08 Jul Only to the Cross I Cling
The central theme of the Bible, is the Cross. Let’s start in Genesis with the first family, Adam and Eve. We know after they sinned, God gave them a temporary stop gap measure until the Redeemer came. He showed them the animal sacrifice, the shedding of blood for sin. This was known as the sin offering. We also know the He prophesied of the coming Redeemer, how he would come, through the woman. He let them know that He would crush the head (power or authority over mankind, i.e., the sin nature) of the serpent while His heel would be bruised; speaking of His death on the Cross.
It doesn’t take long for man to come up with his own plan.
Gen 4:5-7 says, “But unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
In these verses, notice, God would have accept Cain’s offering if he had presented the proper sacrifice. Instead he offered the works of his hand. God said, “Sin (sin offering) lieth at the door.” In other words, there was a lamb that was at the door of the tabernacle, possibly the tabernacle Abel built, and he was to offer this lamb upon the altar. In the last sentence of verse 7 it plainly tells us that if Cain would go God’s way then he would rule his brother. Cain, the older, would be over Abel, the younger. God would give preference to him. Cain was too self-righteous to kill a lamb but not too self-righteous to kill his brother. And, the self-righteous have been killing ever since.
Even more interesting is that Abel’s name ends up in Hebrews 11. Here he is listed as a man of faith. The kind of faith God requires. It is placing ones total trust and confidence in what Jesus did on the Cross. How could Abel put faith in Jesus who wasn’t even born yet? It is because God’s promise was He would send The One who would come and bruise the serpents head. He would be the seed of the woman, a supernatural birth, a birth decreed by the Holy Spirit. Abel placed his faith in the one who was to come. It tells in, Hab 2:4 “but the just shall live by faith.” meaning that those (in the Old Testament) who had placed their faith in the one who is to come; in God’s eye are justified, made clean. This (faith) is the way salvation comes and has always come to the child of God!
Once again, in the Old Testament, those who would come by faith before Christ were accepted the same as those who come by faith after Jesus came. Our victory has always been in the Cross and yet the Church has moved so far away from this message. This is why God has called Debbie and I here to preach this message. Heritage Christian Center is focusing on the Cross. The Cross is the central theme of the Bible and it is God’s “prescribed order of victory.” God lists in Hebrews 11, individuals who looked forward to a Redeemer and we know it was Jesus. We find that Moses looked forward to Christ, “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” Hebrews 11:26
God takes notice of those saints listed in Hebrews 11. The Holy Spirit found it necessary to have the writer of Hebrews write down names of these men and women because of there great faith. This was because they placed their total trust and confidence in a Redeemer and then they offered a sacrifice. The New Testament terminology for this is Jesus Christ (a Redeemer) and Him Crucified (a Sacrifice).
When Jesus asked the disciples, Mat 16:13 “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” What was Jesus telling us? The Rock in this scripture is Christ, but that Rock is also the foundation of all doctrine. If you miss it here you will miss it everywhere. If you don’t understand that all doctrine in the Bible is based upon a proper understanding of the Cross everything else you believe will fail, fall down, and/or collapse. This is what Jesus says in Mat 7:24 “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25. . . for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 . . . and it fell: and great was the fall of it. That it is the man who build his House upon the Rock his house will not fall.” We also find that Paul in I Cor 3:11 said “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” It tells us that there is no other foundation but the Cross of Jesus Christ.
The church today may preach the Cross when it comes to salvation but I can tell you it is very few and far between. The church has taken a detour from the Word of God under the guise of helping people live life better. What has the modern church adopted? They have embraced Psychology, for one. Even in our mainline Pentecostal Churches mysticism is being added to the church and it is being accepted as well.
Twenty years ago, while Youth Pastoring at a small Assembly of God church in Washington, Illinois the Senior Pastor, at that time, introduced me to the deceptive teachings of Richard Foster. A mystic and a man who does not believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. People thought this was great teaching. Now, some churches are offering Christian Yoga classes. It is impossible for any element of Yoga to be connected to Christianity. The Executive Presbyter of one of the largest denominational, Pentecostal, church’s in a recent newsletter, encouraged members to embrace and follow some of the great teachers of Buddha and the Catholic church. This is blasphemy.
The modern Church is so from the true message of the Gospel that most people don’t even know it. Friend, if you are attending a church right now you need to ask yourself, “Are they preaching the message of the Cross?” It is the only message that will help you this hour. If you are going to a church that is not preaching this message then I have only one word for you: “Run!” Run as fast as you can and get as far away from this junk as possible. It will damn your soul to Hell.