The Heart of the Gospel Message Part 1

Pastor Mike will be speaking on The Heart of the Gospel Message Part 1. He will be reading out of 2nd Corinthians 5:21.

God uses people to advance His church. He tells us that every one of us as believers, our ambassadors, we are representative of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Every day of your life, as a believer, you are an official representative of a king, and that is Jesus Christ.

Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders, and we are thankful that you have tuned in to Hope Worth Having today. We’re delighted for the opportunity to share God’s word with you, and we are looking forward to hearing what the Lord has to say.

We’re gonna be in 2 Corinthians, chapter five, verse 18 through 20, and we are continuing our study about the commission of Christ. So I want you to grab your Bibles, and I want you to be considering what it is that God has called us to do.

So let’s begin our study in 2 Corinthians, chapter five. The first fruits of the creation, it’s the idea of the farmer who begins to grow the crop, and those first crops that begin to spring up are just an indication of what is to come, the kind of fruit that is to come in the crop.

And so it is that we as believers are the first fruits of the great work of salvation that Christ has done. As we have sprung up, God has planted into our hearts the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have responded to that gospel.

God initiated, he reached out to us, and he brought us into the family of God as we repented and believed in him. Now take your Bible and just back up a little bit. Don’t lose 2 Corinthians. We’re gonna go back, but I gotta bring some things into context for you.

1 Corinthians, chapter one. I want you to just back up to 1 Corinthians, chapter one. You need to note these verses. 1 Corinthians, chapter one, verse 30 and 31. 1 Corinthians, chapter one, verse 30 and 31.

Corinthians chapter one, verse 30 and 31. It’s very important for you to get there, pull it up on your device or get your Bible out. Whatever works for you, I just want the word of truth to be read by you this morning.

I want you to come to learn, to grow, to be sanctified by the truth. If you’re an unbeliever, I want you to be touched by the truth that you would be saved. Verse 30 says, but of him, you are in Christ Jesus.

Some translations put it like this, as a result of him. As a result of God, you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, that as it is written, he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.

The apostle is making it clear that we are in Christ as believers positionally. because of God, because of what God has done for us, because he is the one who pursues us and draws us, he is the one who sent his son, he is the one who loved us first, and he is the one who gives us the wisdom from God.

Some of you might say, hey, I was smart enough to believe. No, my friends, you weren’t. You and I were not. The Bible says we were dead in our trespasses, but he awakened us. Praise God. The gospel illuminated our minds and our thoughts.

The gospel helped us to understand. And so it’s God’s wisdom that helped us to understand the gospel, to believe the gospel. You can’t even give yourself credit there. And he says, goes on and says that he became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

So God, from the beginning to the end of our salvation, remember, I’ve taught you that salvation is not just the moment you get saved. Yes, you are positionally saved. And yes, you are justified before God, and he declares you to be righteous before him, but there’s a sanctification.

The old things are passing away. But note in our verse of chapter one of 1 Corinthians, verse 30, he says, not only righteousness, that’s the day you decided, sanctification, that’s what you’re going through now as you are growing and allowing old things to pass away, but your redemption.

He’s not just using another word to describe your salvation, but he is showing the full scope of salvation to you. It’s the redemption of your body. It’s the redemption. That is the culmination of your salvation, is that one day you are going to rise again as believers in God.

in Christ, and you are going to stand before God in a glorified, immortal body. And from the beginning that you decided to believe in Christ, all the way to the end where you are finally resurrected and you have a redemptive body standing before God Almighty, God is the authority and source of your salvation.

And so that leads us to verse 31 of 1 Corinthians chapter 1, that as it is written, he who glories, let him glory in the Lord. So why would God from the beginning to the end be the one who reconciles you so that he might be glorified?

You cannot take any credit for your salvation. From beginning to end, you cannot take any credit. You must give him all the glory. He who glories, let him glory in who? The Lord. He deserves all the credit this morning.

He deserves all the glory for what he has done for us. And that’s why the apostle says in 2 Corinthians 5 -8 that all things are of God. He’s talking about your salvation from beginning to end. He’s talking about your position in Christ.

He’s talking about your progressive growth in Christ. He’s talking about the old things passing away and all things becoming new. It is all the result of God. And so let God’s people say amen. Oh yes, I know it’s early, but you gotta do better than that.

