Author: Dr. Stacy Rinehart

Stacy is the Founder of MentorLink International - a network of mentors, leaders and partner ministries with a passion to train, mentor and disciple the next generation of Christ-centered leaders.

One True Gospel

Among Christians there are competing gospels out there, each claiming to be true. Each has a portion of truth. Currently, the four most common false gospels in the West are the prosperity gospel, the nationalist gospel, the justice gospel and the racial gospel. It is good to be reminded that there is only one gospel that is true. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul says it this way: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

Paul also says this: “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-10)

Take a moment to reflect and ponder these questions:

  • What gospels do you see being propagated in your context?
  • What insights do the above passages provide you?
  • How do Paul’s strong words in the Galatians passage above make you feel?
  • What gospel do you follow?
  • Take a moment to thank the Lord for His work on the Cross.

Maranatha (Come Lord!)

The First Easter

Jesus was crucified, dead and buried late on Friday before there was time to prepare His body for burial. We pick up what happened on Sunday, the first day of the week.

“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” Looking up, they *saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.

Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he *said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’”

They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

[Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.

After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country. They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.

Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:1-16)

Maranatha (Come Lord!)

Who is a Disciple of Jesus?

More and more in our day, there will arise questions about one’s alignment with Jesus. Followers of the ”Nationalist gospel,” “Prosperity gospel,” “Justice gospel,” “Racial gospel,” and other gospels, will claim that following their message and values represent true followers of Jesus.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is described simply in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 and is fully explained in Romans 1:1-16:27. The warning against using another gospel is described in Galatians 1:6-10.

What did Jesus say? How could a person be His disciple? He made it simple and clear.

“And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)

Consider these questions as you reflect on this passage:

  • What are the marks of a disciple of Jesus?
  • What prevents one from becoming a disciple of Jesus?
  • How does one become a disciple of Jesus?
  • What are the costs and benefits of being a disciple of Jesus?
  • What is the Lord asking you to do as a result of His words?

Maranatha (Come Lord!)

A House Not Made With Hands

I read in the news yesterday that 1 in 5 people in the US has lost a loved one to Covid. Other countries may be more or less, but the pandemic has brought home the reality that we are not long for this world. Then what? What perspective shall we have?

For those in Christ, Paul’s words yield a firm answer.

“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5)

Take a moment to reflect on this passage and consider these questions:

  • Do I feel Paul’s words are true? Why or why not?
  • Where is my hope?
  • What groaning do I sense in my life?
  • How does this passage influence my life today?

Maranatha (Come Lord!)