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Ashamed Of The Gospel
Ashamed Of The Gospel
By John F. MacArthur, Jr.


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The works which follow are listed by author in alphabetical order. By clicking on a particular title, you will be transported to the appropriate catalog page wherein will be presented the current price, availability, and complete online ordering information.

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Ashamed Of The Gospel: When The Church Becomes Like The World, by John F. MacArthur, Jr.

Published by Crossway Books, Hardcover, Copyright © 1993 by John F. MacArthur, Jr., 254 pages.

"Everywhere there is apathy. Nobody cares whether that which is preached is true or false. A sermon is a sermon whatever the subject; only, the shorter it is the better."
--(Charles Haddon Spurgeon)--

"In the late 1800's, Charles Spurgeon warned that the Church was drifting away from the purity of the Gospel. Instead of boldly proclaiming the truths of Scripture, Christians were candy-coating the Word, being careful not to offend anyone. As a result, Christianity's influence in nineteenth-century England was severely weakened.

Now, 100 years later, John MacArthur, Jr. is sounding the same alarm. And it's a warning the Church just can't ignore.

The signs of compromise are all around us: Numbers have become more important than the message. Churches are offering up "Show-Time" religion instead of the "Old-Time" religion. Pastors have turned to the marketing industry to help them draw people in rather than relying on the sovereign power of God.

Until all that changes—until we return to our calling to go into all the world and preach the Gospel without shame—the Church is in danger of losing its impact on society. And that would be our generation's greatest loss." --(Back Cover)--

"The fact is, that many would like to unite church and stage, cards and prayer, dancing and sacraments. If we are powerless to stem this torrent, we can at least warn men of its existence, and entreat them to keep out of it. When the old faith is gone, and enthusiasm for the gospel is extinct, it is no wonder that people seek something else in the way of delight. Lacking bread, they feed on ashes; rejecting the way of the Lord, they run greedily in the path of folly."

--(Charles Haddon Spurgeon)--

". . . Marketing principles are becoming the arbiter of truth. Elements of the message that don't fit the promotional plan are simply omitted. Marketing savvy demands that the offense of the cross must be downplayed. Salesmanship requires that negative subjects like divine wrath be avoided. Consumer satisfaction means that the standard of righteousness cannot be raised too high. The seeds of a watered-down gospel are thus sown in the very philosophy that drives many ministries today."

--(John F. MacArthur, Jr.)--

Comments: An insidious and deviant movement is afoot; one which operates under a variety of guises and pretensions including: "user-friendly," "modernistic," and, of course, "liberal," yet the end result is necessarily the same—the alteration, corruption, and defilement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let us build a church! First we shall embark upon a course of intensive market research in order that we may determine what will move people from the confines of their cozy homes, bring them gladly and generously to our church, keep them coming week-after-week, and separate them from their money as painlessly and pleasantly as possible. We shall conduct market surveys, employ the latest successful and proven marketing techniques, and we shall, thereby, know our customers better than they know themselves.

If the past teaches us anything at all, it is that, as a rule, the vast majority of the populous do not appreciate the undiluted Gospel message. What with all that talk of hell, God's wrath, curses, obedience, and sin, who can really blame them? It is, therefore, essential that we stress such positive aspects of God's essence as love, mercy, blessings, and forgiveness, while, perhaps, either ignoring completely or downplaying those that may be construed as negative. Oh, and that Cross! we cannot make mention of that stone of stumbling in any context but the most cheerful and hopeful. We will make them aware of why Jesus died (for us, of course), however it is for the best if we minimize that which is expected of them in return. After all, these are the waning days of the 20th Century. The general public is far too self-absorbed, cynical, educated, and sophisticated to readily submit to any message whereby they are required to deny self, take up some cross or other, and follow one with whom they have no relationship, one whose very existence is doubted or questioned.

I am of the opinion that if we confine our efforts to positive, socially relevant issues, and if we convey these concepts via sound bites in the most entertaining manner possible, that we may, indeed, be able to fill these pews. The message, regardless of content and presentation, must, first and foremost, be kept short. These people have been reared by television. They will not sit still for a 45 to 60 minute sermon, unless we introduce commercials in the form of skits, singers, comedians, magicians, and prominent guest speakers. Why, if we organize this properly, we may not require a sermon at all. The various entertainers can incorporate positive bits of the Gospel in their songs and acts. By so doing, I believe that we may achieve our object. The congregation will leave with a smile on their collective faces; we will have offended no one; and they will joyfully return next Sunday, eager to share in the blessings of our Lord.

