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VIDEO: Yes, Christians Still Need To Hear The Gospel Too!

Is the Apostle Paul's letter to the Galatians true or not?

Can a so-called "Failing Christian" be saved simply by the death and blood of Jesus Christ on the cross?

For that matter, does the so-called "Failing Christian" exist because a he/she somehow "isn't doing it right" perhaps?

Please keep all of those questions on your mind as you continue reading this today.

See, there's this strange idea in Christianity right now that only the lost non-Christians need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that once a person's soul is converted and they become a Christian, then they never have to hear the Gospel preached ever again (or at least not all that much).

Instead, prevailing wisdom dictates that Christians should instead get a heavy dose of the Law-based sermons and the kind of preaching and teaching that proclaims "ME/YOU/US For Christ!" rather than "CHRIST For Me/You/Us!" like it should be.

The funny thing about "prevailing wisdom" though is that it's not so wise after all (Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:25). Strange how that works, huh?

You can always recognize the churches that have fallen into this ditch of false doctrine by the "Do More! Be Better! Be More Like Jesus! WWJD?" messages heard from the pulpit (or stage) that do nothing except burden a Christian with thoughts of "I'm A Complete Failure! I Couldn't Possibly Be A 'Real' Christian If I Can't Live Up To These Basic Standards!"

Of course, the alternative danger is an over-inflated sense of Christian pride and self-worth (a.k.a. sinful self-righteousness), which is so often characterized by things like "I'm A Prince/Princess of The King Himself! I Can And Will Do Great Things In The Name of Jesus! All You Need Is Love Because It's Deeds Not Creeds!"

Yet, it's PRECISELY the historical, orthodox Christian Creeds that we all need to hear more of at our churches since they beautifully confess the Gospel in all its glory and majesty while also keeping us rooted in the truth.

As one new acquaintance on Twitter put it (and last week's Twitter Patter winner himself!)...

Yes, please give me more Jesus and less about me and what I have to do to be a "Better Christian" if not also "To Be More Like Jesus" because I fail at that miserably each and every day!

After getting battered and broken by waging a war against temptation and sin during the course of another long week, I need the only thing that can heal my broken heart, conflicted conscious, and fallen flesh -- the Word and Sacraments or the comforting Gospel of Jesus Christ entering my body through both my ears and my mouth!

I thought about all of that today after reading Pastor Daniel Emery Price's Open Letter to the ex- Newsboys Co-Founder who is now an Atheist.

Here's the section that really grabbed my attention...

I'm a Christian not because I'm good at keeping the rules, but because I'm not. Christianity isn't about us doing things for God. It's about God doing the unthinkable for us through Christ. He's paid our debts, taken our condemnation, taken our bad record and given us His perfect record. Not just once, but forever. Some people talk in ways that imply this good news is just here to get us started, but finishing is all on us. What we both experienced is a result of that disconnect. People putting on a mask unwilling to admit they struggle, they're messed up, and they're broken. But the truth is, Jesus didn't die so we could fix ourselves. He died because we can't.

See, right there is the kind of catechesis we should be receiving on a regular basis whenever we attend church, but it's the kind that's quickly becoming the exception rather than the rule.

How many of us are getting a dose of Works-Righteousness spiritual poison fueled by lesson after lesson on "Living A Moral Life" that is usually accompanied by a "To Do List" of some sort that claims to give you a step-by-step process for "Becoming A True Follower of Jesus While Living A Victorious Christian Life" when what we really need is to repent of our sins and then be comforted by the Gospel that proclaims we have God's forgiveness and mercy in His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

I know I need that more than anything. That's why it's so tragic whenever we attend church week-after-week and come away feeling worse about our lives (about our faith?).

Called and ordained ministers of God's Word and Sacraments should always be about serving us the blessed gifts, those Means of Grace, that are His holy Word and His holy Sacraments for the forgiveness of our sins.

Anything less is just "another gospel" (Galatians 1:6-10; 2 Corinthians 11:3-6) and our instructions are crystal clear on why we need to "mark and avoid" (Romans 16:17) these "ravenous wolves" in "sheep's clothing" (Matthew 7:15) who can cause us to make a "shipwreck" of our faith (1 Timothy 1:19).

And what do many of us do? We feed on the false doctrine without realizing it's going to destroy our faith (if it hasn't already) and that it will likely even blind us to the truth to the point of no return where there are eternal consequences.

Why do we do this!?!

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV) 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

With all of that in mind, please take some time to listen to the following 47-minute lecture titled "The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church" by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt as it's a message that all Christians (regardless of their denomination) need to hear.

