The Gospel 14: Reaching the Saved

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 21, 2024 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Another area where evangelicalism has greatly dropped the ball is with the notion that all that matters is getting someone saved and everything else takes care of it. This reduces the Gospel to a one-time thing and ultimately nothing else matters, because once you get saved, you are in, and once you are in, you can’t lose it. This is an abuse of the “Once Saved, Always Saved” doctrine because the Gospel does not teach that you can live your life however you want once you get saved.

The Christian life has two major parts to it: sanctification (the removal of sin and the purifying of the heart/mind/soul) and sharing the Gospel with others. My pastor made this very clear in his sermon series on Exodus. He said when God rescued Israel from Egypt, they were freed from slavery to Egypt, just as we are saved immediately from slavery to sin. But it took 40 years in the wilderness to get Egypt of out Israel and likewise, it takes our entire Christian life to get the sin in our lives out so we can be ready to meet Christ as a pure and spotless Bride.

The Gospel is an ongoing process. The moment of salvation is not a one-time thing but something that started at a single point in time and continues, ongoing. It is a work that Christ started, and He will see it through to completion. That is why we can have confidence that we will not lose our salvation; if we could, then Christ would have work ruined and never finished. And that’s not the God I worship. I worship a God who finishes what He started, whether salvation or judgment. It is our job to see that we have made terms of peace with God before that judgment happens. It is still God’s job to save. We can only ask for it.

But the Christian has this war with sin that will not go away while we are on this earth. The unsaved don’t have a war with sin; they are fully indulged in it. We do have the war, and the holier we get, the fiercer the war gets. This is why we as believers need the Gospel. We do not need the Gospel just because we need reminders; we do need reminders. We need the Gospel because it is the Gospel that has the power of salvation from leftover sin and struggles. It STILL has the power to continue to deliver us.

If we are struggling and not seeing the victory of sin, there are a couple of reasons for it. One, we aren’t believing the Gospel for THAT sin. Or, we love that sin too much to want to let it go. If the latter, a follow-up question should be asked: are we actually born again? Again, I don’t knock true and real struggles. I have them myself, and that is why I need the Gospel still. I need to keep listening to the Gospel. I need to keep going back to the same message, that Christ died for sinners, and we are to give up the sinful life to be able to take on the new life. This needs to be done on a daily basis. I have learned that when I actively and intentionally deny myself and ask God what I need to do that day, my struggles with sin all but disappear. But when I do struggle, it is very clear why.

We as believers need the Gospel. We always need the Gospel. If we don’t remind ourselves of the Gospel daily, we get hard-hearted and proud because the Gospel is not being allowed to continue the work it started in us. We begin to think we no longer need the Gospel, and we can just live out intellectually correct and moral lives the rest of the way. I know this danger very well because it is such an easy trap for me. I need the Gospel, and so do you. We must never let the thought that we move on from the Gospel or that we “graduate” from the Gospel enter our minds.

It is the Gospel that enables the prodigal to return home. It is the Gospel that gives the saved the grace to seek the salvation of the lost. It is the Gospel that keeps the saved freed from sin. It is the Gospel that restrains lingering sin from getting too strong of a hold. It is the Gospel that was preached to us that makes us want to preach the Gospel to others because it has the power to save us and it can save others too. It is the Gospel that has made terms of peace between us and God. And if we truly have been saved by the power of the Gospel, why would we be ashamed of speaking of it? Over the next several weeks, I will address how to share the Gospel, how not to share it, how to receive it, and how to deal with those who will either receive it or reject it.

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