It would be easy to make this short and let you choose, as we all must do, in one way or another, to either accept the Gospel or reject it.   But I believe the desire to make all things quick and effortless is one of the problems with the church today. And, since it is how a person responds to the Gospel that will determine their eternal destiny, let’s not rush through this.
          Many people are not being presented with the whole Gospel and as the Apostle Paul relates in the Book of Galatians, anything but the actual Gospel is no Gospel at all.

         “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all.   Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.”
Galatians 1: 6-7

Garden of Eden           Before I can even start to present you with the Gospel there are some fences that may need to be torn down.   Satan is known by many names, including, the Devil, Beelzebub, Deceiver, and Accuser.   Although some people don’t believe he is actually a living being, the Bible tells us that he is.   Jesus gave us a pretty good description of him, as recorded in the New Testament Book of John:

         “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of all lies.”
John 8: 44

         Perhaps the biggest lie that Satan ever told was when he convinced Adam and Eve that they could be like God.   And, “the god of this age” doesn’t seem to have mellowed over time, because surely he must be the one behind the current deceptions being taught in many of our public schools.  I am referring to the false teachings regarding tolerance and truth.  I think I can address these topics together because, in some ways, they relate to each other.
         One definition of “tolerate” is, “To allow the existence, presence, practice, or act without prohibition or hindrance.”1  This would certainly be in agreement with the First Amendment to the Constitution as it relates to our God given right to free speech.
         But, it is the “politically correct” meaning of tolerance, that all values, beliefs, lifestyles, and all truths are equal, that is being used to suppress biblical positions on morality and law.   Christians who speak out against issues such as gay marriage are accused of being intolerant.   But if all beliefs are equal then aren’t the politically correct showing themselves to be intolerant of Christian beliefs?
         This same type of hypocrisy has entered the church and may be the major cause of the watered down, non-offensive Gospel we see in many Christian churches today.  The Gospel is viewed as intolerant because Jesus said that he was the gate, and he was the door.  But if he is who he said he is then he certainly has the right to say…

         “… I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14: 6

         Is truth absolute or relative (objective or subjective)?   Can all truths be equal?   Can morality be legislated?   Have you ever said, “That may be your truth, but it is not my truth?”   I hope not because truth can be either absolute or relative.  Without a doubt there are absolute truths, 2+2 always equals 4, there are no round squares or square circles, 10 is always more than 9.  All “truths” are not equal, and all laws are capable of legislating someone’s morality.

         I need to elaborate on that a little.   Absolute truth is something that is unalterable, inflexible and always true.   A relative truth is something that is changeable and not always true, but a person’s perception of something does not make it true.   Let me back up a little.  The problem is not that there are either absolute truths or relative truths; the problem arises in differentiating between the two.  
         Relative truths are, more appropriately, personal opinions or beliefs , such as, “blue is the best color,” and therefore can be, “my truth and not your truth.”  It is what someone believes to be true at any given time.   But this truth could change tomorrow if that person should decide in favor of another color.

         The trouble is that postmodern relativism has attempted to erase the line between relative and absolute truth and declare that there are no moral absolutes.  Few rational people would argue that there is no such thing as absolute truth, but political correctness dictates that there are no absolute truths concerning morality, God and religion.  

          Jesus said there is only one God and only one way to avoid eternal damnation (his truth).  But others tell us that there is more than one way (their truth), therefore either he is telling the truth or they are.  It cannot logically be both.  There cannot be only one way and many ways.  So, if someone professes to be a Christian and yet they believe, as almost six in ten “Christians” do, that he is not the only way, are they, in all honesty,  Christian?  If anyone has truly put their faith in him for salvation, how can they deny what he has said to be true?  If he was wrong about anything, he is not who he said he is and will not be able to save them.
         Have you noticed that whenever someone rejects the teachings of the Bible to decide for themselves what is moral and necessary to be saved, they always seem to use themselves as the standard?   But God does not “grade on a curve.”

