This is from The Mission blog (Randy Sheets):
Please read the following, doctrinally correct, words by former Moody Memorial Church Pastor Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951). . .
“The Gospel is not a call to repentance, or to amendment of our ways, to make restitution for past sins, or to promise to do better in the future. These things are proper in their place, but they do not constitute the Gospel; for the Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed. Do not make the mistake then of thinking that the Gospel is a call to duty or a call to reformation, a call to better your condition, to behave yourself in a more perfect way than you have been doing in the past. . .
"Nor is the Gospel a demand that you give up the world, that you give up your sins, that you break off bad habits, and try to cultivate good ones. You may do all these things, and yet never believe the Gospel and consequently never be saved at all.”
SOURCE: Dr. Harry A. Ironside, from the sermon: "What Is The Gospel?"
Clearly, Ironside taught a Free Grace view of the Gospel, which is Biblical.
A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith.
vietrandy@gmail-dot-com (Randy Sheets)
Being raised in an idolatrous Irish Catholic family, I had sacraments running out of my ears. These sacraments are only man-made, outward shows of religion. The carnal, unsaved mind loves sacraments because it feeds their pride of self-salvation (work yourself for salvation).
We are saved from the inside out, not the outside in (by using sacraments). If someone is constantly concerned about external rituals and ordinances and liturgies, they can't possibly be abiding in Christ. Abiding in Christ is an internal relationship. External things like sacraments are only window dressing and are absolutely worthless.
It is only faith in the Blood of Jesus that cleanses us from sin--not external, religious calisthenics (sacraments).
This happened just a few days ago. I hitchhiked from North Bend to the west side of Eugene, Oregon. I had to walk with my backpack in 90 degree heat through Eugene and through Springfield (which is a number of miles). By the time I got to the east side of Springfield, my feet were aching and I was very tired.
I saw this evangelical church. They had a sign that said they were going to have a concert and free hot dogs. All I needed was to fill up my water bottle, because it was so hot. There were chairs set up outside the church and some people were setting up musical equipment. I put my backpack down next to the building and grabbed my water bottle.
I walked up to the people and asked if I could fill up my water bottle. The leader looked at me and hesitated (he probably saw my backpack) and then he said okay. I walked inside the church building and filled up my water bottle. I thanked them and tried to start a little conversation by mentioning that I was into intercessory prayer; there was no response.
I walked back to my backpack. Nobody invited me to their concert, nobody asked me if I needed a hot dog, nobody suggested that I sit down for a while and rest my tired feet (I was hobbling a little because I had been walking for miles in the heat with a 55 pound backpack). I walked away from that church building knowing that the spirit of Christ was not there--but I am sure they thought they were Christians because they went to a church building on Sunday to socialize (idolatry).
I walked on down the street and noticed a Dairy Queen sign. I had a few dollars on me, so I walked into the Dairy Queen. I bought my first cherry milkshake in years. After I finished my milkshake, I walked outside to my backpack. There was this family sitting at a table outside near my backpack. As I grabbed my backpack, they asked me what I was doing.
I told them about my life on the road and that I was obeying the Lord. We had the most wonderful fellowship. They wished me good travels as I walked on down the street. It was SO redeeming. That fellowship was so spontaneous and full of the Holy Ghost; they were genuinely interested in my life of hitchhiking and obeying the Lord.
That family at that Dairy Queen were so alive in Christ. That evangelical church was absolutely dead.
I should go to Dairy Queen more often.
Quote, "I should go to Dairy Queen more often." Tim, this speaks volumes and volumes beyond what we both realize my brother. I read your thoughts and it really touched me, I could visualize you standing there in the midst of a "church social club" and them not even recognizing some of the most basic tenants taught by Christ. They are unaware of Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares; and Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: or Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. NOPE NONE OF THESE. . . So, where do you find solace and comfort and fellowship? In a Dairy Queen... Very very revealing and telling...
God bless you my brother.
Saving faith is believing-in-God faith, not believing-in-a-man-made-institution faith or believing-in-myself faith. "Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him as righteousness."
I meet so many people who believe in Christian principles, but they reject Christ with their lives.
Years ago I was hitchhiking in West Virginia. I got dropped off in Charleston. I walked past this place where it looked like these people were having a picnic. I walked a couple of blocks away, put down my backpack and started thumbing for a ride.
A few minutes later these two teenage girls walked up to me and asked me if I would like to come to their church picnic. I was pleasantly surprised. So I walked back to their picnic. There I met the pastor and some other people. It started to rain, so we moved everything inside the church building. We had food and good fellowship.
I later learned that that pastor invited another hitchhiker and a homeless person to their picnic. Now how many pastors would do that? The pastor put me up in a motel for the night and I hitchhiked to Washington, D.C. the next day.
It was all so totally unexpected and spontaneous and refreshing. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a little child: unexpected, spontaneous, refreshing, living by faith in God.
By Tim Shey
My eyes weep blood.
Pharisees smile like vipers,
They laugh and mock their venom:
Blind snakes leading
The deaf and dumb multitude.
Where are my friends?
The landscape is dry and desolate.
They have stretched my shredded body
On this humiliating tree.
The hands that healed
And the feet that brought good news
They have pierced
With their fierce hatred.
The man-made whip
That opened up my back
Preaches from a proper pulpit.
They sit in comfort:
That vacant-eyed congregation.
The respected, demon-possessed reverend
Forks his tongue
Scratching itchy ears
While Cain bludgeons
Abel into silence.
My flesh in tattered pieces
Clots red and cold and sticks
To the rough-hewn timber
That props up my limp, vertical carcase
Between heaven and earth.
My life drips and puddles
Below my feet,
As I gaze down dizzily
On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.
The chapter-and-versed wolves
Jeer and taunt me.
Their sheepwool clothing
Is stained black with the furious violence
Of their heart of stone.
They worship me in lip service,
But I confess,
I never knew them
(Though they are my creation).
My tongue tastes like ashes:
It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
I am so thirsty.
This famine is too much for me.
The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
Papa, into your hands
I commend my Spirit.
Iowa State University
Genesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”