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The Exclusiveness of the Gospel, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2022 3:00 am

The Exclusiveness of the Gospel, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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January 25, 2022 3:00 am

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It is absolutely critical that the world hear the gospel of Jesus Christ that they not only hear it, but that they understand it accurately, that they believe it. Nothing recent for themselves because it is the only saving truth course a message like that with no hard demands is easy to swallow, but is that what the Bible teaches about salvation in Christ as their wiggle room for those who don't embrace him. Can they find a place in heaven. In today's postmodern world. The exclusiveness of the gospel is more controversial and more attacked than ever. And it's critical to know why you believe that Christ is the only way to God and eternal life, and how to share those exclusive claims to a skeptical and relativistic world for help in this area stay here on grace to you as John MacArthur continues his series delivered by God. Now with the lesson here is John when you do Bible exposition. The way I do you get into a book, you stay a long time so issues arise that have to be addressed and so sometimes we have to take a bit of a rabbit trail away from the main road in order to deal with an issue this is a very very pertinent issue. It would seem that everybody and evangelical Christianity. Everybody who is truly a Christian would understand that the gospel is the heart of Christianity that the gospel is found only in the Scripture, and that the gospel must be preached to the ends of the earth. I grew up understanding that my theological education. Affirmed. It my years of studying the Bible is seal that affirmation the heart of the Christian faith is the gospel. The gospel is found in the New Testament the foundations of the gospel are found in the Old Testament and the gospel must be preached to the ends of the earth. The people are to be saved.

That's essentially the Christian mission.

That's what the church has believe that has compelled its life that has been its mandate. Jesus said, go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in my name, and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. He said it another way, he said go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature that has been the Church's mandate true Christians have always believed that the true church is always talk that we have believed and been compelled by the fact that if people don't hear the gospel, they can't be saved and if they aren't saved, then they'll spend eternity in hell. Under the judgment of God. So it is absolutely critical that the world hear the gospel of Jesus Christ that they not only hear it, but that they understand it accurately, that they believe it that they embrace it for themselves because it is the only saving truth, compelled by this clear biblical mandate Christians through the centuries have taken the saving message to the ends of the earth generation after generation. They have been engaged in doing this, preaching the gospel to every person on earth has been the goal of the church.

I've told you many times that that's only that's the only reason were still here were already saved and sealed for eternity.

There is no reason to leave us here except for this responsibility of evangelism. Now we believe the Bible is very clear that salvation comes through believing in Christ, believing in Christ comes from hearing and understanding the gospel being able to hear and understand the gospel can only occur if somebody takes the message somebody can only take the message of their sent with it. That's what Romans 10 says you're saved by believing in Christ, but you can't believe in Christ unless you hear about Christ. You can't hear about Christ unless somebody preaches and somebody's not gonna preach unless their sent and that is our mandate and that has been the mission of the church since the church was born on Pentecost and Jesus said, you will receive the Holy Spirit in your be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the uttermost part of the earth since the church was launched till today on counted millions of dollars in every currency on the map of the world and millions of hours of effort and work and millions of Christian people through the centuries have been spent and sacrificed to take the only message of salvation to the edges of the earth translation work rigorous, difficult, challenging work of taking a language that isn't even written in development developing an alphabet in developing a way to write that language and teaching the people to read their own language when they've never even seen it and then giving them the Scriptures and the gospel and leading them to Christ. Rigorous work that takes decades and then printing materials in every language, preaching, teaching evangelizing, that's what the church is been engaged in since it's calling since the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and unrelenting effort to use every means available to reach people with the only message that can save them from eternal judgment. And that's the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have greater means to take the gospel to the ends of the world and we never had technology sophistication in the application of that technology to every imaginable medium of communication has given us greater power now than ever to bring the gospel to the end of the earth. And isn't it amazing that at this point in time of the enemy of men's souls. The enemy of God.

The archrival of God. Satan himself as cranked up his efforts to prevent this is done in a couple of interesting ways. One is to make the church confused about what the gospel is over the last 15 years. This is been a battle, but I've been engaged in with some others to try to make sure that Christian people understand what the gospel is it doesn't do any good to have the technology doesn't do any good to have the opportunity doesn't do any good to have the financial means it doesn't do any good to have the manpower to take the message to the ends of the earth below with the messages so it certainly a very wise strategy on the part of the enemy of men's souls to confuse the church about the message.

