Have we produced a gospel that forgives but does not convict men? And, in return, called the true gospel condemnation because it convicts men – as it should?
There is a difference between conviction and condemnation. Conviction is of the Spirit, while condemnation is of the flesh. Conviction occurs when the Spirit of God corrects and rebukes one to live according to Christ’s standards. The by-product of conviction, and subsequent repentance, is true biblical forgiveness. Condemnation, on the other hand, occurs when men correct and rebuke one to live according to their own standards. In the church today, people quickly pull the condemnation card when a preached message confronts their self-indulgent lifestyle. Messages that convict as a result of comparing your lifestyle to the standards of God are not condemnation. How can I ever change if I don’t feel like I’m wrong?
Godless preachers have used the cross as a means of self-gain instead of a means to die to one-self. Imagine going to your doctor and they have the results back from your blood test. The results of the test show that you have a disease and without proper instructions you will die. But because your doctor is self-centered and desires compensation, he prescribes you a “feel good” medication and then tells you, “You are doing great!” And although you are slowly dying inside, you leave his office feeling confident about life and the longevity of your health.
Apply this concept to the church and you’ll clearly see that this is the sort of thing that is happening to millions every Sunday. Many church leaders have deceived the people into believing that they are spiritually healthy – on the right track to having eternal life – when in fact they are spiritually dying. Such leaders, motivated by a selfish greed to be compensated, are telling the people what they want to hear to keep them happy. They are not being honest with the people concerning their spiritual health because such truth may cost the leader more than they are willing to part with (finances, members, etc).
It’s amazing to know how quickly we would file a malpractice lawsuit against that doctor who gave us a false report, but will, on the other hand, support and defend the preacher who is just as guilty! Countless people who genuinely desire salvation are being “drugged” by this “another gospel”. Although, there is only one true gospel, those under the influence of false leaders, have neglected the Truth of the Bible and built their lives around the infectious words of a man. The people’s prides have been pumped up through titles and positions. They are made to feel good about their walk (and operation of title) even though, according to the Bible, they are not saved, and God is not pleased with them. Such persons are so convinced by “another gospel” that the notion that they are not saved becomes an “attack” against their character. Don’t take my word for it, just look around and see what this counterfeit gospel has produced:
1) Men who believe it’s alright to live for themselves because, after all, “this is what it means to be saved”.
2) Men who say they are Spirit-filled but yet practice sin.
3) Homosexual lifestyles being practice openly under a distorted grace.
4) True biblical love being replaced with tolerance.
5) God’s wisdom replaced by men’s experiences.
6) Holiness reduced to and labeled “traditional”.
7) Leaders divorcing their spouses for any reason but still are “anointed”.
8) The word of God is no longer absolute, but is measured by men’s opinion.
9) A “Jesus” that is held captive by the words of his servants.
10) A love among brothers and sisters that is not agape but superficial.
Have we produced “believers” who say all the right words, but lack the power to demonstrate those words? Are we the reason that the church today is mocked by the world? From television, to Internet, to the local newspapers, the church has become a means by which the world can snicker and joke without any notion of conviction. Prior to now, the church was not considered a place of alliance where one can go to be entertainment; it was, rather, viewed as a strong, powerful threat to the culture of the world!
When was the last time you heard a Spirit-filled message, so convicting, that it left you speechless after the service? When was the last time you ran home to repent of your inner-most desires or motives because they were exposed through the Word of the Lord?
When Jesus preached, the demons screamed, saying, “Leave us alone” because the word they heard convicted them – making them uncomfortable in His presence. Why is it, then, when today’s leaders preach, the demons cheer and applaud, saying “We will be back next week”!
Is there really another gospel, or have leaders, with a personal agenda, created a people-pleasing doctrine that’s similar to God’s and attached His name to give it credibility?