Let God’s people say amen. This is your salvation. He deserves glory. You come into the house of the Lord this morning, there’s nothing to complain about. Nothing because you are a sanctified believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

You come worshiping and rejoicing that you know Christ as your savior. You’ll note in verse 18 of chapter five of 2 Corinthians, he said he has given us the ministry of reconciliation. It is God’s will that sinners be reconciled to him.

Romans 5 .10 tells us that for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. So I want you to know that God is not in the business of burning bridges, but God is in the business of reconciling people to him.

And this is why it’s never too late to come back to Jesus. It’s never too late to give your heart to Christ. This is why as a pastor that it doesn’t matter, man. and you could be on your deathbed. I want to try to win you to Christ as long as you have breath, as long as you have life.

I wanna do everything I can to lead you to Jesus Christ. I have seen people on their deathbed when I shared the gospel with them, squeeze my hand and say, I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Now they have not said it verbally, but they said it when they heard me say the gospel and I told them to squeeze my hand if you believe in Jesus.

Now it’s not recommended that you wait before you die to get saved, amen. It’s better to be saved young, it’s better to be saved and not have to deal with some of the craziness of this world and the foolishness of the flesh and to be led down the wrong paths by the devil.

It is so much better to give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. 70% of people in church today came to Christ as a child. That’s why children’s ministries are important. That’s why we should invest in the young people because they need to come to Jesus Christ.

I came to Christ through the bus ministry and I came to Christ as a young 11 year old boy. And I praise God for that. I praise God for that. But I want you to know no matter how old you are, God loves you.

And no matter how much of a mess you’ve made of your life, God is ready to reconcile with you. Now we have been given this ministry of reconciliation, each and every one of us. This is the message we must proclaim.

This is the message we must get out to every person is that we must help people understand that they can be reconciled to God. And note in Romans 5 .10, he says that we are reconciled by the death of his son and much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

So again, there it is. The death and resurrection of Christ brings about the reconciliation of sinners. It is what Christ has done on the cross for us, makes it possible for us to be reconciled to God.

The prophet Isaiah again said that your sins have separated you from your God. And so our sins separate us from God. For all of sin, we already learned. And it is our sinfulness that separates us from God.

And so praise God, Jesus Christ took the punishment, he took the penalty on the cross for our sins. But his resurrection is a part of our salvation as well. Not just in the fact that we are saved and forgiven by God, but he is raised again so that we might have a future with God, that we have not only the power of the cross, but the power of the resurrection that sanctifies our hearts and helps us to live with hope.

knowing one day we are going to live with God forever and ever and that not only are we going to live with God but all of our loved ones who believe in Christ are going to be united with us as we live with Christ forever and ever and ever.

Now we this morning need to be aware of three things first that the ministry of reconciliation has been given to us but the message of reconciliation has been given to us look at verse 19 that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself not imputing their trespasses to them and has committed to us the word of reconciliation the word of reconciliation meaning the message the message of reconciliation our message is that God’s Forgiveness is made possible through the cross.

Our message is that God is calling people to true salvation and that there is only one way to be reconciled with God. And that is through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

Now please understand, there are not many roads that lead to heaven. There are not many paths that eventually lead to heaven. There is only one way to heaven and that one way is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

And I know that we live in a pluralistic society and everybody wants to not offend others and we want to make everybody happy and we want you to feel good. And so we say, hey, this or that, but the bottom line is this, there’s only one way to heaven and that’s through Jesus.

Now on the flip side, we got to be careful as believers because we say, well, if you’re not a part of my church or if you’re not a part of my denomination or if you’re not a part of my particular faith, meaning the strand of faith, the particular doctrines that you might believe, then you can’t go to heaven.

Listen to me friends, probably the biggest shock you’re gonna have is that you’re not the only one going to heaven when you get to heaven. And you’re gonna be a little surprised at who you might see in heaven.

You might be surprised who’s not in heaven. But the one thing is this, the most important thing doesn’t matter the title of your church. It doesn’t matter what label you go by. It doesn’t matter even in the finite details of the doctrines of the faith that you might embrace.

What is most important is the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ. And so if I meet with a brother or a sister in Christ, who maybe we don’t see everything eye to eye, but the one thing that we see together is that Christ is the only way to heaven and she believes or he believes in Jesus Christ then my friends, they are a believer in Jesus.

