When someone hears the Gospel message preaching salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ, it is as if a bullet is fired from heaven. Each and every man, woman, and child is a target. That message is aimed at the heart of everyone who hears it, young or old, rich or poor, male or female, no matter what their social status is, or where they live. That message is a live round, intended to not just make noise, but to project the Holy Spirit to impact the life and penetrate the darkness of the unsaved heart. The “bullet” of the Gospel is likened to a bullet in a gun. A live bullet fired at a target not only causes a noise, but it hits the target and puts a hole in it. But a blank bullet fired at a target only makes noise. Even though it is pointed at the target, and carefully aimed, it never accomplishes anything but make noise. A blank never penetrates it’s target, no matter how many of them you fire. A blank not only just wastes the money of the shooter, it has no capability to disable an enemy. In fact, after the second or third round is fired, it doesn’t even scare the enemy anymore.
Such is the “gospel” that is preached in many churches today. Keep in mind, I’m not attacking churches here. Indeed, the church is the hand by which God does much of His work. Oh yes, it makes noise. People are invited to come and hear, but after coming and hearing, they leave the same way they came in. There are great “threats” made against the kingdom of darkness in the form of people taking charge over devils to cast them out, even “victory dances” and people may walk about cities and claim victory over the kingdom of darkness and prophesy over them. But let me ask you, are you seeing lives changed? Is the church filling up with newly saved people? Are those saved going out and winning others? Or are the churches firing blanks?
Here’s how to tell if what you are hearing is a bullet or a blank. It doesn’t even require a church setting. When you hear a sermon, does it touch your heart? Does it make you see the path you are walking apart from God is a waste of your life? Does it make you sorrow that you are apart from God? Does it move you to do something about it? Does it make you come running to God? If so, then you just heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If not, well, it was just a “blank”, a lot of noise, but the target was not penetrated, and nothing was changed.
Look at the church you attend (if you attend). Are there people being added at each service to the number of believers as a result of their salvation? Looking at Acts 1:15 there were about a hundred and twenty in the upper room, waiting on the Lord. Then in Acts chapter 2 when the day of Pentecost was fully come, it is described it were as if tongues of fire fell upon them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. The fire of God fell upon them, and they were changed people. Peter gave his first sermon. Afterwards, it is written in Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

 Later in the chapter the believers were telling others about Jesus, and in verse 47, it says they were “Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Then in Acts 4:4 it says, “Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed, and the number of the men was about five thousand”. Just in that short account alone there were over 8,000 added to the church. You see, when the fire of God falls, people are added to the church. Is the fire of God falling where you are being preached to, or is the preacher “shooting blanks”?

 In a church where the fire of God is at work, the devil is terrified. He isn’t afraid of preachers who spend all their time preaching prosperity, or blessings, or even healing, for that matter, even though that’s part of the Gospel. But he’s absolutely terrified of preachers who preach the blood of Jesus and His redeeming power. We hear precious too little about the blood of Jesus these days from most preachers. But the blood of Jesus is where the power is. It is the power and fire of God to save,heal, and deliver, to all who will believe.
I tell you, we no longer have to “tarry” for the Holy Spirit to do something. The Holy Spirit is waiting for US to do something…to preach the Gospel! You who truly know the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior have the confidence in you, that when you tell others about God, the power of God will back up your words with the fire of the Holy Spirit. But there are some of you who, even though you are a believer in Christ Jesus, you just don’t have that confidence. You are afraid that if you try to witness Jesus to others, it will do nothing, as if your words are blanks. Don’t let that stop you. Your job is to speak the Gospel to others. That’s as far as your responsibility goes.

 God’s job is to make a living projectile of your words that will penetrate the heart of those living in darkness. I assure you, God is not slack concerning His word. It will accomplish that whereto He sent it. Here’s what makes it easy for me personally….I didn’t make those promises in the Bible, so it isn’t my obligation to back them up. God made them, so it is HIS job to back them up. And believe me, He does! The LORD GOD changes not! He answered by fire back then, and He answers by fire today. Can you preach it hot? You can by the Holy Ghost ! The Holy Ghost makes it so hot, people can’t wait until the altar call so they can come up and be saved!

We read in 1 Kings 18 how Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, and all his worshippers, to build an altar, put wood thereon and the sacrifice, but no fire, and he would also build an altar to God, and put wood, and no fire. Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal, “Let the god who answers by fire, let him be God. They said, “Well said”. So Baal’s prophets cried out to him all day, even cutting themselves with knives until the blood gushed. But no answer. This went on all day unto evening. Elijah built his altar unto God, added the wood and the sacrifice. Furthermore, Elijah flooded his altar and wood with water not once, not twice, but three times until the water ran round about the altar and filled the trenches with water. Then about the time of the evening sacrifice, Elijah called out to God, just once, and according to verse 38 and 39, Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood, and the stones, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God: the LORD, he is the God.

My friends, these people saw something: they saw the fire of God fall on their lives. I say, let the god who answers by fire be God. People cry out to Mohammed, he doesn’t answer. They cry out to Buddha, he doesn’t answer. They cry out to Krishna, no answer there either, they cry out to gods of wood and stone, but only one answers by fire, and that is the LORD GOD. Is the Holy Spirit building a fire under you right now to go share the Gospel with others? Is not your heart burning within you to share Jesus with others?

There is only One who saves, heals, and delivers from destruction, and His name is the LORD JESUS. He shoots His love through all our excuses, all our lies and hypocrisy, bondage, confusion, and straight into the heart.

 All the others are shooting blanks.