Fourth in the key verse we see that this gift requires a response from us. We will not get to heaven based on our mother's faith. We will not have eternal life based upon our spouse. Whosoever believes indicates that we must make a choice beloved. So do our loved ones, family, friends, and co-workers. Everyone will have the same choice. Atheists make their choice to reject the Bible and place science on the throne. Agnostics believe in the general concept of a higher being but do not bother to try and figure it out. They too have said "no thank you" to the gift. Others believe in false religions, based upon the imaginations of men instead of the inspired Word of God. Mormonism for example follows the teachings of a 19th century bigamist pedophile who claims God gave him new revelation to add to the Bible, even though the Bible clearly says that all of the curses contained in it would apply to the fool who tries to add a single word to it. Whatever the alternate religion, these folks have also heard the Gospel message and said "no thanks." So what is it that we must believe? This is vitally important because therein lies the Gospel in its purest form:
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[ that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, -- 1Corinthians 15: 1-4 (NIV)
The Gospel message is not about getting rich. It is not about chasing experiential emotionalism. It is not about word faith, being seeker friendly, or purpose driven. Of first importance beloved is that Christ died for our sins! Any discussion that omits this is not a Gospel presentation! You can talk about the abounding love of God but without the qualifier of why, it is not an adequate Gospel to save anyone. Why? Because it is our sins that God is saving us from! You cannot preach grace without preaching why God needs to extend such grace. Who shows more love for some driving off a cliff? The one who holds your hand on the way down telling you how great you are or the one who screams at you to turn around your course? The loveless Gospel messenger is not the one who speaks of sin but rather the one who pretends it doesn't need to be discussed.
The fifth point is that there is a hell to shun beloved. There is a hell to be very afraid of. A place of darkness, gnashing of teeth, fire, sulfur and an eternal separation from God. I know we do not hear it too much within the mainstream evangelical circles anymore. We see such blatant heresy such as Rob Bell's "Love Wins" where the doctrine of hell is literally eliminated. Everyone wants a hell-less religion because then there is no consequence for sin. The key verse says that we will not perish! This cannot be any clearer. Any Gospel that refuses to deal with hell is a false Gospel and will not save anyone! We can all hold hands and sing kumbya until Jesus comes but when that day arrives you better make sure you have more than faux unity when you stand before Him! The love of God is infinitely wrapped up in His forgiveness of our sins, His sacrifice of His son and the eternal destinations of men.
The final point for today from the key verse is that while there is a hell to shun, there is also a heaven to gain! The eternal life we get to live now! Here is The Apostle John's description:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." -- Revelation 21: 3-5 (NLT)
That is the Gospel beloved -- it makes everything new. It is the love of God that compelled Him to send His only Son to earth to die in our place for our sins. Teachers will be held to a higher standard and accursed will be anyone who adds a single word to the Bible or who presents a different Gospel. This is serious business. Gospel of prosperity! Accursed! Gospel of word faith? Accursed! Gospel of seeker friendliness, which waters down the actual Gospel so as to not offend anyone? Accursed! Gospel of the emergent church theory, which changes the Gospel in order to be relevant to a dying and corrupt culture? Accursed! False healers? Accursed!
This is the true message of love from God for you today. God so loved YOU that He gave His only Son to die for YOU, because of your sin sick soul, that YOU will be forgiven, escape hell and the wrath of God. All the while inheriting eternal life. Never settle for less than the whole Gospel because it alone sets you free and delivers you into the house of the Lord"all else is sinking sand"