Some people have made a mess of their faith because they didn’t listen to their consciences. 1 Timothy 1:19 (CEV).
There’s something wholesome and wonderful about the Gospel. It moves us from unbelief to belief in Christ, and from deserving God’s wrath to receiving His grace and mercy.
When I was a young Christian I remember my father-in-law, an international evangelist, saying that the Gospel was GRACE, i.e. God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. That’s a great acrostic – a reminder of the amazing truth that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – sinners like you and me.
This is the Gospel: Christ Jesus came to bring us grace, mercy and kindness from God the Father and to cleanse us from our sins when we were unable to help ourselves. Do you believe this? This message isn’t optional to Christian faith. Salvation in Christ Jesus isn’t a take it or leave it matter. There is no faith without “full acceptance” (1 Timothy 1:15) of the Gospel.
Now you may call yourself a Christian, but if you don’t accept the Gospel you’re not a Christian. This isn’t my opinion. This is the plain teaching of the Bible.
Sadly and tragically, most of the false teaching we find around the church today denies the need for faith in Christ Jesus. So listen to your conscience. God has instilled in you a sense of what’s right and wrong (cf. Romans 2:15). Don’t ignore it. If you hear someone teaching a message that omits the Gospel, see them for what they are – a false teacher.
Here’s the rub: There’s a whole lot of empty talk and senseless stories being sprouted from some pulpits today. Don’t wreck your faith by believing preachers or teachers who don’t know what they’re talking about. Don’t depart from the Gospel message. Be on your guard. Stay true to your confession of faith. And “fight like a good soldier” (1 Timothy 1:18) to hold onto the glorious truth by watching your life and doctrine closely.