“The Gospel and its Ministry” is a great read, because Anderson addresses many essential gospel terms and concepts. If there is any subject the enemy wants to distort, it is the gospel. Having written 150 years ago, he does not deal with current distortions like baptismal regeneration or open theology, but his clarifications are important for any age. Continue reading
- Do you ever talk about spiritual things?
- In your opinion, who is Jesus Christ?
- Do you believe in a heaven and a hell?
- If something tragic were to happen, do you know where you would go?
[If God asked, “Why should I let you into heaven?” what would you say?]
- If what you believed were not true, would you want to know the truth?
Every infringement on God’s presence around you affects your life! Whether it is an attack on the comment that Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, makes, or the removal of crosses across the country, “it affects you!”
In 1965 Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty when 15% of America was under the “poverty” level. His “deal” became a raw deal, because man will never solve his problems without the Grace of God. We now spend 668 billion dollars per year on 126 programs. We are still at the same level of poverty of 15%. God is not a part of the program. If you leave God out of any solution, you’ll have a temporary fix at best and a deceitful money pit of misery at worst.
When a repentant woman came into a dinner engagement and anointed Jesus’ head with a very costly oil of spikenard, the indignant criticized her for this seemingly waste of resources. Jesus told them to leave her alone and then said, “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.” (Mark 14:7) Jesus didn’t say, don’t help the poor, but you may do them good. He also said they would always be with you. In other words, we ought to do good by helping, but always in the name of Jesus, so Jesus is the reason for our help to them and they know the reason for the help they receive. But we should also know that money and resources in themselves are not the solution to poverty as the raw deal has shown.
Am I against the support the poor receive from the government? Not really. I believe the church should be the source of help, but the church is at a point, where it can hardly take care of its own. Unfortunately, the government welfare level of support has risen 41% in the last three years alone, an astronomical figure and still there is no change to godliness or upward mobility of the poor. The only true answer is a change of heart and seeking after God’s way. Money has become one of the “gods of this age.” People think money will solve theirs and the world’s problems. It never will and never was meant to solve problems.
The Gospel. What a remarkable word and truth. I often forget the Gospel power as I dig into many other theological issues, counsel with practical problems and serve the needs of people. Yet, the Gospel is the central theme of Christianity and should not be forgotten, set aside or choked out in dealing with the challenges of life. Milton Vincent has very simply drawn our attention to the beauty of the Gospel message by recalling 31 ways the Gospel must be central to our salvation and life itself. They remind me to keep things simple and not lose sight of the power of the Gospel to dispel discouragement and frustration. I appreciate the simplicity of his work “A Gospel Primer” as a breath of fresh air to set aside the concerns of this world to rejoice in the joy of salvation. His lengthy poem is wisely assembled and built on great principles of Scripture that will move your soul to praise God to His glory. It is a quick read, but should be enjoyed slowly for reflection and deep meditation.