ESV - 15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
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In my opinion, there are two general doctrinal falsities that can be put forth in presenting the gospel. One would be claiming that works can save apart from faith, and the other would be saying that there are certain types of sin that cannot be forgiven through repentance and faith. Those errors could be presented in a variety of ways (some of which might seem deceptively plausible), so discernment is required to always be on guard against them.
Paul wrote, 'I marvel that you are turning away from him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ' (Galatians 1:6). (I boldly say, 'I believe he was referring to what became over time, Catholicism'). That's verse 6, but it's the first thing out of his mouth after a 5 verse greeting! This is serious! There is so much to unpack in what he said. The important thing is that the people in the Galatian church, as is every believer, were "called in the grace of Christ," meaning we are chosen for salvation by the favor God has for the redeemed. It is false teaching to teach that salvation is a solely, volitional choice a believer makes after hearing the gospel preached. That's an impossibility because, 'We were dead in trespasses but God made us alive in Christ' (by grace we have been saved - Ephesians 2:5) God made us alive, quickened us, 'called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light' (1 Peter 2:9). You can call the dead until times get better, but they can't respond! Some even think sinners are called from observing how believers live. All such teaching is antagonistic to the certainty of the efficacy of the gospel. (It's good to live a clean-cut life. But if you do it thinking it has the saving power of the Cross of Christ, you're badly mistaken. I do admit however, that I began to listen more closely to the gospel because the church congregation had smiles on their faces and I had a frown). Again, believers are called! False teaching makes this 'calling' out to be only an 'invitation.' To be called by God is to be 'divinely summoned.' It's like being roused from sleep by a call; to be awakened. God has to do it! "All that the Father gives me will come to me..." (John 6:37) (that's too plain!) I ask that your minds may be opened to see his light, so that you will know what is the hope to which he has called you, how rich are the wonderful blessings he promises (not offers, but promises) his people, and how great is his power at work in us who believe. This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world (Ephesians 1:18-20 GNT). God might use a dark, cold, jail cell dungeon to awaken a soul to his / her need for his deliverance, but that's only 'the belly of a great fish.' (Jonah 1:17) It can cause an avowed atheist to pray. We don't have it in us to resist God's "CALL." How do I know that? I just read it in Ephesians 1:19; 'This power working in us IS THE SAME POWER which he used to raise Jesus from being dead...' Paul said he marveled, well I do too! It's really clear that the 'eyes of our understanding are enlightened' by that great power that raises the dead! It can't be said much plainer than that! But for some reason, probably because of all those years the church was under siege by Catholicism, some believers want it to be that they heard the good news and 'made the right decision.' (they submitted to a summons the way an accused defendant does, and then confessed because they were convicted by the evidence against them. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ... Romans 8:1). Matthew writes how the population of the kingdom of heaven is to be done. He compares it to a wedding feast a king threw for his son. The king sent invitations to the people whom he wanted to be there. They not only refused to come, they beat and robbed the servants the king sent to summon them. The king responded by sending his army to wipe them out. He then sent the servants back out to invite whoever would come. The wedding hall was filled. (Matt 22) But there was a man there who had not been ISSUED a wedding garment (vs 11). That's the point. Accepting an invitation isn't how we're qualified to attend.
When I was young this preacher gave a very good analogy of recognizing the truth from a non-truth. He said the treasure department are trained to recognize counterfeit money not by studying all the different counterfeit money, but they were trained to recognize the original so they could spot the fakes. The gospel is the same way. If you know the truth of the gospel, then you will be able to spot the fake.
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