I listened to a sermon last Sunday where the paster was very passionate about “Jesus” but left the audience in a state of unbelief. The mediocre, the apostate or the one the does not read the Bible preaches a false gospel. This man did – he had the congregation pray a prayer to invite “Jesus” into their hearts, yet at no time did he explain why they needed Jesus, other than to say a person was not in a ‘good’ place without Jesus. The Bible is very plain as to how one is saved:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God Ephesians 2:8
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21
In every case, it is by faith a person is saved:
And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." Acts 16:30-31
However, the gravest error of this pastor, and most others in this country, is they do not, and indeed appear cannot teach the true reason for the need of a saviour – that sin leads to death and all have sinned, thus all will die and be cast into hell unless saved. In doing so these apostate church leaders leave people with the false impression that all is fine. That the wages of sin is death is either forgotten, never learnt or deliberately obfuscated. Furthermore, they do not comprehend, due to blindness (Ephesians 4:18), that the shedding of blood is a requirement for salvation (e.g. Matthew 26:28, Ephesians 1:4, Romans 5:9). One only needs to read the wretched interviews of church leaders from the same-sex marriage debate this country had in 2017. That the world accepts same sex marriage is irrelevant – what is relevant is what pleases God – sex between two of the same sex is unnatural (even the theory of evolution states this, as does basic observation) and is contrary to God’s will and ordinances – it is sin. So is stealing, coveting (or wanting what is not yours), or blaspheming God (not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, is blasphemy).
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
Sin has separated all humans from God and sin demands justice – all sinners will die and be sent for judgement and punishment, unless they accept the gift from God; the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, as the atonement for their sin. The equation is simple, and it is simple to teach – thus there is no excuse for a pastor not to teach the real meaning of Christmas – Christ came to save the world because all men & women sin and are in need of salvation.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Romans 5:8-9
Of course the world does not believe this, and nor do a very large number of liberal and orthodox church leaders, yet the entire Bible is about the grace and righteousness of God dealing with sinful mankind, who wants all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). From chapter 3 of Genesis onwards, the Bible speaks about sin, justice, righteousness and the need for redemption through the shedding of blood. For this reason Jesus was born into this world.
God became man (incarnate) providing a redemptive Saviour to deal with the sin of individuals. Born of a virgin (which the apostate church often annuls), Jesus Christ was the Son of God, who came to shed his perfect and precious blood in our place - meaning that if we don’t believe in him we need to bear the punishment ourselves.
Therefore the LORD heard [of their refusal to obey the law, vs 10] and was furious; so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel, because they did not believe in God, and did not trust in His salvation. Psalms 78:21-22
Christmas should not be about a baby born, angels singing (they actually don’t sing) and wise men coming, but the incarnation of the Son of God, born of a virgin, sent by God to save the world, yet humiliated and despicably murdered on upon a cross and in so doing providing a propitiation for our sin (Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:2, 4:10) so we might be saved.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:17-18
One needs to repent, which means changing one’s mind about God – turning to believing in the Son – The Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing more and nothing less. Have faith that Jesus Christ the Son of God died for your sins, and God the Father will save you from hell. Sure, in due course you will want to adjust your way of life, your life-style, the way you conduct business or conversations in order to please the Father, whose son you have placed your trust – but these actions will not save you. Only by believing on the Saviour, Jesus Christ, can you be saved.
 Christ is “the propitiation,” because by becoming our substitute [in the judgement of our sin] and assuming our obligations [all sinners have an obligation before God] he expiated [paid for] our guilt, covered it [with the blood], by the vicarious [i.e. done for another] punishment which he endured on the cross (Easton’s Bible Dictionary). By this we have free access to God – whom we can call Father.