The Lost Gospel

Religion Map

The above map took me by surprise! Job ONE of the Church of Jesus Christ was to preach the Gospel, which is the Good News that Jesus died for our sins was buried and was raised in three days, so that we would have a Savior in whom we could put our faith, have our sins forgiven and be born again. This message spread like wildfire around the world and eventually came to America where it influenced the founding of our nation. Just visit the State capitals to see evidence of the Christian Faith chisled into marble and granite all across our land. Did you know the capstone of the Washington Monument says “Glory to God”?

But is the church still doing it’s job ONE? Unfortunately the answer is clearly NO! The churches in America have a gazillion programs but how many are really preaching that a person must be saved from the penalty of their sins by repenting and trusting Christ as Savior? Not many. How many are discipling new converts so that they too can carry the Gospel to the next generation? Not many.

This is why there are so many cults and false religions across our land as the above map unfortunately shows! Anytime someone comes to your door with the Bible and another book in their hand run the other direction! This is the first clue that these people are being used to corrupt the plain gospel message. They will have other books, other “prophets”, other miracles outside of the 66 Books of the Bible and additional “works” to earn salvation and a place in heaven. As Gandalf said, “Run for your lives”!

The Apostle Paul put it VERY plainly in Ephesians 2:8-10, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created (by faith) in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Faith comes first, then comes works from a thankful heart for all that Jesus has done for you. You do NOT work for your place in heaven, that’s putting the cart before the horse.

If you know Jesus as your Savior, and know you have been saved from the penalty of your sins, will you PLEASE share that great blessing, the Gospel Story, with someone else? When the people come to your door carrying other books than the Bible, be ready to give them a word of testimony or a Gospel tract. In fact, I did that just today!

Two nice ladies were going door to door and stopped at my house. They handed me a piece of literature. I was kind to them but I said, “Sure I’ll take your literature if you take one of mine!” Then I reached into my pocket where I always have a supply of my Blog Cards which contain my blog website info and the Gospel message and a sinner’s prayer on the flip side. I politely handed one to her and she took it. I pray the Holy Spirit uses it to reach her heart.

Let’s put the GO back in the Gospel! Will you join me?

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)

http://mentalfloss.com/article/76718/second-largest-religion-each-state

A must watch!

 

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The Invisible Hand

Mom n Kids
From left: Brian, Eric, Joanne, Lora, Bruce, Pam, Fred, Mom, Steven, Larry, Nathan, Wendy, Betsy, Thelma, Pooch, Jared (around 1972)

My life is a miracle. As far as statistics go I should have been a drug addict, an alcoholic, a shoplifter or worse, but for some reason I am not and never was. Growing up in a single parent home in the mid to late 60’s I was surrounded by all of the vices which could have taken me down the slippery path to these deadly sins and more, but for some reason there was an Invisible Hand that stopped me every time.

My mother was hospitalized with nervous breakdowns leaving us at times to fend for ourselves, but her and my dad’s family often came to our rescue and took us in as they were nudged by that Invisible Hand to do the right thing. In my high school years I sang in a rock and roll band that performed in some of the darkest and dingiest places where booze and drugs abounded, but I never engaged in any of that activity. It was as if a Mighty Hand was holding me back and protecting me all along the way.

The most trouble my twin brother and I could have gotten into as 13 year olds was when, while our mom was sleeping, we took her car keys and went on a joy ride in her 55 Ford Sedan, driving it back the road a couple of miles to visit some of our teenage buddies. We returned safely, guided by the Invisible Hand and she never knew it until we told her about it twenty years later!

Mom & Boys2
Warren, Larry, Brian, Irene, Bruce, Fred, Steven at brother Fred’s wedding in 1981

Mom would periodically take us to church and also to Boy Scouts but with her working multiple jobs it was very sporadic and was certainly not something that influenced us morally. So what was it? What kept the forces of evil from destroying our lives when our circumstances were so ripe for catastrophe?

The ONLY thing I can put my finger on was the foundation of the Word of God which my grandmother laid into my mom’s life and in which she trusted. Also the prayers that surrounded us as our extended family and friends knew it was a herculean task for her to raise six little boys all by herself into the upstanding men we would eventually become. She always taught us manners, made sure we prayed at meals and bed time, would not stand for any kind of profanity, kept us from the tobacco habit and dressed us as neat as she could possibly afford.

She couldn’t help but forsake us at times because of her mental illness, but I later learned that the Bible says, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” (Psalm 27:10) It was then that the hands of our Heavenly Father cradled us as the popular “Footsteps In the Sand” poem so wonderfully illustrates. The one set of footsteps in my life weren’t mine they were HIS because he was carrying me.

I would later give my life to Him as I trusted Jesus as my Savior in a little cabin in the mountains of upstate Pennsylvania. (see Bud’s Decision & Destiny for the full story) It was like coming home, for I realized He was there all the time. His Invisible Hands had protected, nudged, guided, and then welcomed me into His eternal family.

I tell this story not to exalt or lift myself up in any way as I am a sinner saved by grace. It was TOTALLY by the Grace of God with no merit of my own that my life was protected and transformed by His great love and mercy!

wolfe-bros-wives-2016
Wolfe family picnic in 2016 (Larry, Betsy, Pooch, Thelma, Brian, Joanne, Pam, Bruce, Fred, Rose)

To see the full story chapter by chapter it starts here: Bud’s Beginning

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