So, along with many others, I've been engaged in writing books to try to clarify for Christians: quote what the gospel is because the churches become confused about the gospel.

They're not really sure whether Jesus is Lord or not, whether he needs to be lowered or not doesn't seem to be important to the church anymore that people understand the true biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, grace alone in Christ alone does seem to be important to some people that there is repentance of sin that we preach repentance.

In fact, some people think that some kind of an intrusion into grace is a failure to understand the doctrine of substitution imputation that is the true understanding that our sins were imputed fully to a substituted died in our place and that we contribute nothing to our salvation except faith in that substitute.

So here we are, is an evangelical church confused about the message and you hear as I mentioned, the pastor of a very large evangelical church make a statement like the Reformation was overrated as to its importance. But what the Reformation did was define the gospel. Not only do we not know what the gospel is largely were not even sure it's important to get it right. That's a tragic thing here we are on the brink of really the greatest potential to spread the gospel of the ends of the earth and were not sure what it is in the church and the processes got shallower and shallower. There are number of reasons why one of them is because churches have proliferated everywhere. Honestly, that are being pastored by men who were unskilled, untrained, and I don't have the theological background to be able to define things biblically and with any depth.

Another is that there is this concern not to offend anybody make church fun and entertaining, and so we create some kind of synthetic gospel that is not enough truth in it to save anybody know all that is bad enough and we've tried to address that. But there's a new wave and evangelical world that is at least as frightening if not more frightening and the new wave and evangelical world is this, there are some people who are telling us it isn't necessary to even take the gospel to the ends of the earth's not necessary. People are being saved without it.

Without it now. This view has some labels. Let me just me just give you little teaching here. This is a theology class for a few minutes you can handle. And I know if I can understand it, you can understand what is that what is the name for this. This idea that somebody can get saved. Somebody can get into the kingdom of God. Somebody can go to heaven without the gospel. This is this is one named natural theology that is that men naturally can ascend to a knowledge of God can ascend to a relationship to God can ascend by his reason and his innate desire to do what's right to complying with God's will.

This is natural. That is to say opposite of supernatural supernatural theology says it got us to come down to save men. Natural theology says man can climb up to God.

That's the approach got on the natural level. This is the say that man has the natural reasoning process and power become the God to be saved without the Scripture, advocates say mankind may discover the existence of God. He may discover the attributes of God. He may discover the nature of God by human reason apart from scriptural revelation man is capable of knowing God. Knowing the truth about God and knowing God's will, without the Bible. His reason is sufficient.

Now, obviously, to believe that you could not have a reformed view of depravity. You have to believe that man has not only innate reasoning power, but innate goodness to pursue that to pursue righteousness so people who advocate this have a flawed view of man's depravity. But what they advocate is that man can make it to heaven without the Bible you can make it to heaven without the gospel. So what's all the missionary fuss about. You don't need repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul said he had to preach in acts 20. The loss do not near need to hear the gospel they don't need to have a Bible will need all this translation were really all these people sacrificing their lives in the remote areas with small tribes of people try to get them the Bible and the word of God in the gospel that saved because they can be saved without it because Christ is not the issue. The gospel is not the issue.

The Bible is not the issue, sincerity, and goodness is the issue in this is the natural theology idea that man by his natural powers is reasoning powers and some innate goodness can ascend to the knowledge of God and the will of God. And please God and earn salvation whether he ever sees a Bible never hears about Jesus Christ. This is somehow motivated by some human conception of fairness. This is not fair somehow for somebody somewhere not to be able to be saved when they don't have immediate access to the gospel. Now, this introduces us to that sort of evangelical side of this and that there's a term that's being used today to describe it. It's called the wider mercy view, which is a little easier to handle than the natural theology view the idea that man in his depraved condition can find God.

Find God's will live a righteous life, and please God is a that's impossible to prove by Scripture. So rather than posture yourself as a natural theologian, you did rather be a supernatural theologian see come up with another title, the wider mercy view that there is this wider latitude. There is this inclusive view in which show the Lord is going to include everybody in what sense essentially says is that people can be saved in any religion. The leading proponent of this wider mercy view and all quote he says this when we approach the man of faith other than our own somebody and another religion. It will be in a spirit of expectancy to find out how God has been speaking to him and what new understanding of the grace and love of God we may ourselves discover in this encounter. Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, another religion is to take off our shoes.

