FORBIDDEN SCRIPTURES #4
Here is test #4: Read the Scriptures below, then try to remember the last time you heard a sermon on this text. Probably you never have because these verses are among those which contradict the beliefs of most people. Most preachers have never preached on such verses. Often they have never dealt with them except to try to explain them away, assuring their hearers that they do not really mean what they say. So, take the test. Read these verses and decide if you and your preacher and your church really do believe all that the Bible says. Perhaps you will decide that some changes need to be made – not in the Bible – but in your thinking and understanding. Here is another of the “Forbidden Scriptures.”
“The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it” (Luke 16:16).
In this verses Jesus said that something ended with John the Baptist and something began with him. The Old Testament legal system ended with John. Many people have the idea that the Old Testament age ended either when Jesus was nailed to the tree on Calvary or on the famous Day of Pentecost that followed. Nothing could be farther from the truth! It ended with the ministry of John the Baptist! Jesus said so! But something also began with the Baptist. It was the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom. The Bible says, “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1, 2). This is God’s message to man – repent! After John the Baptist was imprisoned, we learn that the Lord Jesus Christ began to preach the same message – the message at first preached by the first Baptist.The Bible says, “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee… From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:12,16). Jesus took up preaching John’s message. True repentance is brought about only by broken heartedness or what the Bible calls “godly sorrow” (See 2 Corinthians 7:10). This is not a popular subject and few really preach it. Do not let anyone fool you: repentance is not just making a decision! If all that is required is making a decision, would not God have plainly said so? God requires more than a decision in the matter of salvation!
Some try to say that John the Baptist’s message and his baptismended and have been replaced by another gospel andsomething they call “Christian baptism.” How can this be? John’s baptism is the only baptism that Christ’s Church had because all His disciples were baptized by the Baptist. John´s was the only baptism that Jesus had. Are we to believe that Christ and His Church did not have Christian baptism? We would be happy if someone could show us in the Scriptures where this new gospel and this “Christian baptism” began and who was sent by God to initiate them. (The Baptist said that it was God that “sent me to baptize” in John 1:33.) The Bible makes it clear that Jesus and His apostles continued both John’s message and John’s baptism for no other is known in the Scriptures to be valid.Remember, you cannot give what you do not have! John’s baptism is still valid today! But back to John’s gospel: When Paul was nearing the end of his ministry he said that his message (gospel) to both Jews and Gentiles was the same. He went everywhere, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). His was a message requiring real repentance! Repentance which changes lives! Paul wrote these words: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).These last two texts prove that Paul preached the same message of repentance as a requirement for inheriting the kingdom as did both Christ and the Baptist before Him. Do you not see that in order to be saved you must repent of your sins? Jesus said, “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). Do not be deceived! Neither praying a magical prayer nor making a decision nor any other religious experience will save you! May God be pleased to show you your awful depravity, work godly sorrow in your heart, and grant you repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus.
Contact: Curtis Pugh, 505 NanihWaiya Ln., Poteau, OK 74953 – Telephone: (918) 647-7322
Authorized by the Bible Baptist Church, Denham Springs, Louisiana
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