of the world.

Rather than reading through my now lengthy list of posts you may wish to read what I consider to be my very best posts or you can just read the posts that deal with a single subject category that might interest you.

Please know that I am open to any input on any topic I write about. If you have something to say about anything you see written here please....feel free to speak up in the form of leaving a comment or sending me a PM (private message).

And if you are in San Diego and wish to meet the one and only Carlos (that's me )...drop me a private message. I always enjoy meeting one of my readers!



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The Gospel...according to John the Baptist!

Posted 07-20-2009 at 01:13 PM by carlos123
Updated 07-20-2009 at 10:10 PM by carlos123 (Changed the title.)

This morning I continued my reading in Luke (a book in the Bible) and was particularly struck by the difference between how the Gospel is presented in many modern day churches and how it was presented in the New Testament, in this case by John the Baptist.

Today the Gospel has become to a great extent if not entirely in some circles, a feel good message.

Invite Jesus to come into your heart (terminology found nowhere in the New Testament by the way), God has a wonderful plan for your life, admit you are a sinner (who would not admit that they are imperfect), say this sinner's prayer sincerely, and voila! A Christian you will become.

Then find a good Sunday Church to go to and start attending every Sunday (while continuing to live for yourself the rest of the week of course).

Missing are the parts about the absolute wrath of an offended God against sin. The nature of sin and how it so permeates the very core of our soul and our entire nature. That it is absolutely hopeless to believe that we can save ourselves and otherwise merit the favor of a thrice holy God by trying to do better or that we can somehow make up for our previous offenses against God by being good. We can't even begin to be good enough to merit anything from God at all!

Missing is the need to bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance, assuming repentance is even mentioned at all.

The sinner is portrayed as someone in need of a Saviour which God is only too willing to provide in Jesus and which most are only too willing to accept at least with respect to intellectually acknowledging what Jesus did on the cross. But without giving themselves over to God in unconditional and complete surrender.

God is more often presented today as some sort of doting grandfather figure who understands and cares and will overlook our faults than a holy God who has power to cast into hell and who is offended by our constant sinning.

John's Gospel, which is really the New Testament Gospel, stands in sharp contrast to our modern day, seeker friendly, Gospel message.

The first thing it says about John the Baptist is that he came preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3).

He tied repentance intimately with receiving forgiveness of sins. Repentance being a turning away from sin and toward God.

John plainly told the people that God's wrath was hanging over their heads.

Luke 3:7 - "So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"

Luke 3:17 - "His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
John's Gospel was not a milktoast, let's everyone feel good about ourselves Gospel.

Calling someone a "brood of vipers" is pretty intense but it was the truth and John did not beat around the bush with respect to the spiritually deprived condition of those he was talking to.

Neither should we.

John also made it clear that religious association does not entitle us to the favor of God. That the favor of God is given to those who truly repent, trust in God, and act accordingly.

Luke 3:8-9

Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.

Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
Many of those who go to church on Sunday's think that by their church attendance they are winning browny points with God. When in fact God looks at the heart. Not the outward appearance or religious association. We must have genuine repentance and trust of God in our hearts. The kind that results in a changed life.

Do we deceive ourselves and take comfort in knowing God's truth as though knowing about it is the equivalent of putting it into practice?

Luke 3:11

The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.
Are we truly willing to lay all that we own and have and hope to be on the altar of God's will for our lives? To be used up by God in loving service to others according to their needs and not our own?

As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Do we recognize who Jesus is? The only begotten Son of God? Who was and is and ever shall be? King of Kings and Lord of Lords?

Are we willing to live in line with who we say we believe Jesus to be? To have our every action and thought reflect the fact that Jesus is our Lord and our God?

If we are not then we cannot righly call ourselves Christians. Not by John or by anything else in the New Testament.

We walk about deceived if we think that we can say a little sinners prayer, attend church every Sunday, live for ourselves and be forgiven by God for our sins and be assured of eternal life.

Becoming a Christian is to come to a place of allowing ourselves to be put to death. Along with Jesus on the cross. Such that His life can then become a part of us as God re-creates us from within as new creatures in Christ.

We no longer live for ourselves but for Him who loved us and gave Himself for our sins.

And we act on what we believe.

John's preaching of the Gospel stands in stark contrast to the generally watered down preaching of the Gospel today.

John would not have won any popularity contests. He would not have fit into most organized churches of today. His preaching would have infuriated many whom he would have pointed to as being hypocrites and worse. He would have called sin, sin and made no bones about it.

And we of today, who call ourselves Christians, who claim to follow the same Lord John did, must go and do likewise. No matter what it costs us.

In the case of John the Baptist...it cost him his head!

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