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Good News for You

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. –John 3:16-17 (KJV)

 

 

Plan of Salvation | Discipleship | International Gospel | Gospel Poems

Plan of Salvation

Creation of Man

Geoff Thomas. “The Creation of Man.” Banner of Truth.

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Origin and Nature of Sin

Ronald McCune. “The Origin and Nature of Sin.” A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity. Vol. 2: The Doctrines of Man, Sin, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

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Punishment of Sin

Louis Berkhof. “The Punishment of Sin.” Systematic Theology

Jesus Christ, the Savior

John F. Walvoord. “Jesus Christ: Messiah and Savior.” Bible.org

God's Plan of Salvation

J. Hampton Keathley, III. “God’s Plan of Salvation.” Bible.org

There is much confusion about what makes a person a Christian.

Some believe that living a moral life makes them a Christian. Others believe that a Christian is someone who is a member of a “Christian” church or someone who lives by the “Golden Rule” treating others like they want to be treated. While all of these may be true about a Christian, they do not define what a Christian is. Simply defined: “A Christian is someone who is a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
 
According to the Bible, becoming a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ begins with an acceptance of His gospel. In Romans 10:9, this is determined by two important things: (1) a public, verbal confession that Jesus Christ is God, and (2) a belief that Jesus rose bodily from the dead.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Think of it this way: you are not a Christian if you do not confess that Jesus is God, or if you do not believe He died and rose from the dead.

Jesus is God

There are many who profess being a Christian but do not believe that Jesus is God. They usually give Jesus special status as a great prophet or as a heroic martyr. But they refuse to acknowledge He is God.
 
The Bible clearly teaches, however, that Jesus is God. The Gospel of John opens with this thought.
John 1:1-3 In the beginning [before the world was created] was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Later, John states that the “Word” was Jesus Christ.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Jesus, (the Word) became flesh and lived among men and as people observed Him they saw the glory of God. Certainly Jesus believed that He was God.
John 10:30-33 I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus [asked, “Why] do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
There is no confusion in what Jesus was saying. He declared Himself to be God. When one of His disciples asked Him to “show them [God] the Father.”, Jesus stated that He is [God] the Father.
John 14:8-9 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it [will satisfy] us. Jesus saith unto him,…he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father….
Jesus is God. Unless you confess that this is true, you cannot be a Christian. Because Jesus claimed to be God, to say that Jesus is anything other than God is to make Him a liar or a crazy man. He cannot be who He is and be less than God.

He died and rose from the dead

The Bible teaches that Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem by the Romans around 33 A.D. His death was a substitutionary atonement for our sins.
Romans 5:8 But God [recommends] His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
His death was necessary, because we are sinners.
Romans 3:10, 23 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
As sinners, we are worthy of eternal death in hell.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;
When Jesus died on the cross, He took our sins upon Himself. Without this, none can be saved from the wrath of God.
 
Yet Jesus did not stay dead. Three days after His death, Jesus rose bodily from the grave. When some friends of His went to the tomb they found it opened and some angels standing nearby.
Matthew 28:5-6 And the angel … said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen….
The gospel of Jesus is the “good news” that even though we are sinners, we can have salvation because He died in our place on the cross; that because He rose from the dead, we will one day rise like Him and live eternally with Him in Heaven.
 
Would you like to become a follower of Jesus Christ today? If you want to become a Christian, pray a prayer like this: “Dear Lord Jesus, I know that You alone can save me from sin. I am unable of saving myself. Because of my sins, I deserve punishment in hell. But I believe that You are God. I acknowledge that when You died on the cross, You died for my sin. I claim Your promise that those who trust in 
You will not perish, but have everlasting life. Please, become my Savior. Amen.”

The first part of accepting the gospel of Jesus

is to confess that He is God.

Are you a Christian?

For further spiritual help please call 919-244-1601, or use the link below to request more information from the church.

Heaven and Hell

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Heaven

John MacArthur. “Heaven: The Future of Christians.” Grace to You.

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Hell

Christopher W. Morgan. “The Biblical Evidence for Hell.” Ligonier Ministries.

Assurance

For Those Who are Living

Drake Osborn. “Spurgeon for Doubting Christians.” The Spurgeon Center for Biblical Preaching at Midwestern Seminary.

For Infants and Incapables

Daniel L. Akin. “Why I Believe Children Who Die Go to Heaven.”

Relevant Scripture

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The Doctrine of Hell and Eternal Punishment

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The Doctrine of Heaven and Eternal Reward

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Apologetics

–the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse.