         “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 3: 23

        This whole business of tolerance and relative truth is interfering with people accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it leads them to believe that God is whomever they want him to be.

         “You turn things upside down,
         as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
         ‘He did not make me’?
Can the pot say to the potter,
         ‘He knows nothing’?”
Isaiah 29: 16

         Like all lies, they don’t stand up to close examination.  Even the logic is faulty.  When someone claims a Christian is being intolerant for expressing biblical values, they are showing themselves to be intolerant and contradicting their own belief that all beliefs are equal.  If someone says that there is no such thing as absolute truth you need only reply, “Are you absolutely sure?” to show how absurd and irrational their argument is.  By stating there is no such thing as absolute truth they are making an absolute statement that there are no absolute truths, which you can see (if you have followed this!) is a self-defeating and illogical argument.

         There is something else that can get in the way of someone believing in the Gospel.   The theory of evolution and the various “Big Bang” theories are an attempt to prove there is no need to believe in a Creator and thus show that the Bible cannot be trusted.  
         The reason those “fences” need to be torn down is, if you don’t believe that God created the Universe as he said in the Bible, and you are hampered by false teachings such as evolution and relative truth, it can interfere with your belief in the need for a savior.  In (The Watchmaker) we gave scientific and theological evidence that God created as he said.  If you haven’t read that letter I hope you will take the time.

          All the theology that is found in the New Testament has it’s foundation in the first eleven chapters of Genesis.  Until the advent of Darwin’s theory of evolution, the Book of Genesis was almost unanimously believed to be historical narrative.   But now, to conform with evolutionary teachings, Genesis has been reduced by many to a collection of allegorical tales.   Let me give an example as to the importance of taking Genesis literally, as it is written.  The following scripture is not allegory, it is a record of an actual event and it clearly defines marriage as one man and one woman.

         “So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
         ‘This is now bone of my bones
             and flesh of my flesh;
         she shall be called ‘woman,’
             for she was taken out of man.’
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
Genesis 2: 20-25

         I will now do my best to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we will start, not in the New Testament, but where it begins, in the Bible’s first book, Genesis.

          God told Adam and Eve that if they ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die.   After they were deceived by the serpent (who was under the influence of Satan), God brought judgement on Satan, Adam, and Eve.  He cursed Satan and the ground that man worked.   It was the sin (disobeying God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) of the first man Adam that brought both physical and spiritual death into the world, as God had promised it would.   All humans are descendants of Adam and Eve and have inherited their sinful nature.  But, if you bear with me I will show that God did not abandon his creation.

         The following scripture is  known as the Protoevangelium, the “first announcement” of the Gospel.  It tells us that although Satan would harm Jesus (bruise his heel),  Jesus, the “seed” of the woman, would defeat Satan (crush his head.)

         “So the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,
‘Cursed are you above all the livestock

         and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly

         and you will eat dust
         all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
         between you and the woman,
         and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
         and you will strike his heel.'”
Genesis 3: 14-15

          The New Testament Book of Luke gives a detailed genealogy from Adam to Jesus to show that he is the “seed” of the woman.  The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the Hebrew word for Adam is the same as the word for man.  Adam, the first man, brought death into the world.  Jesus, who is both man and God was a physical descendant of Adam.  If these were not actual events there would be no reason for the Bible to give us a genealogy.
     The Bible tells us that Jesus, who referred to himself as the “Son of Man,” is the “second Adam.”  Adam (man) brought sin into the world, and Jesus, the descendant of Adam (Son of Man) came to redeem the world.

         “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”
Galatians 4: 4-5 

         Now, let’s take a quick look at the ancient Hebrew Tabernacle and the Temples which are historically verifiable.  The Tabernacle was portable, contained in a tent, and was constructed in the time of Moses (app. 1450 B.C.).  King Solomon’s Temple was completed in 960 B.C. and was destroyed in 586 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon.   The second temple was started in 516 B.C. and completed by King Herod in 20 B.C.   Jesus predicted it’s destruction and that occurred in the year 70 A.D. by Roman troops under the command of general Titus who later became Caesar.

