THE MODIFICATION OF THE GOSPEL GREATLY WEAKENING THE CHURCH (PART II)

Here is the mind-set of those who modify the message of the gospel:

“If people are living in sin let’s just teach them how to cope. Let’s tell them how good God is and how much He loves them no matter how they live or what they’ve done. If they have an affinity for sinful pleasures then let’s not offend them by making mention of that. If they abhor self-denial then let’s not talk about that either. Let’s just love them without putting any demands or requirements on them. If people want to be entertained then let’s entertain them. Then our message will be even more appealing to them. Let’s meet everyone where they’re at. We’ll use short, non-confronting sermons and humorous skits and dramas in a friendly way to spark their interest. Gradually they will come around, and God’s love will change them.”

This “new” mind-set has spawned a “new” gospel that is flourishing. Mega churches are being grown from this gospel in virtually every major city in America and other nations as well. Pastors are the CEO’s of these churches that are being managed like corporations. Deceitful workers are transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ who glory in their flesh, their growth, their numbers, and their influence, while deceiving so many others. These men boast of their new gospel and methods of reaching people while daring to criticize the old-fashioned gospel as being out of date and out of style and not meeting today’s needs.

The new preachers of this new gospel preach love, but it’s a love that never rebukes, corrects, or trains. They mention the name of Jesus, but it’s another Jesus that they have formed in their own image according to the godless pop culture around them. They talk about a loving heavenly Father, but know nothing of God being an All Consuming Fire. While emphasizing the goodness of God they completely avoid warnings of His severity (Rom 11:22).

If a man is ambitious, has strong leadership skills, a warming charismatic personality, and he knows how to employ the right formula and new methods, he can grow a church almost overnight, especially by preaching a non-confronting, non-convicting gospel and giving people what their itching ears want to hear. At the core of these new preachers’ ambition, however, is an insatiable desire for an honored reputation and an unsanctified drive for quick growth and quick results that would give them greater power and influence.

Men find great fulfillment in significance so any hook with the bait of power and success dangling from it is an easy temptation. Yet we must realize that some of the greatest failures by human standards are God’s greatest successes. God’s measuring gauge and standard of success is so different than man’s.

SUCCESS IN MAN’S EYES OR GOD’S EYES?

Noah would be the classic example of a great failure today. His message and ministry spanned 120 years, but produced no converts outside of his own family. He was an excellent carpenter and ship builder, but as a preacher he failed and didn’t get the job done. No numbers, no following, and no influence. The gospel he preached and the methods he used produced nothing. But the Bible speaks of him in lofty terms calling him a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet 2:5), obedient (Gen 6:22, 7:5), and perfect (blameless, having integrity).

“This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” (Gen 6:9)

“Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” (Gen 7:1)

What would you rather have written on your tombstone – the accolades of men that were lies, or the testimony of God that remains forever true? What do you want your epitaph to say? Do you want to be honored by earth or by heaven? How do you want to be remembered?

Where did we get the idea that if the size of churches and ministries are not numerically large, do not grow fast, or do not grow at all, and do not meet man’s approval they are automatically counted as failures? From whence comes this persuasion?

By using the right formula and Madison Avenue tactics almost anyone can draw a crowd and build a church today. Add to that, an entertainment, socially-adapted, fun-based “gospel” message and people will come. Then word will spread and more people will come.

Here’s an example I heard the late David Wilkerson share years ago: During one Sunday night gathering in a seeker-friendly church where thousands attended, the pastor got up and said: “This is a fun night, a David Letterman night.” Then the youth pastor came out and did a monologue as David Letterman. He showed 10 of the most boring things teenagers do during preaching. Three of the ten were throwing spitballs, yawning, and picking their noses. The people in attendance went wild with laughter and great applause. As the church service was closing the pastor shamelessly announced, “We’re not here to offend anyone, but to make church comfortable for everybody.”

How many people do you think would remain in that church if the pastor changed his philosophy and suddenly began preaching a strong anti-sin, anti-worldliness, cross-bearing, Jesus exalting repentance message? I’ll tell you exactly what would happen. It would cause a church split. Some would be offended and leave. Others would be convicted and repent. But what would we rather have: 1000 false converts or 100 true ones?

The way you win people is the way you keep them. If you win them with entertainment you’re going to have to entertain them to keep them. If you win them with a soft gospel you’re going to have to continue to feed them a soft gospel to keep them. Falsehood, half-truths, and compromise will beget more of the same. A defective gospel produces defective converts.

I heard a television preacher say that in one mega church he spoke at he discovered that 60 couples were living together out of wedlock. Not one of them was legally married. The reason given: None of them thought it was wrong. How shocking! Here’s the question I have: What kind of message were the pastors of that church preaching? Obviously a very defective one. The fruit of a false gospel is false converts. Faith without works is always dead.

The Church today is full of false converts who have never been searched out and convicted of their sins. They come to church meetings, they sing church songs, they talk the church language, and hear church sermons, but they live like the world. Their lifestyles are in contradiction to the Word of God. One man said, “I know I shouldn’t be shacking up with my girlfriend, but I believe in Jesus and He knows my heart.” The Bible says that the demons also believe and tremble (Jam 2:19). In other words, the demons believe and fear God more than those like this man who say they believe, but have no works or corresponding lifestyle to prove their faith (that is the context of Jam 2:14-18).