The place we are approaching is holy. Else we find ourselves treading on men's dreams more. We may forget that God was here before our arrival that redefines missions pretty significant. Instead of going into a tribe and saying these people are lost. These people are doomed in darkness. You walk in there and you say you're standing on holy ground because God has been there in the form of their paganism. The ads God has more going on. By way of redemption. Then what happened in first century Palestine." I can't imagine a more disastrous belief than that God has more going on. By way of redemption than what happened in first century Palestine.

What is that say that says that the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was just one thing in the midst of many, rather than the single greatest event in all redemptive history that depreciates Christ that depreciates his incarnation, his virgin birth is incarnation his sinless life is substitutionary death, his bodily resurrection is Ascension's intercession, the second coming.

Everything of Christ is just one among many. This is a say this is confusing. Well yes, I think I know what you're thinking. Not because I'm a mission, but because you probably think like I do and what you're thinking is how can people believe this, how can they believe this when the Bible says salvation is in Christ alone right John 14 six Jesus said on the way the truth and the life no man comes under the father but by me pretty clear. Export 12 neither is there salvation in the other. There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. We know that Jesus says in John seven because you believe not in me will die in your sins and where I go you never come believing in Jesus into anybody who reads the New Testament is the only way to be safe. There is no other Savior. There's only one mediator. It says: Timothy, there's only one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus the one mediator, how they deal with us. Some of these people men talk about Jesus. Every time there on television every time they got to speak.

What are they talking about, what are they saying to say Jesus is the only Savior Jesus is the only Savior and then to say that Muslims and Buddhists and animists and who knows what all over the place are all going to be in the body of Christ in their organ to be in the kingdom, and all that to be in heaven. How does that work in here is the answer that they're saying the work of Christ is the only basis of salvation, but is not necessary to know that you didn't know that God was a Trinity you didn't know God revealed himself in Christ, you did know Christ lived, died and rose again you know anything about that, but Christ is still going to be your Savior. He still will pay the price for your sins so that they would say he is the only Savior but he has atoned for and paid the price for the sins of people who will never know about a Bible and will never know about Jesus Christ.

They will still directly benefit from his work on the cross without ever knowing it.

You ask how could this get into evangelicalism how could we succumb to this. How can we buy into this.

How could pastors be saying the Reformation doesn't really matter and now maybe we really need to redefine missions altogether all over the world. But that's exactly what's happening. Well all of that to say we have a major problem and you know the way to address this, simply go to the Scriptures right. I mean it's like America to give you my opinion.

My opinion is worth anything, what is the Bible has to say about this. Do we have a biblical case for the input for the exclusivism do we have a biblical case for the fact that if you don't know the gospel and you don't believe in Jesus Christ, you're going to heaven answer to that is yes and we have a biblical case for the fact that natural theology is not get anybody anywhere. We also biblical case that God's mercy is extremely narrow effect.

If you're looking for the word narrow. You can find it in Matthew seven it is a kind gait narrow gate, so this is a narrow mercy and supernatural theology. And that's what I want to show you from Scripture. Now where we can start wellness start by a general reference or just sit there. Don't get into your Bible right now just listen for a minute.

This is a general reference to Genesis 3, but I don't want you to go there because it will be looking for verses and I'm not can refer on only go doing a generally Genesis 3, you know what happened.

Genesis 3 right Genesis wanted to his creation.

Genesis 3 is the fall of man man is created in the image of God and then God creates a partner if you have Adam and Eve and their in a condition of perfection. They have perfect bodies, perfect minds. Therefore, they have perfect reason. Okay, they live in a perfect environment that is not at all skewed and they have a perfect relationship with the creator. So this is perfection gained were in the garden in a perfect environment. They have perfect minds capable of perfect understanding capable of perfect reason, capable of perfect conclusions still Adam and Eve in the state of perfection could not on their own understand why they were created they can understand that they were created and can understand that something more powerful than them, created them and something with an immense mind some sum being that love the beauty and love the order and love design and had power and gave life and all of that but they couldn't know why they were created. They couldn't know what they were to do what they were not to do, how they were to do it unless there was somebody who told them they would know how to respond to their environment, how to function in the garden so God said to them, you can eat everything. Otherwise it wouldn't know me and he said don't eat that if you do you'll die and he said this is your wife have babies and he said name those animals. That's why they were walking and talking with God in the garden because God was giving them special revelation about how they were to relate to him and how they were to relate to their world natural theologians should be shocked to discover that Adam couldn't know divine truth by his perfect reason he couldn't buy his own reason his own perfect intellect.

