A GOSPEL WITHOUT RELIGION?


"You CAN access the life of God without being
side-tracked by the pitfalls of  religious tradition."
Charles Pinkney

Introduction 

Searching for God

 Missing God, Getting Religion

 "The Gospel and the Hidden Gospel"

 "Disciples Growing and Partaking in Christ"

 The Mysteries of God

 The Seven Spirits of God,

The world of religion, what a world! Almost everyone is in their own particular place regarding a search for a personal belief system. How would we graph our place as a believer or an unbeliever? Do you know what you believe? Do you know why you hold these beliefs? Some have a belief in a god of some description, others may not. Some pray, some believe in an afterlife, while others have no faith in any god nor any life following this one.

There are so many religions inside and outside of Christianity. There are so many named gods and paths to appeasing them. Within these myriad forms of belief or worship some have developed a set of moral values in accord with these beliefs. Indeed many of these values promote peace and brotherhood toward the greater community. Meanwhile, other religious beliefs may generate hatred and intolerance toward those outside of that faith. Now some religions compel its followers to convert the world to their viewpoint and to, in a word, cause the whole world to believe according to that religion.

Religion is an admirable study for some, a mandatory doctrine for millions. Religion in general revolves around the belief in "spirits" as defined by Margaret Mead, the anthropologist.

The crusades were a demonstration of wrong Christian beliefs. The inhumanities done were done in accordance with a form of religion and not in conformity to the Gospel of Christ. The crusades and the inquisition were chapters in Catholicism that further demonstrated an abuse of power that is presumed when the rule of God on earth is assumed in the rulership of a political church on earth.

Christianity at the present time is a message of love, acceptance and forgiveness. Desolations and judgment against unbelievers is not to be exercised by believers in the true Gospel. In the Gospel there is an invitation to come freely and receive, partaking in the power of Jesus' love, and forgiveness. There is no sword to convert the unbeliever, but rather the demonstration of the supernatural power of God that converts the heart and pursuades each that there is a loving God in heaven who desires that no one dies under condemnation. "God so loved the world - - ," John 3:16 is the often quoted basic text. Condemnation never comes from the hand of a believer who is commanded to walk in the same love and forgiveness that Jesus modeled to all.

This true gospel must contain 3 features to determine authenticity:
(Litmus Test for All Correct Christian Doctrine: See 2Corinthians 11:4)
The gospel must present 'the right Jesus,' not an angel, not merely a prophet nor a good man, not a teacher, but the only begotten Son of God, the Jewish Messiah.
The gospel must present the 'right gospel', The gospel of good news declares to all humanity that we may come to the giver of life and receive eternal life and forgiveness freely, without the mediation of a priest; The true gospel is not one of works, spiritual disciplines and works of righteousness, Neither does is it combine faith plus works; At the time of this writing the door remains open to any who call upon the name of the Lord may enter this place of salvation and righteous standing. The features of this gospel of truth and understanding are detailed in the Holy Bible. Cults will present other optional sources or traditions which present there own gospel. False doctrine does not the offer gift of God through the cross of Jeshua (Jesus.)
The gospel must present 'the right Spirit'. There are many spirits in the world, some sacred and others demonic, profane and devilish. Spirits abound in the atmosphere of every nation and have affected human life for thousands of years. Evil spirits were addressed by disciples and apostles of Jesus' in Bible times. They are still present to seduce and steal from the life, liberty and spiritual potential of all, even a believer. The spirit of the world is a spirit of self exaltation and pride. Of course modern thought and psychology discredits spirits as a primitive and obsolete belief system. However, it is to be noted that Jesus the Messiah came to "destroy the works of the devil," Satan, the ruler of all fallen beings. It is God's purpose to restore the proper line of earthly rule under the dominion of Jesus Christ. In due time nations will recognize him as the Holy One of God, appointed Lord of all things. Evil or wrong spirits include, pride, rebellion, witchcraft, defilement, sensuality, gluttony, drunkeness, etc.

One God equals any other?
The broad-minded, ecumenical world would like to assert that any god is essentially at par with any other, or declare they all are expressions of the same sublime higher One.

I am now a Christian believer, but was not always so. Disallusioned by religion, sensing all of the superficialities, the hypocrisies, and the lack of any proof in the God of the Bible I went on searching and doubting, and trusting that I was good enough not to fall into condemnation in the event that my presumptions were wrong. I had heard the term "Good News" referring the Gospel of the Messiah Jeshua (Jesus). But experience in Christianity was only valued in a sentimental way. I knew the memories of a lifestyle in my childhood. During these days I yearned to touch and experience something that was real, powerful and persuasive. This, I believe, is exactly where so many seeking people are at today. Hopeful, but without proof that God is real and reachable. I was not taught that God was a reality to be experienced and the Gospel is the Power of God to effect human life in many profound ways outside of my religious experience.

The Gospel as the power of God, powerfully persuades us to believe, in a God of love who can impact human lives in remarkable life-changing ways that exist out of the realm of church life. This is no shallow tradition ruled religion, but knowing God who reveals himself as Saviour and King of the universe. And even more amazingly, the Bible proves to be entirely believable and consistent in spite of its detractors, who work continuously to discredit any belief in its accuracy or consistency. Now when I hear of a God who walked with man in a spiritually perfect world, I believe it; when I hear of a God who did wonders in the days of Moses or the prophets I do not doubt for one moment; when I hear the prophecies of the appointed men of God to declare the end from the beginning I have no doubt in the veracity of any of those words.

God spoke through prophets with inerrant accuracy to declare the Messiah and his mission to redeem fallen humanity and all these prophecies came to pass. Jesus as the lamb of God came to close the divide between God and humanity. The resurrection of Jeshua, as irrational scientifically unsound it sounds on the surface, remains the foundation of Christianity. Resurrection establishes the "Power of the Gospel" and enables any believer to partake in His divine nature.

Religions of the world vary in name and beliefs. Establishing worldly kingdoms as the launching pad for those beliefs is contrary to the Gospel. Christian religions, including, Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and most of the protestant denominations have distorted the simplicity of the Gospel greatly, making it formalistic and religious. Churches (Buildings with congregations) are now what people think of when we imagine Christian practices. When ceremony and ritual are the practiced, and where obligations or extraneous demands are taught, these are contrary to the original Gospel, e.g. the Apostolic epistles.



 Wheaton College, Christian Library

1995-2017