The Shame of the Gospel
C.S. Lewis once said something like this, “I don’t know that the gospel has ever failed, but the real danger is it may not have ever been tried.” What we know of as gospel today would be basically unrecognizable by the early church. Now let’s look at the gospel for what Christians today do not know it says.
This letter was written from one of the first church’s centers to Timothy. The church in those days was used to living communally. (See Acts 2:44) Paul told Timothy, “Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saint’s feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; having broken her pledge to her first husband.” (1Timothy 5:9-12) We are directed to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints. In Jude 3, it explains this in the following way, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Christianity today has countless converts who got saved “forty years ago” and done nothing and are waiting to die and go to heaven. My question is why did this widow have to be “well reported of for good works” and other qualifications in order to partake of the community of benefits? And if she does have to have these qualifications to do so here on earth will not we have to produce any fruit in order to go to Heaven or simply be idly be waiting? I am not saying that we are saved by our works but if we are saved by grace through faith, we should be demonstrating that by our works. The word tells us to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2Corinthians 7:1c) “For God has not called us into uncleanness, but into holiness.” (1Thessalonians 4:7) Hebrews 12:14 tells us, “Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”
Another noticeable change makes the gospel unpalatable to most teenagers. What if you had to tell someone they had a great reward coming and all they had to do was wait until they died. How many young people do you think would be excited about your announcement? Knowing Christ begins upon your first encounter with Him and increases until it’s time for the trying of your faith. Then, at times you will not know what is happening but as one pastor said, “Just do the last thing you were instructed to do by God.”
Perhaps you attend a gathering where you hear these words. “I’m asking if the whole church can fast for one week, we need some enlightenment in this place.” In The King James version of Isaiah 58:1-5, God replaces this old fast which He has no pleasure in with a new fast found beginning in Isaiah 58:6-14 (NLT), “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes. Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. Then the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
This new fast has nothing to do with food except dishing it out to the hungry. Why don’t we ever hear about it? Preachers say, “Let’s just give a hand clap for being in His house today.” Even if their name is Father so-in-so or Apostle what’s his name. The bible says call no man father for one is your Father in Heaven and a high percentage of people called Apostle today are good men but if you try them you will find they are not apostles (wise masterbuilders). (1Corinthians 3:10 Those who build the church according to the Heavenly Vision.) Acts 17:24-25 (NLT) says, “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since He is Lord of heaven and earth, He doesn’t live in man-made temples and human hands can’t serve His needs – for He has no needs. He Himself gives life and breath to everything and He satisfies every need.” Jesus was taken into the wilderness to be tested by the devil for 40 days. He was with the wild animals and the angels ministered unto Him. St. Jerome said, “To me the town is a prison and wilderness is a paradise.”
When do our converts get a chance to go into the wilderness and discover they can, “Be still and know that He is God.” (Psalms 46:10). Isaiah 41:19-20 says, “I, the Lord will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive: I will see in the desert the cypress, the plane tree and the pine together, that they may see and know and consider and understand together that the hand of the Lord has done this and the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
Certain “wild card” soldiers have sodomized captives with batons and broomsticks and church attendees have laughed about it. Now laugh about this: “A righteous man regards the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” ( Proverbs 12:10) The same scripture could apply to many things spoken of.
In the book “SlaughterHouse” by Gail Eisnitz, available at Barnes & Noble, a spokesperson for the book said that a huge percentage of cattle are literally skinned alive. I witnessed this process for myself and concluded that truly the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Why don’t they teach this in churches instead of showing films on hunting? My experience is that liberals want to protect dolphins and whales but not all life while conservatives want to free all big businesses from the restraints of environmental law. I wonder if our pastors ever tell them, “God should destroy them that destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18)
For at least a year the debate continued over whether or not God is green. Some even went so far to say that green is the color of Islam or that green comes from Satan who is also called the Green Dragon. Yet, Revelation 4:3 says that Jesus, the Son of God sits on the throne of God and looks out every direction through a green (emerald) rainbow. And He looks like a Jasper stone. Did you know that this Jasper has a depiction of nature on it and is made by the Creator? Even the foundation that Jesus looks out towards in every direction is made of Jasper and depicts God’s creation.
I recently heard a preacher say that instead of telling new believers to start reading the bible in John or Matthew or even Psalms, they should begin where the bible begins in Genesis 1:1 which means the beginning. It happens to say, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” For a long time I never knew that the bible addresses all the animals and all the plants as anything that mattered to God because I never heard anyone preach about these things. One day I discovered that Paul said much about them as did John who wrote the Book of Revelation and the writer of Genesis who is most likely Moses. The more I studied I discovered, contrary to what preachers often tell their disciples, that God has a special reward for those who study the Book of Revelation and keep the things that are written therein. One of the things it says is that there are animals on the throne of God with and around Jesus Christ.
Multitudes of preachers tell their supposed people that animals don’t go to heaven because they don’t have a soul. Three of these preachers are called dumb, dumber and dumbest. This is because no creature can live without a soul or a spirit or even a body because soul means, mind and emotion and will. I have studied animals for a long time and I can testify that I never met an animal or even saw one who had no mind, emotion and will. The bible says in Acts 15:20, “…write unto them that they abstain from pollutions of idols and from fornication and from things strangled and from blood.” I once heard a pastor tell a member who was snaring beaver illegally that it would be fine for him to go ahead and eat a strangled beaver. He would have gotten a better answer from the beaver!
Time will not allow me to cover all the omissions and all the avoidance of God’s word that has produced this monstrosity! How can we call this the gathering together of the called out ones? Thank God some of these so called churches still preach part of the scripture but they will never be able to compete with most religions that do address the ecology and the care of animals. They need to get back to God’s word and New Testament! Even a little child can tell you that we need to take care of the earth and that we need to lead the animals by being a kind of first fruits of every creature like Jesus is, and preach Paul’s gospel as well as Jesus’ gospel to every creature (Paul and Jesus’ gospel are one and the same). James 1:18 says, “It was of God’s own free will that He gave us birth as sons by His word of truth so that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures – a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself,” and in Mark 16:15, Jesus said unto them, “You go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
We should be ashamed that the gospel that was first given to us was abandoned and left to charlatans and ignorant men who have disappointed this generation by their stupidity and the creation and all creatures by their willful ignorance. There are a few good preachers and that is part of the reason creation can hold onto its divine hope. (Romans 8:20)