He couldn't have come to know that he was not to eat this, and to eat this, that he was to name the animals etc. etc. that he was to tend the garden got it to tell them all that Robert Morey says Adam was not created to be the origin of truth, justice, morals, meaning and beauty.

The creator walked with man in the garden. These daily sessions were special revelation God told man, why you created him and what he was to do in the garden he revealed a man what he could and couldn't eat. In other words God was the origin and source of truth, justice, morals, meaning and beauty and man's responsibility was to receive what God revealed man was not the origin but the receiver of true it's true Adam and Eve would've known something about God, but they wouldn't have known what God wanted from them. If he hadn't told them we wouldn't even understand man's freefall condition, we wouldn't understand his fallen condition at the wasn't for Genesis 1, two and three.

Do you know you can study the religions of the world. The philosophers of the world.

The theologians of the world. None of them ever comes up with the right understanding of man's creation and man's depravity. None of them they don't ever because you can't get there from depraved reasoning and remember this when Satan got in the garden perfect man with a perfect mind, perfect understanding, perfect reasoning in that condition Satan comes in and what does he want Adam and Eve to distrust the reason he says to them.

Has God said you can't trust God's word. See what Satan always wants us to do is to distrust special revelation and trust reason and Satan's leading it.

Eve, through this little scenario finally says you like to die.

Kimberly got the lies that said that you're going to die at to be like God he didn't like that optician Satan tempted man to trust his reason and reject revelation from the mouth of God.

This is grace to you with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John is Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. He's titled our current study delivered by God and dealt with the theme of deliverance in mind we receive some letters recently from a couple people who are benefiting from Grace to you and they are pursuing people in their lives who also need God's deliverance and so John, you have those letters in front of you all let you take it from there. While thanks Phil yeah these are wonderful encouraging letters. The first one starts out my husband and I love Jesus and follow your ministry your recent sermon series on homosexuality and the Bible has led me to send this note. We own a flat in Chicago that we rent out.

We always pray that the Lord will send us the right tenants three years ago we had an opening and we brought in some young people that we now realize are transgender.

I reminded myself that we had prayed that God would bring us the people he wanted to be here.

I look for the good and for opportunities to be a light in their lives. My husband has spent hours giving them the gospel, telling them about the love of Jesus and our heavenly father. One of the tenants that he was abandoned by his father when he was two years old and never knew him. His pain was apparent to us. I care deeply about these young people and pray that they can have peace knowing our Savior.

There's so much opportunity out there.

We must love these folks and tell them the truth, it will not return empty. Thank you for your teaching. John is water in a dry and thirsty land in the sign their name to that but you know that's the right attitude.

You there's no sense in heaping scorn on those kinds of sinners who we we need to come to them with the offer of grace as well as acknowledging their sin is another letter from Aaron being a Native American. It's not easy being a Christian I grew up on a reservation and we have many cultural influences including witchcraft, shape shifters, and more.

Sadly, one of my daughters recently told me she no longer believes in Jesus is the only way to heaven. She now embraces the religious traditions of our tribe and wants to become a medicine woman. I feel brokenhearted about this, but I have faith that God will deal with her heart.

I continue to talk to my children about Christianity, and pray for them in times of difficulty. What is needed is a strong reassurance of God's faithfulness and his love and care. Your teaching has provided that for me thank you Preston MacArthur for your boldness.

I listen to grace to almost daily online signs his name well.

Can you imagine your daughter announcing she's going become a medicine woman. That's not a case you getting counseling every day. I don't think I've ever heard of it before but that's that's a daughter and that's the heartbreak of a father and a mother. But that's why we're here to undergird people who are struggling with those kinds of issues you know dealing with transgender people in an imaginative medicine woman grace. She was here for that very reason to bring the word of God to those folks who so desperately needed. The need for faithful proclamation of the word of God is perhaps greater than its ever been were thrilled for the privilege of God is given us to do that through the radio and through the Internet so join us in praying for the ministry and supporting it anyway you can just do pray for us and friend. It doesn't matter how dark the culture gets or how unpopular biblical truth, becomes the focus of grace to you will always be preaching the unvarnished truth of God's word.

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That's our website now for John MacArthur and the entire Greece. Do you staff on Phil Johnson encouraging you to come back tomorrow when John looks at why Christ and Christ alone is the only way to salvation and eternal life easier for John study delivered by God as he continues unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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