Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Message Needed

I haven't said or written much on Harold Camping's prophecy concerning judgment day beginning today for two reasons.  First, many other very capable, Biblical scholars have spoken on the matter much more clearly than I ever could.  Second, to me the whole affair seemed very trivial (like casting pearls before swine).  Nobody knows when this event will take place, nobody.  Scripture teaches us this fact in various places such as Matthew 24:36.  Therefore, any time anyone produces a "prophecy" or "revelation" concerning such events, there's no reason any Christian who understands his Bible should take it seriously.

Over the coming days there are many possibilities as to the outcome of this false prophecy.  The "prophet" may appear and claim he was "slightly off" on the date and set a new one.  Or, he may claim he misunderstood and the date was right only judgment has begun in the spiritual realm (perhaps those already dead are being judged and the date for those on the earth is just a little further out on the calendar!).  But my prayer, as the pastor of a local Baptist church, is for my folks not to pay heed to such nonsense.  Instead, I exhort my sheep and all born again Christians everywhere:  do not share false revelation with the world, rather, share true revelation, the true and clear message God has chosen to reveal to us, namely, the Gospel!

1.  Because of Adam's sin, everyone is conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12-14), do sin (Romans 3:9-18, 23), die as a result of sin (Romans 6:23), is under the condemnation and wrath of a just and holy God (Romans 5:18a; John 3:36), and is one heartbeat from eternal punishment in Hell (Matthew 25:46; Matthew 5:29-30; Revelation 20:15). 

2.  But God, rich in love, grace, and mercy, has made a way of escape through the ministry of His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He was born of a virgin (Luke 1:34-35), lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22), gave His life as a substitutionary, atoning, propitiating sacrifice in the place of those given to Him by the Father (1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 10:12; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:24-26; John 10:14-18), and was raised from the dead as evidence of God's acceptance of His ministry (1 Corinthians 15:1-28).

3.  God, through His church, now calls all sinners to receive this great message, this good news, this Gospel by repenting (turning from) their sins and believing Christ (trusting your eternal soul to Him) (Mark 1:14-15; Acts 16:31; Acts 17:30; Romans 10:9-10,13; Ephesians 2:8-10).

4.  Jesus Christ is the only hope for any and all men.  He is the only way to forgiveness, justification, sanctification, and glorification (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:18-21; Romans 8:9-17).  No other figure in history or mythology can provide a means of escaping your condemnation, future judgment, and eternal punishment.  NO ONE.

5.  Those who do turn from sin and trust Christ for their salvation will absolutely escape that great judgment and subsequent eternal punishment.  Instead they will receive an eternal life of peace and joy (Revelation 20:11-15; John 3:16).

This message of good news HAS been revealed by God to us!  Therefore, let us forget "prophecies and revelation" not found in God's Word and let us share true revelation with a lost world which needs THIS word.