The Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is very simple and open to all people. But Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people have been shut out, told by many mainstream churches, that we cannot be Christian. Their version of Christianity is not the same as the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been added to and loaded up with rules, requirements, dogma, rituals, formalities, interpretations and ideology…by man.
Being a Christian today is conflicting, defies common sense and is burden-some. Yes there are those who want to dabble in the hearts and minds of Christians resulting in guilt, fear and doubt creating Christians who are weak, self-centered, judgmental, unloving and hypocritical.
Different denominations have different focuses.
So many churches center on God's intolerance of sin, creating Christians who try to keep themselves clean and who regularly point out the sins of others...which means...they won't be loving or serving anyone outside of their circle anytime soon.
Some churches preach fire and brimstone to scare their members to Christ and keep them in line. But the person who fears damnation spreads that same Gospel of fear to others, creating members who are afraid of God and only seek self-preservation...they misunderstand grace, forgiveness and love.
Ministers of the Prosperity Gospel teach their followers to seek the “Abundant Life”. Instead of "What can I do for God"...it is "What can God do for ME." They reason that if you are good, God will bless you with wealth. I guess then that all those poor Christians around the world are just very bad, sinful people. A terrific gospel for the ME Generation.
Some churches preach that you cannot be saved if you don't speak in tongues....they want PROOF. But those who don't speak in tongues believe something is wrong with their faith. They must not be right with God.
Other churches manipulate their members for political reasons saying that if they don’t vote for certain political candidates, they are sinning.
What about churches that seek to stop illegal immigration, even though the Bible clearly speaks of welcoming the stranger?
And many teach that if you are NOT against gay marriage, evolution or whatever hot button issue of the moment...then you are AGAINST God.
This is all NONSENSE.
These are concepts that have been ADDED to the Gospel, and for some churches ABSOLUTE REQUIREMENTS, inserted by individuals of power to manipulate the thoughts and behavior of common people. Even in the early days of Christianity, Paul continually fought the churches who wanted to reinstate circumcision, bring back the Old Testament Laws, and return to working your way to salvation either by merit or birth. Yes, some churches didn’t like that God gave GRACE to just everyone.
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! - Galatians 1:6-9
Boy, that was back then! Think about now 2000 years later, how many human run churches have piled up changes upon changes onto the Gospel through the centuries of church policies, beliefs and dogma. So many people blindly just follow what their churches tell them. Followers who do not question them are indeed as sheep and many have been led astray.
“For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.” – Matthew 24:24
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, translated as the Good News, is ONLY about how much God loves you and has given His Son Jesus so you can come back to Him. The Gospel is about the Grace of God given freely to all who believe because of Jesus Christ.
But churches TAG ON their own version of how to live along with the Gospel of God.
The Gospel is NOT about churches, denominational differences, rules, rituals, regulations, dogma, politics, money or ideology. These have nothing to do with the Gospel or spirituality and have everything to do with religion. Church requirements for Christian living are centuries of human additions to the Gospel. And many ministers and pastors manipulate their church members into believing that their added doctrine is part of the Gospel. That if you don't go along with every word they say, you will lose your salvation as well.
Faith in God and faith in the church are two different things.
In the past the church believed the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth. They believed slavery was OK. They were silent when the Nazis persecuted the Jews. And today the church believes being gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender is a sin.
The church has been wrong in the past and will be wrong in the future. Yet it doesn't stop ministers from getting their members to have faith in their interpretations of the Bible, convincing them that they must believe exactly as they do, or God will condemn them. It is a scare tactic.
When Jesus says that anyone who adds or subtracts from this Book will be cursed (Revelations 22:18-19 ) it is because all additions, add more burdens. People who add always add in a way to keep others out and make it all a little bit harder. And anyone who subtracts takes away something that would make them accountable. How many churches seem to leave out and play down…GRACE. They are quick to point accusatory fingers of judgment, but never pass out GRACE, because that would mean they would have to let EVERYONE IN and ACCEPT THEM ALL. They want to LIMIT the people who can come in, like an exclusive club…so they add rules to keep out the riff raff.
They DON'T want to make the Gospel available to everyone.
That is why the church, as an entity, has nothing to do with the Gospel. Let me say it again, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the institution of church of any denomination. The “Gospel” is God’s invitation to you. The Good News is that God loves us and wants us back!
The “Gospel” and the “Church” are two different things. The “Church” is a group of believers who have congregated to interpret the Scripture and worship God together in a manner of which they somewhat agree, and yes it is vitally important for Christian fellowship, learning and community…BUT it still has nothing to do with the Gospel.
Churches have different interpretations of how to LIVE AND SERVE God which is why there are so many Christian denominations. They disagree so much with each other, they have split from each other in order to have their own way. Many denominations insist that all other belief systems are wrong except for theirs, and they insist that certain steps must be taken before God will accept you. They have more faith in their formula than in God.
You see, they DON’T TRUST the Holy Spirit to lead people to follow Him correctly, so they say you MUST listen to them.
The Holy Spirit speaks to each Christian in that small quiet voice showing us what is right. But some churches try to get into our heads and override the gentle loving voice of the Spirit and replace it with THEIR voice of fear and judgment.
God is NOT found in a formula or following a set of requirements or joining a church. God can only be found by a person whose heart is pure, humble and seeking Him; something which the Church has no control over, because they cannot see into anyone's heart. They can't tell who is saved and not saved...so they set up procedures that each person has to pass to PROVE themselves, so they can tell who is who. But regardless of your church denomination, if your heart is pure, if your heart is humble…God sees it and will guide you to His Truth.
