August 13, 2004

The Gospel of Peace by Gary Shepard

Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The whole range of deception and deceivers is very broad. At opposite ends of the range are two deceivers both of which display the spirit of antichrist. On the one side there is the preacher who is quite willing to freely and quickly speak peace to any and all on any basis. If they profess to be a Christian, if they have had a religious experience, if they claim to believe some doctrine, if they are morally upright or if they act religious, he speaks “peace” to them, tells them they are right with God, demonstrates a confidence in their standing before God and constantly reassures them of such. It does not matter that they do not know and believe the truth because he doesn’t. It doesn’t matter that they are not born from above by the Holy Spirit because he isn’t. It doesn’t matter that their hope of salvation is not in Christ alone, by grace alone, through the bloody death of Christ alone and through God-given faith alone because his isn’t. It has been rightly said that the only person who will give assurance to a lost man is another lost man!At the other end of the range is that man who refuses peace to anyone! His message is one of constant doubt. It is a gospel of works, of bondage and fear and leaves all without hope. He refuses to set forth Christ as that Good Hope. He makes salvation to ultimately depend on the doing, maintaining and a system of legalism rather than on the finished work of Christ. He refuses full assurance to anyone, guides his hearers into perpetual introspection and knows nothing of true joy in Christ. He and his hearers are as lost as those previously mentioned. He does not show that peace made by Christ through the blood of His cross. His followers never have peace because he doesn’t. They never demonstrate grace and love because he doesn’t. Thank God there are some sent of God who speak the peace of the gospel of Christ crucified. They cannot “speak peace,” that is regard as truly a Christian and the object of God’s mercy and saving grace, any but those who have heard and believe the true gospel wherein God’s righteousness is revealed. But to all who have heard and have some God-given understanding of the one way God remains just in justifying sinners, to all who believe on and love Christ, His gospel and people as they truly are, to these who believe the promise of salvation in Christ, he speaks the gospel which speaks peace, assurance, joy and blessing to them!