Someone correctly said the following about the true gospel (which is the good news of God’s promise to save His people conditioned on the propitiating blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone):
“This Gospel identifies and distinguishes the true and living God from all idols. This Gospel identifies and distinguishes the true Christ from all counterfeits. This Gospel identifies and distinguishes the Holy Spirit from evil spirits. This Gospel identifies and distinguishes the only ground of salvation from all false refuges.” (Bill Parker)
Jesus Christ said in Matthew 13:18-23:
“Then hear the parable of the sower: Everyone hearing the Word of the kingdom, and not understanding, [then] the evil one comes and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is that sown by the roadside. And that sown on the stony places is this: the [one] hearing the Word, and immediately receiving it with joy, but has no root in himself, but is temporary, and tribulation, or persecution occurring because of the Word, he is at once offended. And that sown into the thorn bushes is this: the [one] hearing the Word, and the anxiety of this age, and the deceit of riches, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. But that sown on the good ground is this: the [one] hearing the Word, and understanding it, who indeed bears and yields fruit, one truly a hundredfold, and one sixty, and one thirty.” (Matthew 13:18-23; underlining emphasis mine–CD)
Sadly, Bill Parker, while professing faith and hope in the only true ground of salvation, actually made his judgments of saved and lost based on a false refuge; he professed faith and hope in the true gospel of Romans 1:16-17, 3:21-26 while making his spiritual judgments by the false gospel of Galatians 1:8-9.
In a sermon called “True and False Faith and Hope,” Marc D. Carpenter commented on Matthew 13:18-23 (the passage I quoted above):
“The roadside hearer heard the gospel but didn’t understand it. The thorny ground hearer was too consumed with the cares of the world. But take a look at the stony ground hearer in verses 20 and 21. He receives the gospel with JOY when he first hears it! Now during the time he was joyful about the gospel, would this man tell you that he has faith in Jesus? Of course he would. And it even looks for a time like he DOES have faith in Jesus. But what happens to him? His so-called ‘faith’ withers when persecution comes because of the gospel. Here is an example of FALSE FAITH. It believes things about the gospel, but it doesn’t believe EVERYTHING about the gospel. It doesn’t VALUE the gospel to the point of JUDGING by it. Once the persecution comes, the house shows that it was not built on the rock of Christ but on the sand of self-righteousness. The world comes in and says that his gospel is too harsh and judgmental, and he ends up caving in and agreeing with them. He doesn’t want to stir things up. He wants to stay in the same church he’s always been in.” [underlining mine–CD]
Bill Parker DOES NOT VALUE the true gospel of Romans 1:16 to the point of JUDGING by it. In striking contrast, the apostle Paul DID judge by it, and thus DID VALUE it (as we see in such passages as Romans 10:1-4, Galatians 1:8-9, and Galatians 6:12-16).
May true Christians follow Paul’s example to NEVER be ashamed of the gospel, and to NEVER cower before the self-righteous religionists who compel us to cast away the cross of Jesus Christ into the nonessential shade. Multitudes consider the Stone of Stumbing and Rock of Offense to be an inconsequential pebble in order to escape persecution for the cross of Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:11, 6:12-14). May we as true Christians reject, eschew, and cast away such a God-dishonoring, Christ-hating, efficacious-cross-despising “desire to look well in [the] flesh” (Galatians 6:12). We REFUSE to adopt such a line of compromising conduct that would please the sensibilities of unregenerate men.
“For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I would not be a slave of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to everyone believing, both to Jew first, and to Greek; for in it the righteousness of God is revealed.” (Romans 1:16-17)
“So says Jehovah, Do not let the wise glory in his wisdom, and do not let the mighty glory in his might. Do not let the rich glory in his riches. But let him who glories glory in this, that [he] understands and knows Me, that I [am] Jehovah, doing kindness, justice and righteousness in the earth; for I delight in these, says Jehovah.” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)
“But may it never be for me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)
“For as many as are led by [the] Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery again to fear, but you received a Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba! Father! The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, also heirs; truly heirs of God, and joint-heirs of Christ, if indeed we suffer together, that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:14-17)
“Only behave yourself worthily of the gospel of Christ, so that whether coming and seeing you or being absent, I hear the things concerning you, that you stand fast in one spirit and one soul, striving together in the faith of the gospel, and not being terrified in anything by those who oppose, which to them truly is a proof of destruction, but to you of salvation, and this from God; because it was granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on His behalf.” (Philippians 1:27-29)
“Then do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor [of] me, His prisoner. But suffer hardship with the gospel, according to [the] power of God. ” (2 Timothy 1:8)
“For which cause I also suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to guard my deposit until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
“Then you suffer hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Timothy 2:3)
“But you be clear-minded in all, suffer hardship, do [the] work of an evangelist, fully carry out your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5)
“Being born, Moses was by faith hidden by his parents three months, because they saw the child [was] fair; and they did not fear the king’s decree. Having become great, Moses by faith refused to be called [the] son of Pharaoh’s daughter, having chosen rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than for a time to have enjoyment of sin; having counted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the anger of the king; for he kept on as seeing the Invisible [One.] By faith he made the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, that the [one]destroying the first-born might not touch them.” (Hebrews 11:23-28)