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Assurance

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Discipleship Plans

Salvation

Imagine what it would have been like to meet Jesus face to face when He walked on the earth. Imagine looking at His face, seeing His eyes. Imagine hearing Him speak and recognizing the timbre of His voice—the cadence of the words and the up and down pitch of His speech. Imagine feeling His hand slip into yours as He helps you into a boat or looking at His feet as they gather dust walking along the roads in Galilee. What would that have been like for those who had that opportunity? No doubt, those who knew Jesus during His earthly ministry were blessed. However, Jesus said: “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). This is a simple definition of what it means to be saved. The Bible says that those who believe in Jesus will not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:15-16). The subject of this lesson is: what does it mean to be saved?

Jesus Christ

The Christian life is all about Jesus. He is the center, the crux of everything. There is no Christianity without Jesus. There is no life without Him. The apostle John wrote: “In Him was life, and His life was the light of men” (John 1:4). All of the religions of the world are an attempt by man to get to God. Idols and avatars, false priests and temples, so-called “sacred writings,” and even mystical rocks and ancient stones—all of these are man’s attempt to find God. However, there is no way to God without Jesus. He is the mediator, the bridge between God and humanity (1 Timothy 2:5). If you have confessed Him as Lord and Savior, then you have taken the first step in following Jesus Christ. The focus of this lesson is on the person and work of Jesus.

Discipleship

A Christian disciple is someone who follows Jesus Christ. For anyone, this is the highest and most noble pursuit in life. It is a commitment to forego whatever blessings this life affords in order to gain the blessings of the next life. A disciple is a simply a follower of Jesus. A good definition of a discipleship is a disciple who demonstrates that he follows Jesus as he “identifies himself with Christ in all things, conforms his behavior and attitudes to reflect Christ for the purpose of living out His commission.” The key concepts are (1) identity, (2) conformity, and (3) activity. These are progressive to the extent that as someone identifies with Jesus, the more he will conform his behavior to reflect this connection. Further, the greater extent someone conforms his behavior with Jesus, the more he will actively do the will of God. This lesson is an overview of the whole concept of Christian discipleship.

New Life in the Spirit

Jesus promised His disciples that after He left them that He would provide them a Comforter (parakleton—meaning “one who comes alongside) who would abide with them forever (John 14:16). This Comforter is the Holy Spirit. His ministry to us is crucial to our living the Christian life. In fact, without the indwelling Holy Spirit, there is no spiritual life at all. It is entirely dependent upon Him. This lesson focuses on the importance of our new life in the Spirit.

The Christian Guidebook

While in prison on account of his gospel ministry, the apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to “bring…the books, especially the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13). While it is impossible to know exactly which writings Paul was referring to, the general assessment is that he was asking Timothy to bring him a Bible. Of course, it was not the Bible in its present form. In Paul’s day, there was no codified New Testament and the Old Testament was contained in separate scrolls. Paul’s request could have been referring to portions of the Old Testament, but his request for parchments leads many to conclude that he was asking for some of his own writing. This might be an early statement on the canonicity of Paul’s own letters. Even Paul needed the Bible. The truth is, every Christian needs God’s Word. It is the guidebook for Christian living.

The Christian Life

The Bible compares the Christian life to a “walk.” Walking is a basic means of transportation. Until recently in world history, most people walked everywhere they went. Cars were not available until the 20th century. Horses were available before that, and people have ridden horses for centuries, but horses require care and often that care was too expensive or too time-consuming. Most people, for lack of better means, walked. Because of this, the Bible uses the familiar idea of walking as a synonym for living the Christian life.

The Struggle Against Sin

There are popular Christian books touting the possibility of living “the victorious Christian life,” promising “the very best” that life can offer. While God does bless His people with great blessing (Psalm 103:2-5), the Christian life is also a struggle against sin. There is a false impression that salvation will automatically bring a victorious life to believers. That is not true. Every Christian, regardless of age or spiritual maturity, struggles against sin. One of the most interesting passages in the New Testament is where the apostle Paul confesses about his personal struggle against sin. He admits that he does not do the things he wants to do (sins of omission), and even worse, he often does the things he does not want to do (sins of commission) (Romans 7:15). “For the good that I would do, I don’t do, but the evil that I would not do, that I do” (Romans 7:19). You should know by now, if you are a Christian, that you are also struggling against sin. Your flesh (along with the world and Satan) pushes and pulls you to do wrong. It is a struggle, often very difficult and sometimes painful, to fight back.

Repentance

Even though we have put off the old man and have put on the new man (Colossians 3:9-10), you still struggle with sin. One of the most well-known passages in the Bible on sin is David’s adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). When Bathsheba became pregnant, David conspired with the commanding general of his army to have Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, killed in battle. He could have thought that his sin was effectively concealed and that nobody knows what really happened. But he forgot about the God who watches everything. “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, beholding the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3). It is impossible to do anything that God does not know. Nothing can be hidden from him. Moreover, God through Moses said, “If you sinned…, sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). While David believed his sin was concealed, that no one knew, God informed His prophet Nathan all about it (2 Samuel 12:1). Nathan confronted David concerning his sin and David repented. He said, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13).

