The Complicated Gospel

Could it be that well meaning people, like theologians, pastors, elders, preachers and teachers and others, have unintentionally made becoming a Christian much more difficult than it is? I think so.

The gospel of John says that Jesus’ own people rejected him, but some people received him. And it’s pretty simple.

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)

Read the passage above carefully and see what it says. You will see that the “who” did receive Him are the same “who” that believed in His name and they are the same ones He gave the right to become children of God. And it is that same group of “who’s” who were born again, not by human will, not by man’s ingenuity, but of God. They simply received him by faith which in another way of saying by believing.

In John chapter 11 is the story of the death of Jesus’ friend Lazaras and Jesus talking to Lazaras’ sister in her time of frustration and grief. Jesus made a radical statement.

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26) Well, do you believe this?

The thief on the cross, the woman at the well, the woman taken in adultery, Zacchaeus, the tax collector who begged God for mercy, and on and on, Jesus gives grace and mercy to those who, the best they know how, trust him to be their Lord.

To millions of rank sinners God has granted forgiveness of their sins and made them his own people. Millions who have never seen a gospel tract, seen a verse of the Bible, never been to Bible school, never heard a gospel sermon, never been baptized, never been confirmed, never joined a church, never had any rites or rituals, but in God’s mercy they learned enough about Jesus the Son of God that the best they knew who they trusted Him, they believed upon Him.

In the gospel that bears his name, John, the elder statesman said this in the 20th chapter.

Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that were not recorded in this book, but these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you might have life in His name. (John 20:30-31)

It’s pretty simple. Believe and live or refuse to believe and perish.

This was the message Jesus gave to the most religious man in the town. Believe and live forever or go on in your unbelief and perish.

Sinners all, religious and not religious, moral, amoral or immoral, everyone needs Jesus.

Maybe we should talk more about him and less about everything else.

In Christ,


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