The Gospel of Martyrdom vs. The Gospel of Success

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Dr. Brown compares the biblical message of the cross with the contemporary message of carnal security, challenging all of us to give our lives afresh for the gospel and for the lost.


Hour 1:
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Jesus says to all of us, “Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.” What are we holding on to? What is holding us back from following Him? Let’s smash the idols, say no to the lusts of the flesh and desires of this world, and let’s say, “Lord, here I am. Send me!”
Hour 2:
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: We need to look at those who have given their lives for the Gospel in past generations, and who have given their lives for the Gospel around the world today. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we following a different Jesus than they are? Are we taking up a different cross than they are, or is it the same Jesus, same cross, and same call? Follow me.”



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Other Resources:

What Is the Message of the Gospel? and The Importance of the Great Commission

The End of The American Gospel Enterprise
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The Gospel of Martyrdom vs. the Gospel of Success VOR Article by Dr. Brown

Stephen stood before the Sanhedrin. The appointed Jewish leadership confronted this anointed Jewish believer. They glared; he glowed. They were enraged; he was enraptured. Their faces were contorted with anger; his was like the countenance of an angel. “Men and brothers,” he said […]

  1. I can’t say that I’ve heard much of a gospel of marterdom from the pulpits.

    I’ve heard about the gospel of getting through
    one’s worldly troubles, mainly financial, whether
    how to pay the rent, get past the IRS, or whatever. (what God can do for us)

    Last Sunday it was about faith, not looking at the problem but to God, and it was about a pastor who was getting letters from the IRS saying he owed them money he didn’t have and he didn’t know how it would work out, for it looked like no matter what he did finding papers and whatever, the fees and interest kept getting higher and higher and he didn’t have the money to pay them.

    I left early (had an appointment I had made prior, not realizing how long the service would be) so I don’t know how it turned out, but there were hints that the letter he just got this week was good news from the IRS.

    Once we hear about what we should do for God then what?

    When soldiers go out on a mission, whoever is in charge gives them not a talk on self-sacrifice, but rather gives them the plan.

    What if we were to concentrate on doing the works of Abraham?

    That could be a plan, a mission, an objective, and yet it would require sacifice, not giving in to the things of this world. It would require the cross and all that it means to us. It would mean holding to it becoming a living sacrifice for others, winning souls to God and his kingdom by Jesus Christ and his shed blood.

    Wasn’t it because people were not doing the works of Abraham that they were about to kill him? (John 8:39) KJV.

    Suppose the Pharisees of Jesus’ day would have been all about doing the works of Abraham. (Gen 18:19) Would they have gone about to kill him?

    I don’t think so, for what is there in doing justice and judgment that would go along with any plan to kill Jesus, one who told them the truth?

    Would they have gone to Jesus asking him why his disciples didn’t wash their hands before they ate?

    I think they would have been about much more important matters and either wouldn’t have had the time to worry about such things, or they would have been so filled with the knowledge of God they wouldn’t have even thought of doing such a thing.

    God loves setting the captives free. He loves to overturn unrighteous judgment. He loves to relieve oppression. He loves to give answers concerning letting the oppressed go free, overthrowing the injustice of oppressors. (Job 29 for example)

    What if every one of us had the vision of becoming involved in some way in the ministry of reconciliation, and were being trained to hear matters between people when they have not been able to resolve them by themselves, able to hear matters that are the cause of any present distress, being unwilling to hear evil for the sake of evil, unwilling to hear fault-finding, condemnation, going into one’s past sins for no other reason than to harm another, or to pervert judgment concerning a present situation.

    What if people would not hear things concerning one person trying to control the behavior of another, but only the things that are the cause of a present distress, willing to plead the cause that is just, verify facts as best they can, ask questions, plead for mercy when mercy is due, doing for one party the same as for the other, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

    Now that’s a high calling isn’t it?

    What if these were people trained in these things, able to open a Bible to any page and find something good about God, thank him for it, out of a sincere heart, and give him praise along with thanksgiving, able to find water in desolate places, able to teach others how to walk in the image and likeness of Christ and once they learn about that, they in turn do the things they have also received for others, for anyone in any kind of distress whereby one is being mistreated by another, or where any wrongdoing is causing trouble for another?

    Not only could a nation be won for God, but also an entire world.

    I believe that what God has given the Church is that powerful. It’s up to us.

    When I looked at Psalm 107:12-30, I began to wonder if that was why the Lord choose fishermen.

    So any ideas as to why God choose Abraham? I look at Gen 18:19.

    I was asleep on the couch one day with the TV on and suddenly awoke as a man was preaching. He said “The future belongs to the incessor.”

    The future belongs to the intercessor. What’s it going to be like in the future Church? What would you want it to be like? Can you write it down on paper?

  2. Dr. Brown and others,

    I can only share my story, in that the Holy Spirit has brought me to the understanding of laying down my life for Christ, as a true and living reality for me.

    I watch a lot of Christian TV, especially TBN, and God has given me the discernment to know what was of Him and what isn’t. I also listen to a lot of sermon’s and Dr. Brown’s shows. Over the past few years, God has totally changed me in that no matter what I watch or listen to, He is always pointing me towards letting go of the things of this life and pursuing Him above all else. It really has been his work. I cannot say what part I have played in it all, if any. But I can say I just live day to day and I have not felt the need to pursue my desires above His.

    I wanted to encourage others and let you know Dr. Brown, that God has His way with me, no matter what Christian media I have been in contact with. I am afraid that if we put too much blame on the Christian media/pastors/ministries, me may forget our own part in pursuing these things. Above all, the Holy Spirit has gotten His way with me and I am embrace taking up my cross, even to the point of death.

    I would also like to add, that Christian media has been tremendously important in my spiritual growth and encouragement these past few years being that I have an illness that has kept me couch bound at times. So while I TOTALLY agree that the gospel has been distorted by many, the Holy Spirit will get His way in the lives of those who are willing to listen to Him, know His Word and be obedient.

  3. Angela:”I TOTALLY agree that the gospel has been distorted by many, the Holy Spirit will get His way in the lives of those who are willing to listen to Him, know His Word and be obedient”

    Agreed. I never worry that The Word could ever be erased from this world. Its just not a pretty thing to watch while it battles the elements of this world.

  4. ACTS 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

    Could u even dare imagine this verse really being preached across America. I once read in a 1970s newspaper article where Nelson Rockefeller said “God gave me my money and know ones going to take it from me” The Rockefeller’s where very devout Christians in their own minds anyway.

    Of coarse it also begs the question which God was he talking about the LORD God of heaven & earth or the God of this present spiritually decaying world the prince of darkness?

    Communism and unbridled capitalism are different sides of the same ugly ungodly coin that ultimately belongs rendered to ceasar.

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