When you leave certain components of the cross out of the gospel you open a large door for the sinner and the half-hearted seeker to feel comfortable in their sins and in their worldly lifestyle. And when that becomes the norm or status quo in a church, deception spreads like a cancer. A false or an incomplete gospel establishes an atmosphere of deception. People are being errantly taught that all you need to do to be saved is to acknowledge your belief in Jesus, pray a little prayer, and you’re in. Nothing is ever said before or after salvation about true heart-repentance, surrendering your life – losing it to gain it, following Jesus in whole-hearted obedience, and loving Him above all others.

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. The Real Gospel, The Real Jesus, The Real Salvation, and  The Real Spirit Of Revival are especially strategic in trumping the many falsehoods spreading in the modern day Church. If any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them.

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THE MODIFICATION OF THE GOSPEL HAS GREATLY WEAKENED THE CHURCH

“When backsliders, hypocrites, and the half-hearted seeker among us are made to feel comfortable instead of convicted, soothed instead of smitten, pampered instead of pricked, then something is terribly wrong. The holy fire of God is to burn so brightly in the Church that it allows no room for indifference so that hypocrites will not be able to stay and the true seekers will not remain unchanged.” Bert Farias

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:6-9).

These are the strongest of words penned by the apostle Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the Galatian Christians. Twice Paul declares a terrible curse on those who pervert the real gospel of Jesus Christ.

One of the great tragedies of the modern Western gospel has been the accentuation of the blessings and benefits of salvation at the exclusion of other components of the cross. There is a very large movement that is sweeping through many churches today that majors on life-enhancement, self-help, and self-esteem without hardly ever confronting sin and the works of the flesh. Sadly lacking from this sugar-coated gospel are heart-repentance, holiness, and the empowering grace of God to live in obedience to His demands.

Prophet Jeremiah Johnson called this false gospel the gospel of accommodation.

“There is a very real war in the spirit realm over the true gospel, the gospel of self-denial, and this false gospel, the gospel of accommodation that is seeking to overtake the American Church. The gospel of accommodation encourages American Christians to fit Jesus into their life, rather than making Him their life. This false gospel requires no sacrifice, no commitment, and no death to self. It is dangerous, deceptive, and we are going to witness God beginning to highlight preachers and churches who preach this false gospel of accommodation.”

The preachers of this smooth, soft gospel may frequently speak of forgiveness, but rarely do we hear a clear and definitive call for surrender in true repentance. They may even speak of the blood of Christ to cleanse us from our sins, but rarely do we hear of the necessity of that same holy blood to appease the wrath of God against sinners. Frequently we may hear of how Jesus died to make us righteous, but rarely do we use God’s holy Law to strip the sinner of his self-righteousness. We may often hear of the need to gain the glories of heaven, but rarely of the need to shun the horrors of hell. At times we may hear of the resurrection of His power (although in many circles that is rare, too), but rarely do we hear of the fellowship of His sufferings. Frequently we hear of the good life we can have now, but rarely do we hear warnings of the judgment to come. And why don’t we hear more of the latter? Because we don’t want to offend anyone.

The offense of the cross has been virtually removed from our gospel.

What Salvation Army founder William Booth prophesied more than a century ago is increasing at an alarming rate in our day:

“The chief danger of the twentieth century will be,
Religion without the Holy Ghost,
Christianity without Christ,
Forgiveness without repentance,
Salvation without regeneration,
Heaven without hell,
And politics without God.”

The twentieth century has already passed, and things don’t seem to be improving at all in the twenty-first century.

A new gospel has been produced from the ruling philosophy of the day that says, “If it works, it must be better. If our message adds to our number, if it comforts the people instead of offending them, if it makes them happy, if it keeps them coming to our meetings, and keeps them giving to our causes, then it must be good.” The results are what count. This dominating school of thought regards anyone successful as long as they get the job done and accomplish the goals; in this case, growing the church and adding to its membership.

The proponents of this other gospel reason, “More people and more money equal success.” It doesn’t really matter how they accomplish their goals as long as they do. In this philosophy God becomes a means to an end; a useful God to help them attain the desired success. Others, to sound even more persuasive, may say, “More people means more salvations”, but are they really getting saved? Or “More money means a greater propagation of the gospel”, but is it the real gospel?

The rich man that went away sorrowfully after Jesus told him to sell his possessions and give the money to the poor (Mk. 10:17-22) would’ve still been with us today had he heard the modern gospel of goodness, acceptance, and prosperity. Many a popular preacher would’ve gone after him and negotiated a deal. Instead of a clear call to renounce his materialism, perhaps he could’ve been more easily convinced to just believe that Jesus was not merely a good teacher, but actually the Son of God. A simple little prayer would’ve got him in.

Maybe this rich young man could’ve been persuaded to give a tithe of his possessions to the ministry instead of selling it all and giving the proceeds to the poor. That would’ve been much more reasonable and much less offensive to him, and that tithe would really help the church. After all, he had worked hard for his money. Or another popular method employed today would’ve been to make him an elder and offer him a position in the church and then perhaps his sorrow would be eased and his happiness would return.

This is what we’ve done with the glorious gospel of our Lord. We’ve modified it; we’ve added to it and taken away from it; we’ve altered it, diluted it, and adapted it to fit the spirit of the age.

Now we are reaping the rotten seeds of a very faulty sowing of the preaching of this false gospel in days gone by. This is greatly weakening the Church and putting her to sleep while helping to destroy a  nation that is intent in rushing headlong into an antichrist abyss. It’s the perfect storm, one that we could stop if we would just shake ourselves from our lethargy and denial and wake up.

It is time to make these crooked paths straight and prepare the way of the Lord.

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. The Real Gospel, The Real Jesus, The Real Salvation, and  The Real Spirit Of Revival are especially strategic in trumping the many falsehoods spreading in the modern day Church. If any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them.

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. Again, if this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

DONATE 

Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.