What is the Gospel? According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the Gospel is embodied in these words: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
R.C. Sproul said, “The revelation of the gospel is to a world that is already under indictment for its universal rejection of God the Father.”
TEXT: Matthew 5:21-22:
21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
R. Kent Hughes said, “Jesus means what he says, and we need to let it sink in with all its absoluteness.”
Jesus has made a new rule about the sin and crime of murder. He says that, not only should we not murder, but we should not be angry with another person because that puts us in danger of “the judgment.” Dr. Warren Wiersbe notes, “There is a holy anger against sin, but Jesus is talking about an unholy anger against people. The word He uses means ‘a settled anger, a [seething] malice that is nursed inwardly.’ He describes a sinful experience that involves several stages.”
First, the sin begins with anger without cause. Have you ever gotten mad at somebody because they took paperclips off your desk? That is nothing to get angry over. Yet, people get bitter and angry with their coworkers every day over small matters like this. Just recently, a man from Utah who was on a cruise ship with his family killed his wife because, in his words, she would not stop laughing at him. That is the kind of pointless anger that should not be in a Christian’s heart. The wife is dead, the man will spend the rest of his life in prison, and only God knows what will happen to their two daughters. Now, we see why Jesus’ new rules go beyond the Law.
But, an angry person usually does not immediately jump to murder. Normally, harsh words come first. Thus, Jesus says, “Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council…” William Barclay notes, “Raca is an almost untranslatable word, because it describes a tone of voice more than anything else. Its whole accent is the accent of contempt. It is the word of one who despises another with an arrogant contempt.” Some commentators have translated it as “nitwit, blockhead, numbskull, bonehead, or brainless idiot.”
Have you ever expressed contempt toward someone in your speech? Have you ever spoken degradingly of another person out of anger? Some of us don’t have to slay with our hands because we slay just fine with our tongues. James’ words ring true: “The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” That woman from Utah might be alive today if she had held her tongue instead of making fun of her husband. (Of course, that is no excuse for the husband but, sometimes, our mouths get us into more trouble than we bargain for.) James continues, “The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Yes, no man can tame the tongue. That is why we need Jesus in our hearts and the Holy Spirit in our lives lest we end up being killed or killing someone because of angry and ill-advised words.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.