Perhaps at no greater time in history has there been more of an “open door” to proclaim the gospel of grace to America and beyond.
The time is ripe for this proclamation! Consider the failure of “science” to answer the questions, “Who are we, where do we come from and why are we here?” Since before the first steps on the moon by man science, falsely so called, has tried to answer this question but the answer remains the same – “We do not know.” Our race into space has brought about many marvellous technologies but it has not answered these simple questions. Job’s question still remains unanswered… Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again?…
Modern medicine with all its advances still has to admit that the death rate is still one apiece.
The “theory of evolution” remains just a theory and is beginning to look long in the tooth even among those who cling to this tired religion.
It is a great time to preach the gospel of the grace of God!!
And as we do so there are some things we need to keep in mind lest the “proclaimers of grace” find themselves – fighting against God by letting the Message of grace slip.
Let us look at some of the things we need to center on as we “Proclaim Grace in the 21st Century”.
Holding Fast the Form of Sound Words: 2 Tim 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
If we are going to make a difference we cannot take the route of ease in the message that has been committed to us. We will have to hold fast the form of sound words when no one else is willing to do so.
Applying the Timothy Principle 2 Tim 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. 7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
If we are going to make a difference we must begin by training faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.
- They must be taught sound Pauline doctrine.
- They must be taught to endure hardness.
- They must be taught to be good soldiers.
- They must be taught to be strong in grace.
- They must be taught they have the Word of God in their hands.
Proclaiming Grace from the Unbound Book 2 Tim 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
If we are going to make a difference we continue to teach from an unbound book. Far to long religion has kept the word of God bound in blind orthodoxy and traditions. Our challenge is not to bring something new into the 21st century but to continue to boldly proclaim the old message of Paul that was committed to him by the risen Lord Jesus Christ by “rightly dividing the word of truth”. That is we give to Israel what belongs to Israel and we give to the body of Christ what belongs to the body of Christ.
Proclaiming Grace in Perilous Times: 2 Tim 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. 10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
If we are going to make a difference we must be ready for perilous times. We must know the equipping that comes from putting on sound doctrine. We must be willing to pay the price for the truth. Our rooting and grounding comes from first hand experience in using the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. We are, no doubt, living in perilous times now. Not so much perilous for us who have eternal life but for those who reject the truth and cause others to also. We can expect this trend to continue and being armed with this knowledge we will continue to proclaim grace in the age of grace.
The Single Formula–Preach the Word 2 Tim 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
If we are going to make a difference we will have to do it God’s way. It will not be through our wonderful ability to convince others through “good words and fair speeches” but by the preaching and teaching of the word of God even when it appears to us that nothing is being accomplished – for it is not our task to gauge the effectiveness of the scriptures but to be found proclaiming them!!
The Single Task–Do the Work of an Evangelist 2 Tim 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
If we are going to make a difference we will have to evangelize. The word evangelist has fell on hard times. It is up to us to reclaim it along with the other Pauline truths discarded by religion, tradition and denominationalism. Who else will proclaim the gospel of the grace of God? Denominations are failing left and right to teach the simple truths of the gospel of grace. The current evil of Lordship Salvation can only be countered by the clear message of grace apart from works.
The Single Goal–Love His Appearing: 2 Tim 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
If we are going to make a difference we must keep our eyes on Christ and his soon return for us in a pretribulational catching away of the church the body of Christ. This is what will motivate us to persevere. Not the fear of his coming, but the joy and love of his appearing.