Sadly, the decidedly pointed and sarcastic portrayal I have rendered above is all-too-true of far too many so-called churches. In point of fact, I have been kind in my representation where some of the more grievous offenders are concerned. Instead of preaching "Christ and Him crucified," these worldly institutions endeavor to provide the public with that which flesh desires, vice that which God requires. Instead of hearing the pure Word of God, people are entertained and made to feel good about themselves. Instead of being convicted of their sins, their self-esteem is tenderly massaged and manipulated to where they feel no need of repentance. These pseudo churches have become more convenient than the local shopping mall in that they pander to virtually every secular need while either omitting entirely, or diluting and corrupting to the point of irrelevance that which feeds the spirit.

In his book, Ashamed Of The Gospel: When The Church Becomes Like The World, John F. MacArthur, Jr. addresses the pragmatic view that fuels and drives many of the modern churches. Quoting freely from Charles H. Spurgeon, Mr. MacArthur presents a "church" that is no longer God's church in that the Gospel message has fallen victim to growth and attendance statistics; a church that wishes to please, not confront and convict; a church that is far more worldly than Godly; a church that, in point of fact, is no longer a church, but a mass-media entertainment center.

It has ever-been that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be heeded by but a few. It was so in Jesus' day. It was so in Paul's day. It will ever be so. We were and are at no point commanded to save souls. That is the work of Almighty God. We were and are commanded to preach the pure, unadulterated Gospel unto all nations (The Great Commission). If we are faithful in that to which we have been called, we may be assured that God will save souls. If, on the other hand, growth=success becomes the church's foundational and operational imperative, what becomes of Gospel=Christ=Cross=Grace=faith=conviction= repentance=salvation?

If the church strives to become increasingly worldly, then, my friend, what will become of the world and we poor creatures who wander its empty and lonely expanse?

--(Dr. David J. Thomas)--

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Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles, by John F. MacArthur, Jr.

Published by Word Publishing, Hardcover, Copyright © 1993 by John F. MacArthur, Jr., 272 pages.

"Behavior is an important test of faith. Obedience is evidence that one's faith is real (1 John 2:3). On the other hand, the person who remains utterly unwilling to obey Christ does not evidence true faith (1 John 2:4)."

"The Gospel According to Jesus began the debate. This book ends it.

When John MacArthur took aim at cheap grace and easy believism, he fired a shot that rang throughout the Christian world. His critics were quick to respond. He was accused of contradicting the New Testament message of salvation by grace through faith, of preaching perfectionism, and burdening Christians with a works salvation.

In Faith Works, the author answers these charges by taking a passionate look at the most critical issue of our day: the Lordship of Christ. If the status of your faith before God is important to you, you cannot ignore the questions this book addresses:

* What does it mean to be saved?

* Can you have absolute assurance of salvation?

* What is the relationship between faith and obedience?

* Is salvation merely assent to truths about Christ?

* How should we proclaim the gospel?

In terms everyone can understand, Faith Works presents a message of eternal significance for non-Christians and defines who we are as Christians—a message that stands in stark contrast to the hollow "gospel" many are proclaiming today."

--(Back Cover)--

". . . this book presents a full and compelling statement of the biblical basis of "lordship salvation." He [MacArthur] argues that keeping salvation and lordship together is the historic evangelical position, citing a variety of sources. Yet his primary source is Scripture, as he shows that the Apostles, like Jesus, called for changed lives, not just changed beliefs."

--(Book Jacket)--

Comments: Having read and studied the Holy Scriptures, it is virtually impossible for me to envision an abomination of such monumental proportions, yet it appears that there exists a not insignificant number of professing Christians who have arrived at the erroneous and blatantly wicked conclusion that Christ may be permitted to become one's Savior while being denied the equally efficacious and indivisible dignity of Lord. In other words, in order to ensure eternal salvation and a heavenly reservation one needs but believe, via intellectual assent, the truth of the Gospel (at least that portion relating to Christ as the Son of God and, therefore, the sole means of a soul's salvation), and that person may continue to live a life devoted to self and sin by chronically indulging the passions and lusts of the flesh.