Now, you know, as I tell people, you know, we may have to straighten you out a little bit. Just kidding. Maybe they need to straighten me out a little bit. How about that? Yeah, thank you, brother. Leave it to Brother Don.

He still owes me a cracker barrel breakfast. He hasn’t paid his dues yet. So he needs to take the pastor out for a nice cracker barrel breakfast. So make a comment like that. He owes me big time. So that’s the problem.

That’s the problem. The pastor gets the last word because he’s in the pulpit. Now I want you to know, I love you, Brother Don. We appreciate you. And I want you to know that this message of reconciliation that we recognize this wonderful message that we have is in Christ.

Look at that again in the text in verse 18. He says it’s God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Jesus is the one who makes us right. He makes us right with God and he does this through reconciliation.

That’s our message. The Bible says in Ephesians 2 13 now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. The message of reconciliation is that God loves us. We are sinners and in and of ourselves we cannot save ourselves.

But Christ loves us and gave his life for us on the cross and he took the penalty. He took the punishment on the cross for you. Your response is repentance and faith. Your response is to believe in Christ.

That’s how simple the message of reconciliation is. It is that the whole reason that Jesus came to this earth is that sinners might be reconciled to God. Now sometimes we like to complicate the gospel and we like to make it difficult because we want to make sure that everybody that responds is sincere.

Friends, when you cast the net there are times that people are not sincere. There are times that people are just going through the motions. But it does not in any way negate our responsibility to cast the net.

There are times that I have led people through a prayer of salvation with God. But friends. they are not to be found. They are not in the family of God. They are not coming to church. They are not allowing old things to pass away and things have not become new.

That just happens. But there are many that we’ve had the privilege and the joy of leading them to Christ. And it really did take in their hearts because they were sincere. Now friends, I didn’t change the message.

I didn’t in any way try to soften it up. But what I did was just give the message and it’s up to the person to respond to God and to be sincere in their response. And you could study the Gospel of Mark chapter four later in your own time to understand how different people respond.

But here’s what I want to get across to you. No matter how people respond. You just keep planting the message the seed for there is one God one mediator between God and man It is the man Christ Jesus Now the gospel is simple as ABC It’s as simple as ABC.

Remember this is important for you and that is number one We must acknowledge that we’re a sinner When you talk to people your first job is to teach them. They’re a sinner Pastor Art Brown. How many of you remember Pastor Art Brown?

He was a great servant here He served at the open -door church as an associate pastor. God called him to heaven many years ago But he always used to tell me Pastor Mike you have to get him lost before you get him saved Amen, that’s so true.

And So the gospel begins by people acknowledging they are sinners, but it continues with them believing in Christ They must believe that Christ died for them that he rose again for them. It is personal it is not just generic, but it is personal and then they must call upon the name of the Lord for forgiveness and Salvation the Bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be what church?

Say you can remember that you can easily share that message You might add things to it. But the key is this remember the gospel is as easy as ABC So we said to you at the outset that there are three things You must be aware of that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation number one number two, we have been given the message of reconciliation and finally we must be the models of Reconciliation we come to that classic verse in verse 20 of chapter 5 Second Corinthians now then we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were pleading through us.

We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. Listen to me, God uses people to advance His church. God uses people to advance His church. You say it’s all of God, it is, but He uses you. He uses me to advance His church.

And He tells us that every one of us as believers are ambassadors. That means we are an official representative. An ambassador is a representative of a king, a representative of a government, and we are representative of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Every day of your life, as a believer, you are an official representative of a king, and that is Jesus Christ. The apostle said in Ephesians 6 .20, I am an ambassador in bonds that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.

It didn’t matter what the apostles’ condition was. It didn’t matter whether he was in chains, whether he was on house arrest, whether he was going through difficult times, being persecuted for his faith.

He recognized that in all circumstances, in all cases, in all places, he is an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ. Now listen, the Holy Spirit does not flow through methods and programs, but the Holy Spirit flows through people, men and women.

If you are to be used of God, it is not a method, it is not a program, it is people fully surrendered to be ambassadors of Christ. When you understand that you are a model as a reconciling, helping to be that example and ambassador, you understand that God is using you to plead to others.