         The importance of the Old Testament Tabernacle and the Temples is that they were the center of the sacrificial system that  God had established for the atonement of sin.   The Bible tells us that there can be no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood.

         “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Hebrews 9: 22

         And we learn in the Book of Numbers that the sacrificial lambs had to be perfect.  

         “Present to the Lord an offering made by fire, a burnt offering of two young bulls, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect.”
Numbers 28: 19

     This requirement is important, as you will see as we move on to the time of the New Testament.

        “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'”
John 1: 29

         John the Baptist announced that Jesus was the Messiah which is Hebrew for “Anointed” or “Savior.”   It is translated as Christos in Greek and Christ in English.  And how can we know that Jesus, the “Lamb of God,” is the Messiah?   One way is the prophecy given in Isaiah 53 that describes Him.   I hope you will read the entire chapter (Isaiah 53) because it is an incredible prophecy that describes Jesus and events that occurred in his life.  Jesus is the unblemished lamb.   He is the only one who has ever lived a perfect, sinless life and is therefore the only one whose sacrifice could pay the sin debt of the world.  In the Book of John we see that Jesus even asked his enemies, the Pharisees, if they could convict him of any sin, and they could not.

         “Yet because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me!  Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?”
John 8: 45-46

         “He was oppressed and afflicted,
         yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
         and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
         so he did not open his mouth.”
Isaiah 53: 7

         “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Hebrews 10: 10

         Every religion in the world (that I know of) except Biblical Christianity teaches some system of works.   Roman Catholicism denies this, but their sacerdotal system reveals this to be true. The following is from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

         “The bishop is truly a priest (sacerdos), and even a high-priest; he has chief control of the Divine worship (sacrorum antistes), is the president of liturgical meetings; he has the fullness of the priesthood, and administers all the sacraments.  The second degree belongs to the priest (presbyter), who is also a sacerdos, but of the second rank (“secundi sacerdotes” Innocent I ad Eugub.); by his priestly ordination he receives the power to offer sacrifice (i.e. to celebrate the Eucharist), to forgive sins, to bless, to preach, to sanctify, and in a word to fulfill the non-reserved liturgical duties or priestly functions.”2

         Even though they claim that God provides the grace to perform the works they believe are necessary for salvation, their arguments do not stand up to scripture.   Do you believe that your own good life, your good works, will earn you eternal life?   If that is your “truth,” does it agree with God’s Truth?

         “You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”
Galatians 5: 4

         “Then they asked him, ‘What must we do, to do the works God requires?’   Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent’.”
John 6: 28-29

         The reply Jesus gave is very significant because he changed the plural “works” from the question to the singular “work” in his answer.   The only acceptable “work” is to believe in Jesus, and God does the work for us, “The work of God is this.”   Before I attempt to (finally?) spell out what the Gospel is, let me say that it also is not, what I referred to earlier as a, “watered down gospel.”   The Gospel is more than John 3: 16:

         “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

         The Book of James tells us that knowing the truth about God has no redeeming quality.   An intellectual knowledge of the Gospel is not the same as the personal relationship that comes with its acceptance.

         “You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”
James 2: 19

         Theologian Walter Scott (1796-1861), put it very well when he said that the Gospel of Jesus Christ that was taught by the Apostles and can be found in the Bible consists of “facts to be believed, commands to be obeyed, and promises to be anticipated.”   We need to believe that Jesus is the son of God who became man to pay the debt for our sins.   That he was crucified, died, was buried, and rose again on the third day.   We must admit that we truly are sinners and that we can do nothing to restore our broken relationship with the Lord other than accept His free gift of salvation that he paid the price for.
         And here is the part that is too hard for many people.   We must ask Jesus into our lives and declare him Lord.   And what do we receive with this?   God promises to send his Spirit to indwell our hearts and to guide us.   He promises that all our sins are forgiven, past, present and future.   And we have the assurance that at the Resurrection of the dead we will be given a new “spiritual” body and that we will never die.   That is the Gospel, the “Good News” of Jesus Christ.

