Obey the gospel
18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
(Whole Chapter: 1 Corinthians 15 In context: 1 Corinthians 15:1-3)
For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.[ 4:2 Many manuscripts because they did not share in the faith of those who obeyed]
(Whole Chapter: Hebrews 4 In context: Hebrews 4:1-3)
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
(Whole Chapter: 1 Peter 4 In context: 1 Peter 4:16-18)
Clearly, the gospel is something to be “obeyed” and not just received. The only salvific way to “respond to the gospel” is to obey it.
16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
19"So then, King
Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20First to
1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- 2the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.
2 Thessalonians 1
8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.
For more research on what the Gospel is you can read a more scholarly debate on the matter.
This Gospel is only truly understood if it is obeyed.
17If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(Whole Chapter: 1 Corinthians 1 In context: 1 Corinthians 1:17-19)
Who is the message (the Gospel), saving?
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
(Whole Chapter: 1 Corinthians 1 In context: 1 Corinthians 1:20-22)
The Gospel seems foolish to those who will not obey it:
However, it is not truly foolish.
Man is the foolish one, not God.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"[ 3:19 Job 5:13] ;
(Whole Chapter: 1 Corinthians 3 In context: 1 Corinthians 3:18-20)
However, men who have not come to grips with their inherent foolishness think that the Gospel is foolish, and unnecessary.
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(Whole Chapter: 1 Corinthians 2 In context: 1 Corinthians 2:13-15)
You may be “without the Spirit”, but you do have a conscience.
2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
If you follow your conscience, it will tell you that you are sinful and need God to save you from your sin and yourself.
If you ignore your conscience, you will not be concerned with your sin at all. Through your conscience you can relate to God, even as an unbeliever, who is “without the spirit”.
The Work of
the Holy Spirit
Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
We all need some counseling. The counselor referred to above is identified below.
16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees [see Matthew 5:8 above] him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Talk to the counselor. Get some counseling. Then the Gospel will not seem so foolish, but you might realize that it is the power of God unto salvation (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Most people will not want to hear or follow this gospel for very long, according to the parable of the sower.
19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
You can study the bible and study the gospel, but until you obey it, you will not be able to acknowledge the truth.
2 Timothy 3
Godlessness in the Last Days
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth--men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.
Most people will reject the truth and forfeit eternal life.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;
Many churches today teach that responding to the gospel is merely mental, and not necessarily behavioral. This is a different gospel.