Easter: The Gospel You First Accepted

There’s a lot of versions of Christianity around at the moment. The pseudo-christian organisations like mormonism and jehovah’s witnesses are the most obvious, but there are many which have come from legitimate parts of the church which have sought to make the Faith of Jesus more “accessible” and “acceptable” to people in the 21st Century.

The problem is that by making it more “acceptable” it becomes diluted. There is panantheism and arguments of truth being non-exclusive to Christianity – exactly the issues that Paul had to deal with in his travels. People would teach a form of cross-less salvation – that Jesus was an option for Salvation, noth The option. This panantheistic notion was one he had to deal with repeatedly i his letters, now reduced to our New Testament and referred to as interpretive documents not intended to be taken literally, but I disagree.

Paul wrote passionately about Jesus. He wrote with all his heart about the single way a man can be saved. The writer of Hebrews dedicates the entire book to the subject – especially chapter 11 – demonstrating over and over that the Faith in God through Jesus is the only way to reach Salvation.

Yet today we accept a watered down and weak semi-good news version.

Last night a dear friend of mine – I named her Helen – passed away from a long fight with Cancer. I find myself wondering what Gospel she was presented with? Did she ever have the Truth put to her unequivocally and unmistakeably? Some of her family were church goers who would get on a soap-box and “preach” at her, but how many real believers sat down with her and talked to her. How many asked her what her understanding was?

My guess is not many.

If any.

I know I didn’t. I didn’t share the simple Gospel I hold in my heart and try to live by on a daily basis. I let her – and many other people in my past – go through her life without allowing the Love I’ve had lavished on me to spill over in a real way to them. When I do – and it does happen – I feel embarrassed afterwards. I feel accused and judged. Generally I take that as a sign I got it right these days, but I often wondered when I was younger if I was wrong.

The Gospel I met – the Jesus I met – is a real, warm and true emodiment of Love. But He has things he disapproves of. Those things which seek to drive a wedge between us or to draw us away from His friendship. He gets mad at those things. We should too.

We should be mad at anything that seeks to water down the Jesus we first fell in love with. I’d take major issue if someone came and told me my wife is not the person I know her to be after over ten years of marriage – how dare they! But after almost 30 years of walking with Jesus I find myself allowing contemplations in that draw me away from the Saviour I know and Love, the God I fell in Love with in 1985. Why do I not defend my Faith as vigourously as I defend my relationship with my wife?

I don’t doubt my marriage. We’ve endured storms. I shouldn’t doubt my faith – it’s been through the worst of me and my experiences.

Yet people drop in the thought “If God…” Add what you like there. If He’s all powerful, why cancer. If he’s all loving, why suffering. The questions are innumerable. The answer is surprising in its simplicity.

In the True Gospel, we were given authority and power to work God’s miracles, see His strength and have signs and wonders follow our belief.

That’s the key.

Belief.

We believed the Gospel for Salvation, but we doubt the continuation of the Gospel through confirmation be miracles – even though the early disciples who had not walked with Jesus saw them.

We need to return to the first Love. I’m ot talking about sexuality, theft or anything else here except the First Command Jesus gave – Love God with everything in you.

Then watch as miracles flow and your desperation can become Joy, your disaster triumph, and even your death, LIFE…

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