The salvation of Jesus Christ is free, but those in the church want to make sure only the RIGHT people become saved. Because leaders in the church cannot see into anyone's heart, they insist on seeing public displays of faith. That is why many in the church will not accept gay people. They want to see GLBT people change to become straight...like them. They want to see the proof.
But we know we cannot change our sexuality. We tried and it doesn't work.
This system of outward behavior is an easy tactic that some Christians use to FAKE their holiness. There are some Christians that attend church, tithe regularly, teach, lead and pray aloud and smile all the time, yet outside of the church walls, can be some of the most heartless, nasty, arrogant and selfish people you could ever meet. They act holy in front of each other, never letting other members see the real person lest they be judged. The Christian Act is EASY to perform and keeps everyone happy. That is why many Christians in a church may not really know each other very well. They pretend and hide behind the Christian smile.
But God seeks a humble and pure heart.
I have met so many Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Christians who love God and struggled with their sexuality because of the church demands. Yet they still love and serve God sincerely even without a church home. I have shared their pain and rejection and have witnessed their love for God. Christ indeed lives in their hearts.
"...for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."- John 4:2,24
God wants you. He doesn’t care that you do everything right, because that will take care of itself. But God knows your heart and your intentions and He sees that your heart is pure. As you grow in faith and come to enjoy and understand the wonder of living life with God, He Himself teaches you how to serve Him. He seeks a heart that is open and believes. He sees the difference between a person who joins a church for the wrong reasons and a person who hungers to know the heart of God. Though most churches differ in their worship, service and dogma, they do AGREE on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of God itself has nothing to do with church, church ideology or its people. You can be a Child of God and never attend church and be closer to God than any church member who has been attending for 30 years, because the Gospel of God is ALL about your relationship with Him, not the church. Being a Christian is between you and God.
Attending church is a community of like-minded Christians and is beneficial for a person seeking growth and support, but church in and of itself, cannot save you. It does not make you a Christian.
There are so many persons in church who have learned the church lingo and follow the routine, but have no relationship with God. It is surprising, but true. Serving God in your heart, soul and mind is what makes you a Christian. So though a church may preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, what happens after that is up to you. They cannot control God’s relationship with you, because it is ONLY between you and God, but they can influence how you will live out your faith.
Joining a particular church is for your personal beliefs, ideology, preferences, tastes and comfort. And yes there can be major doctrinal differences between churches, but going to the right church is something that you and God can decide on. Because in the big picture, the most important thing to God, is that you love and serve Him with your heart and love and serve His people.
So what is the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is an invitation to you from God, your Creator, to be in His family. The Gospel is an invitation to be loved by Him. He is inviting you into His Universe. When God created us, He wanted us to live in harmony with Him and all of Creation, but we rebelled. We wanted to do what we wanted to do. We were disobedient and went our own way. Our works and deeds were only for ourselves. We lost love for God and lost love for others. And that lack of love is what has ruined the world today. God desires each of us to love each other, to be good to each other and to share with each other. But instead, humankind wants to take for itself. Instead of love, there is selfishness and that selfishness leads to hurting each other: SIN.
But God still wants us.
In the past He sent messengers for us to repent, to turn away from our selfishness and to worship Him and again embrace love. But we would not have someone preventing us from being selfish. Our selfishness as a human race has caused pain, ruined lives, started wars, created fear and made the world miserable.
But these sins of selfishness could not go unpunished. God wanted to prove His love to His people, so He sent Jesus His Son to live among us. Jesus immediately showed us how God has always wanted us to live. Jesus healed the sick and fed the hungry. He forgave people who no one else would forgive. He befriended those whom everyone else had prejudice against. Jesus is the example of what God originally intended for us. But we liked our ways of living: to take, to be selfish, to hate, and to hurt others without being accountable. So we killed God’s son. But because of His death, Jesus became the sacrificial Lamb in our place. He took our sins…all the sins of the world upon Himself.
So when we accept God’s favor to us and accept Jesus’ gift of sacrifice and believe that He is the Son of God, God will forgive and accept us. Like an innocent person who pays for someone else’s crime, Jesus took our place on the cross and paid the price for our sin so we could live. By resurrecting from the dead, Jesus proved that He is indeed God’s Son and that His love can even overcome death. And if we believe in Him, we will not die but live with Him in His Kingdom. The Good News is that God has granted us Grace.
This is the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is available to everyone for FREE and yes, that includes Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people.
It doesn't matter who are you or what you've ever done. God accepts you as you are. It doesn't matter what your past is, or if you think you were the worst person on earth. God loves you and always has and He wants you as you are. Any issues you think you have...God will work with you on them to help heal you to make you the person you were always meant to be.
You don’t have be a Bible scholar, a lawyer, or an intellectual to understand that God loves you. God made salvation VERY EASY because He wants EVERYONE to come to Him. Whether you are a maid, a celebrity, an immigrant, a teacher, a housewife, a janitor or a homeless person, you can still understand that God loves you and hopes you will return His love.
You don’t have to do anything special. No church requirements, no tests to pass, no initiation ceremonies, no Bible study classes, no donations…He only wants your heart. You can accept this wonderful gift of God by just talking with Him wherever you are and when you are ready. God only asks that you believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God and that He sacrificed Himself for your sins. And He asks that you follow His TWO COMMANDMENTS: To love Him and love your neighbor as yourself (God's intention for humankind).
And how will
you know if God has come into your heart?
When you love, as He loves. Because it is that love that will change you and the world.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13: 34,35
"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." - 1 John 4:8
This is the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."- John 3:16
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." - Romans 10:13
© 2010 Edrick
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