If ever a doctrine was spawned in the deepest, darkest abyss of Hell, it is the "no-lordship" theology; a theology that has existed under one guise or another for untold centuries by perpetuating the fraud that God is, indeed, divisible: one may freely select to believe in Christ, thereby guaranteeing a comfortable afterlife, while living a fleshly life of wanton excess, if not absolute and utter evil, upon this earth. The fruit may be most rotten and foul, yet the tree from which it grows deemed good and worthy of salvage.

In his book, Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles, John F. MacArthur, Jr. offers a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the "no-lordship" theology and proficiently refutes, via the Word of God, each tenuous strand of this heretical web. In addition to effectively dismantling the fallacious arguments and creeds employed to devise this iniquitous scheme, MacArthur's book is, from cover-to-cover, a superb exposition of the salvation message as contained within the teachings of Jesus Christ and, subsequently, the Apostles. It is the identical message that has been preached since the founding of the one true Church, yet, seemingly, misunderstood by countless multitudes who dislike "deny[ing] self and following [Christ]." If Jesus Christ is to be your Savior, you may be assured that you will accept no other as Lord, including self. There can be only One, and that One is Jesus Christ. --(Dr. Rebekka K. Nielson)--

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Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will to Discern, by John F. MacArthur

Published by Crossway Books, Hardcover, Copyright © 1994 by John F. MacArthur, Jr., 256 pages.

". . . Spiritual truth is meant to be rationally contemplated, examined logically, studied, analyzed, and employed as the only reliable basis for making wise judgments. That process is precisely what Scripture calls discernment." --(John F. MacArthur, Jr.)--

"Scripture and reason — the two together comprise the formula for true discernment. Yet in many American churches, reason has been abandoned for something more digestible: faith that feels good. It is what Pastor John F. MacArthur calls 'reckless faith' — and it leads people away from the one true God.

Because of it, numerous Christians have lost their way. They've given up absolute truth in favor of blind, uncritical trust. Replaced black-and-white, foundational doctrine with clouded belief systems. They've even come to view reason and doctrine with contempt — as if spiritual truth was supposed to bypass the mind altogether.

In the wake of such emotion-based 'faith,' the church is losing its ability to discern right from wrong. And it is leaving itself defenseless against false teaching.

But there is still time for the church to turn around. Still time for a return to discernment — if Christians will 'incline their hearts to understanding' and begin to use their hearts, their minds and the unchanging Word of God to determine the truth that endures forever." --(Back Cover)--

"In a society that is hostile to anyone who declares absolutes, that tolerates faith in any form, that values emotion over reason and trendiness over conviction, it's no surprise that many American churches have lost their ability to discern between biblical truth and doctrinal error." --(Book Jacket)--

"As Christians , we need not fear to use our rational faculties. We need not distrust sound logic. We need not — we dare not — abandon reason. . .For when a church loses its will to discern between sound doctrine and error, between good and evil, between truth and lies, that church is headed for spiritual crisis." --(John F. MacArthur, Jr.)--

Comments: "For by grace are ye saved through faith . . ." (Eph 2:8), but faith in whom, or faith in what? Some manifest this faith through the blind, unquestioning obedience to a church, or doctrine, or tradition, or, in many cases, a man. Others choose to place faith in faith, or, that which is far worse, —in self.

While an issue of gravest importance, they who profess Christianity are seldom either in agreement on or truly knowledgeable of the dictates of Holy Scripture on this point of utmost significance. Far too many professing Christians will spend more time in the selection of an automobile than seeking those truths made known of God and instrumental in their salvation. While an automobile may require careful and thoughtful evaluation, analysis, and selection as a result of the cost and personal preferences involved, what, indeed, is the value of an immortal soul? While an automobile may typically be expected to last a few years, the soul will endure throughout eternity—either in Heaven or Hell.

John MacArthur addresses this matter in his book, Reckless Faith, where he presents a thoughtful, logical, expository approach to that which should be of vital concern to all who truly seek the Word of God. We breathe the air of this world but a few short years. It behooves you and I to read, study, and meditate on the Word of our Creator in order that we may act in accordance with His will. If we do not understand correctly His Word, we cannot act in accordance with His will.

Reckless Faith is a book that is well-worth reading and, of course, understanding in that MacArthur makes plain not only that which is commanded of God and, thereby, constitutes saving faith, but he also presents many of the lures and traps that await all who deviate from the "narrow way." Discover that faith for which countless men and women throughout the centuries have willingly sacrificed their lives. I pray that you will invest the time and energy to truly comprehend that for which Jesus Christ suffered and died. He bore a horrible, unimaginable death. Won't you, at the very least, make the effort to learn why?

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