Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
“If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1: 9.)
The ever-increasing demand for things new requires emphasis on things old. The varied products and commodities of the commercial world are continually changing. Hardly has one been marketed until a later, improved model is announced. So the “new model” is the salesman’s stock argument, and the only one needed. This sentiment, sad but true, is growing in religion, and popular religion today is but little more than “keeping up with the times.” The people have become victimized by attractions and the world is deluged with many gospels. But there is only one attraction which can draw men to Christ. It is the cross of Christ. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). And there is only one gospel that saves—the gospel of Christ. All others are perversions. “Which is not another [gospel]; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” A perverted gospel may have in it all of the elements of the true gospel. There are doctrines about God, Christ, Holy Spirit, faith, repentance, baptism, etc.; but if these are perversions of the true, they have no saving power. The gospel of Christ is the “power of God unto salvation,” and it is the truth that makes men free. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). The old but ever-new gospel of Christ is the only gospel that has power to save.
Tis the same old gospel story,
Just as beautiful and true,
Just as full of Jesus’ power,
As it was when it was new.
The principles of this old gospel—the gospel for today and forever—may be summarized in platform style.
The Bible God Versus Evolution
The first sentence in the Bible is where we begin: “In the beginning God.” It stands as an archway upon the horizon of time. A memory of childhood serves to illustrate this great truth. We lived near a railroad track. Often I stood in the center of the track and looked as far down the track as the eye could focus. In the distance the rails seemingly converged, or reached the focal point. Beyond that the eye could not see. Then it was only an amusement and a wonder why. Now it is the picture of a mighty truth. Looking back through the centuries and millenniums of earth’s generations, everything comes together. The rails converge in the first sentence of the Bible—“In the beginning God.” Beyond that point no man can see. Everything before it is admittedly “prehistoric,”the admission of speculation on the part of those who try to begin before and without the God of the Bible.
The Bible Christ Versus Modernism
Too much is heard today about Jesus the man, Jesus the teacher, Jesus the world’s greatest character, and not enough of Jesus Christ the Son of God. Modernism accepts Jesus the man and Jesus the teacher, but rejects Jesus the Christ.
The first sermon of a converted infidel—Saul of Tarsus—“proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God” (Acts 9: 24). That is the heart of every gospel sermon today.
The Church Versus Denominationalism
The Bible view of the church is not that Christians may form themselves into so may religious societies, parring with commercial clubs and fraternal orders, furnishing the religious association of our choosing. The Bible church is one body—“many members, but one body.”
The question,“What church do you belong to?” has become so common that one expects it as he does a usual morning salutation. Yet, Scripturally speaking, it is known to be true that one had as well inquire, “What God do you worship?” or,“What Christ do you believe in?” Our Bibles all read: One God, the Father; one Lord, Jesus Christ; and one body, the church. We want the church versus denominationalism.
Salvation Versus Sensationalism
The evangelism of the apostles was of marked simplicity. It consisted in the Gospel story plainly and simply told. It was void of all sensationalism and ostentation. Today, passing from the extreme of a slow, agonizing waiting at the altar of prayer, once known as the “mourner’s bench,”religionists have swung to the “get-saved-quick” system of a modern sensationalist who exhorts his hearers to “hoId up your hand” and “sign a card” [or “pray the sinners’ prayer”] and the work is done. All of these methods are perversions, but there is more of religious devotion and change of heart in the former delusion than in the later sensation. The New Testament plan of salvation has never changed. Its simple conditions, briefly put, are: Faith, repentance, and baptism, all of which together “translates” us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His Son.