Monday, April 8, 2013
What Gospel Do You Want to Hear Today?
Galatians 1:6 (ESV)
A few years ago I heard a seminary professor (not one of my professors. I heard this man in a different denominational meeting.) tell the story of "winning" a muslim young man to Christ. He told the young man that he needed to be a good Christian before he could be a good muslim. I admit I can't understand that "gospel." Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. How can they remain muslims if they change their identification from Mohammed to Jesus?
Many people do not think the gospel of Jesus Christ is preferable for them. They change it to fit the culture. It is much easier to get along if you go along. However, this always perverts the gospel. It changes it from a gospel of grace which has been brought to us by God Himself to a gospel of imagination and adaptation brought to us by mankind.
How does this happen? People want a gospel that is palpable to the culture. They like one that means there will be very little change to the beliefs and actions of the followers. They like being able to be like the world around themselves.. It feels much better to be in vogue so that you can look down on those who won't join you than to go against the culture and suffer its castigation.
But the perversion of the gospel results in no gospel at all. It brings people who say that they believe but what they believe is contrary to the true gospel. The followers are left with a false sense of security. They believe they have salvation but will have the ultimate surprise when they stand before the Lord and He says, "I never knew you."
This is why we must be careful with something that is so valuable that it requires that we sell all that we have in order to have it. It is the Pearl of Great Price. It is the treasure found in a field which causes the discoverer to sell all that he has to own that field. To change the gospel, however so slightly, is to hold back some of what we have to purchase the field or the pearl. The full price is demanded. God will not take less.
So, I am very aware of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot add to it nor can I take anything away. I must understand it not as I desire but as it is fully presented in the Bible. I cannot make it adapt to the culture nor make it less offensive to those who want it to be a different gospel.
It is a gospel of grace. Why should that be so repulsive?