Developing a Christian Conscience

Every person is born with an internal mechanism which helps him understand the difference between right and wrong. The Bible teaches that God writes His own law on the hearts of people so that their own thoughts either accuse them of their actions or provide excuses for them (Romans 2:15). Thus, a teenage boy might “sweat it out” when being questioned about the broken window because he knows that it was his ball that broke it, while an apparently guilty man can stand before a court and testify to his innocence without any shame because he knows he did not commit the crime. This is man’s “moral compass” which the Bible calls a conscience. The word conscience (syneidesis) means to “see together” or “perceive along with.” It refers to the inner conversation one has with oneself. Because every person is created in God’s image, everyone is born with this internal knowledge of God’s moral law. Unfortunately, this moral compass can be damaged or turned off, even in some respect in the heart of a believer. Thus, the Bible teaches that it is imperative that people guard their conscience carefully.

The Worship of God

God created all things for His own glory (Revelation 4:11). It simply means that we are created to worship God. When we fail to worship God, we fail to operate as intended by our Creator. Everything in life has to be evaluated by that standard. Life without worship is meaningless. Worship encompasses more than the religious ceremonies of a church. Worshipping God involves more than the music we sing, the prayers we pray, and the sermons we hear. Furthermore, it is a little trite to think that worship can be evaluated by some external, cultural standard as if God can only be worshipped while standing or sitting in a particular position, wearing a particular style of clothing, or repeating a prescribed set of words. Worship is practical, but it is not perfunctory. It is also too simplistic to think of worship as only being “authentic” or “real” if it is unrehearsed; if it is “raw.” God is not often honored by the unfiltered, thoughtless eruptions of our heart. If our mind is stayed on God through His Word, and the Spirit is filling us by our yielding dependence and obedience to Him, then unplanned speech can be very worshipful. If our mind is not truly focused on Him, then those eruptions are not worship, even if they take a permitted form of worship within a Christian community.

Maintaining Christian Hope

This hope is the final fulfillment of our salvation in Christ. One of the things that many Christians often misunderstand is that biblical salvation can be understood in two ways, present and future. When a person is saved, on one hand, he is saved in the present. On the other hand, he still awaits a future salvation. At the moment one repents of sin and trusts in the gospel, he becomes a child of God (the present aspect of salvation) and looks forward to eternity with Him (the future aspect of salvation).

Discipling Others

The command of Jesus to the disciples (and to us by extension) is that we must share the gospel with unbelievers with whom we live (our own sphere of influence). We are to be witnesses for the gospel. God has given us the ability to do that through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8a). This is sometimes referred to as evangelizing “our Jerusalem” (Acts 1:8b). What this verse means is that God has given us everything we need in order to fully evangelize our community. The difficulty comes in obeying this command.

The International Gospel

Gospel Poems

O, Ye Sons of Men Be Wise

Joseph Hart (1712-1768): Joseph Hart was an 18th-century Calvinist minister in London. His works include “Hart’s Hymns”, a much-loved hymn book amongst evangelical Christians throughout its lifetime of over 200 years, which includes the well-known hymn, “Come ye sinners, poor and needy.”

O ye sons of men be wise,
trust no longer dreams and lies,
Out of Christ, almighty pow’r
can do nothing but devour.

God you say is good. ‘Tis true.
But he’s pure and holy too;
just and jealous is his ire,
burning with vindictive fire.

This of old himself declared:
Israel trembled when they heard.
But the proof of proofs indeed
is he sent his Son to bleed.

When the blessed Jesus died
God was clearly justified:
Sin to pardon without blood
never in his nature stood.

Worship God, then, in his Son,
there he’s love and there alone.
Think not that he will, or may,
pardon any other way.

See the suff’ring Son of God,
panting, groaning, sweating blood!
Brethren, this had never been
had not God detested sin.

Be his mercy therefore sought
in the way himself has taught:
There his clemency is such,
we can never trust too much.

He that better knows than we,
bids us all to Jesus flee.
Humbly take him at his Word
and your souls will bless the Lord!

The Cross

John Newton (1725-1807): Newton was an English Anglican clergyman who served as a sailor in the Royal Navy for a period, and later as the captain of slave ships. He became ordained as an evangelical Anglican cleric, served Olney, Buckinghamshire for two decades, and also wrote hymns, known for “Amazing Grace” and “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.”

In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.

I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood;
He fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.

Sure never till my latest breath,
Shall I forget that look!
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.

A second look He gave, which said,
“I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid;
I die that thou mayest live.”

Thus while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too!

Take Up Thy Cross

Charles William Everest (1814-1877): Everest graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1838. He took Holy Orders in 1842, and served as Episcopal rector in Hampden, Connecticut (1842–73). He was also an agent for the Society for the Increase of the Ministry. His works include: Visions of Death.

