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This morning I want to go over what I consider the second most important thing a Christian can learn. The first is how to be saved and the things that go with that. This second thing will start with 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. It's that second part that I want to address this morning. We are going to see a lot of scripture this morning and I want you to follow along. If you mark your bible this would be some good verses to mark.

Jesus,in His public ministry,and the twelve apostles,preached,and taught the kingdom gospel. This kingdom gospel was simple. If the Jews had accepted Jesus as their Messiah then Jesus would have set up His millennial kingdom at that time. That did not happen. They preached this to Jews only. There are only three recorded instances where Jesus had anything to do with Gentiles.

The first was the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:22 and following.And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. {15:23} But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. {15:24} But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. {15:25} Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. {15:26} But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast [it] to dogs. {15:27} And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. {15:28} Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great [is] thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. Now I want you to notice some things about this verse. The bottom line is,Jesus was rude to this woman, even to the point of calling her a dog. He refused to help her at first but later did help. Notice that she did not give up but kept her prayer going until she got the answer she wanted. But all that said,the most important is verse 24. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The public ministry of Jesus was to offer the kingdom to the nation of Israel and to fulfill prophecy. He did not come to the Gentiles. The apostles had the same instructions from the Lord Jesus Christ. We find that in Matthew at chapter 10:vs 5 and following. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not: {10:6} But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. {10:7} And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Again,He is forbidding the twelve to go to any Gentiles,even the Samaritans who were half Jewish. That phrase “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” shows that He preached the kingdom gospel. At hand means He is here and waiting for them to recognize Him. Here is a quote from Matthew Chapter 9 verse 35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,teaching in their synagogues,and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.To put this another way,Jesus and the twelve taught,"receive Jesus as your Messiah",and the kingdom will be set up immediately.

After the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ we have a new command from the Lord. The message is now to go to the whole world. Mark 16:15 is the verse. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He gave this command directly to the apostles but they did not do it. Instead they stayed at Jerusalem and gave in to their prejudice against the Gentiles. The only record we have of any of them witnessing to Gentiles is Peter going to the house of Cornelius. The rest chose to ignore the Lord's command. The second Gentile the Lord healed,if you are keeping notes,is the Centurion's son in Matthew 8:5. These two and some Samaritans are all the Gentiles that are recorded as having been touched by our Lord.

There is a parable that covers God's next move. It is found in Luke 14 beginning at verse 21 The background is that the servant had already invited the friends and relatives(that would be the Jews),and they all made excuses why they could not come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry,(that would be God), said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.(and that would be us,the Gentiles). {14:22} And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. {14:23} And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel [them](that would be everyone), to come in, that my house may be filled. So we are in because the Jews refused to accept their Messiah. Now things begin to change. Since the apostles were not doing the job God gave them He calls another apostle. You all know the story of Saul's conversion on the Damascus road.

Saul of Tarsus,later known as Paul, was a leader in the Jewish religious community. He was,by his own testimony a religious zealot who persecuted the early church to the point of putting Christians in prison and indeed,even having some of them killed. In other words,Saul was a main tool of Satan,used in his attempt to destroy the early church. He was given absolute authority by the religious leaders. It was on a journey to Damascus,to imprison more Christians,that God intervened and Paul became the greatest missionary/evangelist of all time. Acts chapter 9 beginning at verse 3 And as he journeyed,he came near Damascus:and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:And he fell to earth,and heard a voice saying unto him,Saul,Saul,why persecutest thou me?And he said,Who art thou, Lord?And the Lord said,I am Jesus whom thou persecutest:it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he,trembling and astonished said Lord,what wilt thou have me to do?What must have been going through Paul's mind at that time?It had to be terror since all of his energy had been directed against anything having to do with Jesus.

This is where the mystery begins to be revealed. This mystery has two parts. He first part is that there would be a body made of both saved Jews and Gentiles. There had never been anything like that before. The second part is that there would be a new gospel called the gospel of the Grace of God.

After his conversion Paul was taken into the wilderness of Arabia, by the Holy Spirit, and was there given the truths he was to teach to the Gentiles. In other words,Paul's doctrine came directly from God and through him to us. At some point after the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the conversion of Paul,the Gospel message changed from the Gospel of the Kingdom to the Gospel of the Grace of God. Jesus,using Paul, moved to the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name. How do we know that Paul is the man? We know because the Lord said so in Acts chapter 9:verse 15 Speaking to Ananias Jesus said; But the Lord said unto him,Go thy way;for he is a chosen vessel unto me,to bear my name before the Gentiles,and kings and the children of Israel. It cannot get any plainer than that. The following is a quote from the booklet "Paul's Gospel" by the late William Newell. Try judging some of todays TV con artists by this quote.

“You can judge any man's preaching ,or teaching by this rule;is he Pauline?Does his doctrine start and finish according to those statements of doctrine uttered by Paul,the apostle?”

In other words,you must not mix the directions given to the Church,in this age of grace,with the instructions given to Israel throughout their history. A very wise and famous evangelist from the last century once said"I wish the bible printers had never put the words of our Lord in red since that causes people to believe they are more important than everything else in the bible". We need to keep in mind that everything from Genesis 1:1 until the last amen in Revelation is directly from God,through the person of the Holy Spirit.

Next we have Paul's statement in Romans,chapter 11 verse 13 For I speak to you Gentiles,in as much as I am the apostle of the Gentiles,I magnify my office. What does he say? He says “I am the apostle to the Gentiles”.Now,keep in mind that this is God speaking through Paul. Now let's move to 2 Timothy again and to chapter 1 verse 11 where Paul is speaking to Timothy,his young student preacher. Here he says; Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. He covers the whole spectrum here saying he is an apostle,a preacher and a teacher of Gentiles.

Moving on now we have Paul's statement in Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, So here we have two main points. Paul again calls it “my gospel” indicating he is the first to proclaim this particular gospel and again we have the statement that this is a mystery that had not been revealed before. It is important,when we see statements like this ,that we remember that this is God speaking through Paul and not Paul speaking from arrogance.

Next we come to a warning. You find this in Galatians 1:8.While we read this consider how many “so called” Christians are teaching something different from what we have gone over this morning. I'm not speaking of Muslims or Hindus but of others who call themselves Christians. Consider the scriptures we have gone over and see if you think some of our “brethren” ,in other denominations,and even in our own,are going by this in their spiritual lives. Here is the warning. Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Right here the apostle to the Gentiles has just said anyone preaching another gospel is headed for Hell.

Finally we come to what may be the most important verse of all of these,what we will be judged by. Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. This passage is speaking of both the Judgment Seat of Christ ,where all of us who are saved in this age will be judged,and the Great White Throne Judgment where the lost from this age will be judged.Be sure to get this;all of us from the church age will be judged by Paul's gospel

We can't leave this without taking a quick look at the gospel Paul preached. I will read three scriptures that cover this and most of you know these by heart. Romans 10:9-10 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. {10:10} For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Then we have Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: {2:9} Not of works,lest any man should boast.

So,the take away from this is;Read and study the whole Bible but be aware that everything isn't directed to you. Spend extra time studying the Pauline epistles,Romans through Philemon, as everything contained in these letters applies to you and me.