         What I have written is not about me or for me, it is about Jesus and it is for you.  But perhaps it will be helpful if I reveal some things about my life that may relate to your own.
         In years, it was not that long ago, but it seems like forever to think back on the time before I began my walk with the Lord.  Twelve years of Catholic school had not really answered the questions we all ask, at least not on a personal level.  What is God really like, and what is his purpose for me?  What will become of me when I die?  If there is a God, and someday I stand in his court, will my opinion of my life have any bearing on his decision?  Will I be “good” enough to be saved?

         “All have turned aside, all have toether become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
Psalm 14: 3

         “All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;”
Isaiah 64: 6

         I determined to find the answers.  As with most Catholics I was not very knowledgeable about God’s Word.  I had the old Douay-Rheims Version of the Bible, and like the King James Version, I found it difficult to read.  I bought a New International Version (NIV) 1984 edition study Bible and it was like a breath of fresh air to be able to read in modern language the word of God as he spoke to my heart.
         One night as I was listening to Dr. D. James Kennedy from Coral Ridge Ministries on television he gave an invitation to accept the Gospel and I asked Jesus into my life.  It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and from that point on the Lord has been guiding me and opening up his Truth through the pages of the Bible, as he has for so many before me.
         Hard as I tried to remain a Roman Catholic, the more I learned, the more I realized I had to choose between being a Catholic or a Christian.  The two beliefs are mutually exclusive; you cannot be saved by both faith and works.  The only acceptable work was done for us on the cross.

         “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”
Romans 11: 6

         Allow me to paraphrase Elijah’s words from 1 Kings 18: 21 , and I leave it to you to fill in the blanks…

         “How long will you waver between two opinions?  If the Lord is God, follow him; but if ____ is God follow ____.”

         When I was in Catholic school we were taught that the “Protestants” from the sixteenth century were heretics who attacked the Church.  But, in reality, the “Reformers” were Catholics who tried to bring the church back to the Gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, and to reestablish the authority of God’s word.  Many of them paid with their lives for printing and distributing Bible’s, so we might have God’s word that had been kept hidden for centuries.
         I knew I had to reach others who also needed to be freed from the bondage of salvation trough works.  For those who would never know the freedom that is in Christ as long as they followed a religion that always keeps salvation just out of reach… one more novena, one more rosary, how much is necessary to pay your sin debt?  But the Bible tells us that we can know that, if we are born again by accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our salvation is assured.  Could anything be more clear than these next two scriptures?

         “Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart.  Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
         I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
1 John 5: 10-13

         “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
John 5: 24

         If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then what better time than now?

         “… I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 6: 2

         All it takes is a simple prayer from the heart to enter into a personal relationship with the one who knew you before time began.  Something like this…

         Lord, I confess that I am a sinner and that I cannot earn my salvation.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that on the third day he rose from the dead.  I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and I ask you to bring me the peace and assurance that comes from knowing that I have been born again.  I ask this in Jesus’s name.  Amen.

         “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11: 29-30

         “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Matthew 7: 7-8

All scripture from the New International Version (NIV) 1984 edition.



Bob Rani                                                 Mike & Sheri Rani Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 05 Apr. 2014. , Accessed April 5, 2014.

2The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 12, The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., New York, Priest, A. Boudinhon, Copyright, 1908 by Robert Appleton Company, Copyright, 1913 by The Encyclopedia Press, Inc., “The articles in this work have been written specially for The Catholic Encyclopedia and are protected by copyright. All rights, including the right of translation and reproduction, are reserved.”, Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908, Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor, Imprimatur, John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York. (Public Domain)

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