The cross of Christ is essentially the central theme of the whole Bible. When you find what is meant by the cross and its significance you basically learned at least a lot about the Bible.
Please note the following Scriptures:
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Cor. 1:18-25).
In plain words the Bible teaches that all that is involved in being saved from sin and that is going to heaven. You cannot die with sin upon your soul and go to heaven. Paul makes it clear that the cross itself is a great Bible—a great teacher. Carry the cross with you wherever you go and remember that the blessed Savior died upon that cross. Is it not the greatest declaration of all as the setting out of the Word and the basic vision of God?
Involved in this is the eternality of God. The truth is that the eternality of God is a crucial matter. Genesis chapter one tells us “In the beginning God created…” The fact of the matter is that God was already there. There was nothing there to create Him. I sometimes am amazed at the foolishness of people who try arguing against the various things of Christianity without realizing that you have to go back to God. Some of these folks cannot answer some of the simplest things about God. If there is no God how did anything get here? If there was nothing how did something come out of nothing? Cudworth’s Philosophical Theory of Necessity says the following: “Something is, therefore something eternally was for from nothing comes nothing.” It had to be God and God created the universe. He Himself brought things into existence. He did not do it with the hen and chicken debacle or the acorn and the oak tree. God made every thing bearing after its kind being full grown. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 tells of death as being a planting. We understand that to day we plant an acorn and a mighty oak will grow maybe even to fifty or more feet high, but the oak in the beginning did not begin with an acorn. It was a mighty tree and it produced acorns that in turn would produce other oaks. I have been a gardener as far back as I can remember. I planted seeds and a mighty plant rose from the ground from that little seed, but the seed had to die in order for it to bring forth life. Try explaining that to someone who does not believe that originally everything came from God and you will likely see how ignorant people are regarding God.
In John 1:1-2 we find the basic statement regarding the essentiality of Jesus Christ the Son of God It intimates His cross—the cross of Jesus Christ. God did not begin and He will never end. The same is basic to us with one exception. We had a beginning that goes back to God, but there will never be an ending to us. It may not be upon this earth if the Lord comes immediately, but we will be somewhere—somewhere. I do not know! I do not know how it can be that people can be religious, claim to believe the Bible and cannot understand this. I cannot understand why some think that they are just going to vanish when they die.
There is also the truth about the reality of sin. These verses make clear the reality of sin.
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him (1 John 3:4-6).
We cannot just slough it off! If you have sinned you must repent by changing your mind about it and turning away from sin to the best of your ability. I have to go to God in the proper way in order to receive forgiveness of my sins. Romans 4:13-15 and Romans 3:23 indicates that we have sinned. By a young age I knew that I was a sinner. By the age of twelve I wanted to do something about it. I will never forget the day when my oldest brother baptized me into Christ for the remission of my sins. Then and only then did I have peace in my soul.
According to a USA Today poll recently, one of the least liked things that people want to hear is the subject of sin. This was number one and number two was hell. Wonder why people do not like to hear these things? But hear them we must and take action that is made possible by the cross of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. The entertainment syndrome that now envelopes us is going to cause multitudes by the tens of thousands to lose their souls, but they will be somewhere that for an eternity they will wish they could then revert back to. Too late! The entertainment that they wanted today is soul damning tomorrow in eternity. When will we ever learn that the subjective sermons or Bible class lessons are ripping our soul’s right out of our bodies?
The truth about the universality of sin is that it is a reality. It has not been dreamed up by the imagination of someone. Paul addressed this in Rom 3:23. He indicates that we have all sinned and until one is baptized for alien sins or repents, confesses and turns away from sin (cf. 1 John 1: 7-10) we are lost eternally. Sin separates me from God Almighty (Isa. 59:1-2). Do not equivocate about this! Every adult whose mind has developed and has not been baptized according to the Scripture is lost eternally. I have had people to come to me after sermons and say that I was too hard about sin. Visitors to meetings have said that they came to be with us, but I was too strict on sin. How was I too strict on sin, I asked! Show it to me! I would be most happy for someone to tell me something that I said about the Bible that is not true so I could make corrections and save my soul, but I have never had even one individual in the two categories just mentioned that has been able to point that out. Brethren, it is a sad sad thing to me today to see how inoperative most congregations among us are today even those who on the surface are strong. Are we militant? Remember the cross and He who died for us despising the shame. Please do not take the position that I am going to try to do better. The blood of the Christ must be applied or all our efforts to do what is right will be null and void.
The truth teaches the unrighteousness of sin. Romans 8:1-5 shows that sin is bad. There is nothing good about it and something must be done about it just as I have been writing. You must be baptized into Christ and you must walk in the light for the rest of your life. It is surely the case that one can fall by the wayside and must come back even as the prodigal did in Luke 15. I think all of us can understand this, but is it the case that we do understand this and do nothing about it? One might argue that we are only a small congregation. Alright, train your young men to know the truth and take a stand for it. Teach them how to contend for the faith and be ready to give an answer to any man that asketh you (them) of the reason of the hope that is within you. Many times, a small congregation does more in this regard than larger ones. We need to approach error and know that it is error.
The truth is that without the cross every sinner is helpless to be saved. While we understand this, we need to tell ourselves this every day of our lives. I do not want to do some stupid thing in my thinking that gets me away from the cross therefore I want a reminder. Paul shows in Galatians 2:21 that if righteousness came by the law then Christ died in vain (for nothing). If the Law of Moses could save anyone from sin even though one was faithful to it, they could not be saved without the cross and His precious blood (cf. Heb. 9: 12-15). I have thought many times about how it must have been like to be on this earth with Christ, but then I think about what it will be like to be with Him and the saved of all ages in heaven. How can we then be enticed to do evil; though we all do that somehow or other sometimes through ignorance or weakness at the moment, but we do. Let us focus on this and every day be on our knees and thank God for the blood of Christ. We must not love the world (1 John 2:15-17).
The truth is there is no other Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). We must not accept a different (perverted) gospel that will not save.