Did you see that in the text? Did you note that? Did you understand that? Did you see what he was saying in verse 20? That he says, as though God were pleading through us, every job is a ministry assignment.

Every one of you that has a job, you are already in ministry. You don’t have to be ordained. You don’t have to answer a certain call. The call is already out, and you have responded to God. And every job is a ministry assignment.

And he is pleading to other people through you to be reconciled to God. That’s what he’s doing. And the question is, what kind of model are you? you now listen to me sorry to keep saying that as if you’re not right you got a captured audience Mike relax hear me and that is this no matter what season you are in in your life we go through season no matter what chapter you are in life you have an assignment from God every chapter every season every job is an assignment from God that you are to allow God to plead through you to bring people to Christ that’s why the Bible says whatever you do do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men you don’t have to worry about who your supervisor is you don’t have to worry about who your human boss is what you need to recognize is that every day every assignment comes from the Lord every person in your path God is pleading to people, to sinners through you.

Now, how does he do that? Real quickly, write these down. If you’d like to take notes, write these down. Number one through our lives, real quickly. When you become a believer, God is producing a radical change in your character and your conduct.

That in and of itself, when people see the transformation that old things are passing away and behold, all things are new, God is pleading to sinners through you, through your life. Number two, through our lips.

Through our lips, changed lives caused those around us to ask what happened to us. And we are to respond by sharing the hope of the gospel. Now listen, friends, if you’re out there using filthy language, you’re hurting the cause of Christ.

I literally had a Christian ask me if it was okay to curse. No, my friends, it’s not. No filthy language. They said, it’s not in the Bible. You see, why would you ask a pastor that, right? You think he’s stupid?

You think he doesn’t study his Bible? So here’s the thing. The scripture says, let no filthy communication proceed from your mouth, right? So your lips need to speak grace to the hearers. And there’s no greater grace than the grace of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, that brings salvation to all who believe him.

We are pleading not only through our lives and our lips, but through our loyalty to Christ. That’s why I love to read the Old Testament and to read about people like Ruth and Daniel and Joseph. and Moses to read about the great saints of God who refuse to bend or bow to the world or to the gods of this world.

They are loyal. Listen, when you stand for Christ it sends a profound message to unbelievers. You are pleading, you are pleading, not only through your lives, your lips, and your loyalty, but your love.

Jesus told his disciples that the world knows that you belong to him because you have love for one another. And finally, through our labor. We are to be people of good works. We are to always be abounding in the work of the Lord.

Well, Mike, there’s a virus. And what’s your point? I’m for being cautious. That’s why I preached four times. That’s why I preached three times now. I’m for being cautious. But I want to tell you something, Pastor Mike’s not quitting.

And I’m not gonna retreat and I’m not gonna go hide or huddle in the basement of my house. Okay, that’s Pastor Mike. I’m gonna be laboring for Jesus. Yes, when I’m out there with the people who need the gospel, there’s the potential.

But listen to me, friends. I don’t understand it. I feel like some are more fearful of the virus than they are of God. They are more fearful of a virus than they are of God. And I wish that people had as much fear for God as they do for this virus.

Then this nation would change. Then families would change. Then homes would change. Then the church would change. We are not calling you to be foolish. We are not calling you to be reckless. But we are calling you to be a people of faith and understand that God is calling us to be a people of good works and to always abound in the work of the Lord and to communicate the gospel recognizing that through our lives, through our lips, through our loyalty and through our love and labor, God is pleading to this world, be reconciled to Him through Christ.

God has called all believers to proclaim the gospel and that includes you. We receive our commission from God and He is calling us to take His truth to the world, the only answer for this world. world is for us to share this wonderful ministry of reconciliation and I hope today that you have been inspired, encouraged to take that step of faith and to begin spiritual conversations with others and to engage them in discussions about the Lord Jesus Christ.

This commission is not an option, it is a command and I pray that the Lord will work in our hearts and bless us with obedience that we would follow His command. I want to encourage you to check out our website hopeworthhaving .com and on that website we have our newsletters and on the newsletters I’ve written different articles and it also shares with you different parts of the Hope Worth Having ministry so make sure that you check out that newsletter, read those articles, many different topics and if you take time to read those articles I know to encourage you in your walk with the Lord.

and continue to guide you as you strive to honor Christ in your life. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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