Take up thy cross, the Saviour said,
If thou wouldst My disciple be;
Deny thyself, the world forsake,
And humbly follow after Me.

Take up thy cross; let not its weight
Fill thy weak soul with vain alarm;
His strength shall bear thy spirit up,
And brace thy heart, and nerve thine arm.

Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
Nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
The Lord for thee the cross endured
To save thy soul from death and hell.

Take up thy cross, then, in His strength,
And calmly every danger brave;
‘Twill guide thee to a better home,
And lead to victory o’er the grave.

Take up thy cross, and follow Christ,
Nor think till death to lay it down;
For only he who bears the cross
May hope to wear the glorious crown.

The Valour and Victories of Faith

Ralph Erskine (1685-1752): Erskine was a Scottish churchman. His works consist of sermons, poetical paraphrases and gospel sonnets. The Gospel Sonnets have frequently appeared separately. His Life and Diary, edited by the Rev. D Fraser, was published in 1834.

By faith I unseen Being see,
Forth lower beings call,
And say to nothing, Let it be;
And nothing hatches all.

By faith I know the worlds were made
By God’s great word of might;
How soon, Let there be light, he said,
That moment there was light.

By faith I soar and force my flight
Through all the clouds of sense;
I see the glories out of sight,
With brightest evidence.

By faith I mount the azure sky,
And from the lofty sphere,
The earth a little mote espy,
Unworthy of my care.

By faith I see the unseen things
Hid from all mortal eyes;
Proud reason stretching all its wings,
Beneath me flutt’ring lies.

By faith I build my lasting hope
On righteousness divine;
Nor can I sink with such a prop,
Whatever storms combine.

By faith my works, my righteousness,
And duties all I own
But loss and dung; and lay my stress
On what my Lord has done.

By faith I overcome the world,
And all its hurtful charms;
I’m in the heav’nly chariot hurl’d
Through all opposing harms.

By faith I have a conqu’ring pow’r
To tread upon my foes,
To triumph in a dying hour,
And banish all my woes.

By faith in midst of wrongs I’m right,
In sad decays I thrive:
In weakness I am strong in might,
In death I am alive.

By faith I stand when deep I fall,
In darkness I have light;
Nor dare I doubt and question all
When all is out of sight.

By faith I trust a pardon free,
Which puzzles flesh and blood;
To think that God can justify,
Where yet he sees no good.

By faith I keep my Lord’s commands,
To verify my trust;
I purify my heart and hands,
And mortify my lust.

By faith my melting soul repents,
When pierced Christ appears;
My heart in grateful praises vents,
Mine eyes in joyful tears.

By faith I can the mountains vast
Of sin and guilt remove;
And them into the ocean cast
The sea of blood and love.

By faith I see Jehovah high,
Upon a throne of grace;
I see him lay his vengeance by,
And smile in Jesus’face.

By faith I hope to see the Sun,
The light of grace that lent:
His everlasting circles run
In glory’s firmament.

By faith I’m more than conqueror,
Ev’n though I nothing can;
Because I set Jehovah’s pow’r
Before me in the van.

By faith I counterplot my foes,
Nor need their ambush fear;
Because my life-guard also goes
Behind me in the rear.

By faith I walk, I run, I fly,
By faith I suffer thrall;
By faith I’m fit to live and die,
By faith I can do all.

A Voice from Hell

Oscar C Eliason (1902-1985): Eliason as a Swedish American clergyman, who served as a pastor and evangelist in the Assemblies of God, and was a prolific poet and composer, who composed over 50 hymns and gospel songs, including A Name I Highly Treasure and Got Any Rivers?

Oh, why am I here in this place of unrest When others have entered the land of the blest? God’s way of salvation was preached unto men; I heard it and heard it, again and again.

Why did I not listen and turn from my sin And open my heart and let Jesus come in? For vain earthly pleasures my soul did I sell The way I had chosen has brought me to hell.

I wish I were dreaming, but ah, it is true. The way to be saved I had heard and I knew; My time on the earth, oh, so quickly fled by, How little I thought of the day I would die.

When God’s Holy Spirit was pleading with me, I hardened my heart and I turned from His plea. The way that was sinful, the path that was wide, I chose and I walked till the time that I died.

Eternally now, I must dwell in this place. If I from my memory could but erase The thoughts of my past which are haunting me so. Oh, where is a refuge to which I can go?

This torture and suff’ring, how long can I stand? For Satan and demons this only was planned. God’s refuge is Jesus, the One that I spurned; He offered salvation, but from Him I turned.

My brothers and sisters I wish I could warn. Far better ‘twould be if I had not been born. The price I must pay is too horrid to tell My life without God led directly to Hell.

Oh, soul without Christ, will these words be your cry? God’s Word so declares it that all men must die. From hell and its terrors, Oh, flee while you may! So, come to the Saviour; He’ll save you today!