Dr. Rosenbladt’s presentation is tailor-made for all those folks who are "mad" at and "sad" about Christianity because they have been "baited and switched" by the church.

Why do you need to listen to this?

If the Ten Commandments were not impossible enough, the preaching of Christian behavior, of Christian ethics, of Christian living, can drive a Christian into despairing unbelief. Not happy unbelief. Tragic, despairing, sad unbelief. (It is not unlike the [unhappy] Christian equivalent of “Jack Mormons” – those who finally admit to themselves and others that they can’t live up to the demands of this non-Christian cult’s laws, and excuse themselves from the whole sheebang.) A diet of this stuff from pulpit, from curriculum, from a Christian reading list, can do a work on a Christian that is (at least over the long haul) “faith destroying.” 
In this staggeringly potent presentation, Dr. Rosenbladt tackles what plagues many ‘recovering Christians’. Sticking to his unchanging theme of 200-proof Gospel, using his own history as an agnostic “outsider” to Christianity, Dr. Rosenbladt delivers the grace of the cross with all its potency, undiluted. 
If you’ve struggled with your faith in your church because of what you’re seeing and hearing (and maybe don’t even go to church anymore), you don’t want to miss this powerful address – an unabashed analysis of the church today and what it is doing to many believers – from one who has experienced it himself. 
Are we Christians saved the same way we were when we were baptized into Christ, or when we came to acknowledge Christ’s shed blood and His righteousness as all we had in the face of God’s holy law? That all of our supposed “virtue” – Christian or pagan – is just like so many old menstrual garments (to use the Bible phrase)? But that God imputes to those who trust Christ’s cross the true righteousness of Christ Himself? We are pretty sure that unbelievers who come to believe this are instantly justified in God’s sight, declared as if innocent, adopted as sons or daughters, forgiven of all sin, given eternal life, etc. But are Christians still saved that freely? Or are we not? We are pretty clear that imputed righteousness saves sinners. But can the imputed righteousness of Christ save a Christian? And can it save him or her all by itself? Or no? 
For all of you who have been given morality lessons instead of the Gospel, hear how Dr. Rod Rosenbladt succinctly presents Christianity as first and foremost a genuine truth claim about Christ as our righteous substitute, instead of a never ending list of popular religious recipes for personal success.

That's the original description of this classic presentation and who reading this can't relate to any of that? I certainly can!

This couldn't have come up at a better time for me, personally. I always knew about this lecture, but I never listened to it myself until today. What appealed to me was Dr. Rosenbladt's two-pronged focus. In Dr. Rosenbladt's own words...

First, I'm going to try to deal with today's "sad ones," the longing, the "having-given-up-on-Christianity" ones. Second, I want to talk a little about the Gospel of Christ for today's "mad ones," the angry ones.

Bottom line?

The Gospel needs to be preached to both saints and sinners whether they've been broken by the church or not. Yes, it's that important as it's a Means of Grace instituted by the Lord Himself for our justification, salvation, and sanctification.

Dr. Rod Rosenbladt on "The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church" from Faith Lutheran Church on Vimeo.

[My sincere apologies! For whatever reason, EVERY TIME that I tried to embed the YouTube video of this lecture here it wouldn't save/publish it! Hopefully, it's working properly now and you have direct access to it from this site.]

I pray that was as helpful to you as it was to me.

To quickly summarize?

The only way out is an exposition of the Scriptures that has to do with law and gospel -- an exposition of the Scriptures that places Christ at the center of the text for everybody, including the Christian. All of the Bible is about him. All of the Bible is even about him for the Christian! 
*- Dr. Rod Rosenbladt

Dr. Rosenbladt said so many wonderful things in this lecture so I hope you listen(ed) to it. One that really stood out to me? He said, "If the Ten Commandments were not impossible enough, the preaching of Christian behavior, of Christian ethics, of Christian living can drive a Christian into despairing unbelief. Not happy unbelief, but tragic, despairing, sad unbelief!"

Ouch, right? It's the truth though.

Or how about when he pointed out how so many of us fall into the trap where we think "we need to be 'born again' again" for some reason?

Boy, even his personal account of his own experiences as a child with the "Moral Relativistic" teachings in his Lutheran Sunday School classes are spot on (and how unfortunate that his experience mirrors what so many children are still experiencing in many LCMS churches today)!

In a Lutheran layman's terms, we need more Christ-centered, cross-focused preaching and teaching and less Christ-less, Gospel-less sermons that are more about you/us than they are about Him!

To put it another way, we Christians need to hear the Gospel regularly in order to remind ourselves that we "Christian Failures" will most certainly get into Heaven too.

NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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