When backsliders, hypocrites and the halfhearted 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 be able to remain unchanged.
“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 Christ.
One of the great tragedies of the modern Western gospel has been the accentuation of the blessings and benefits of salvation to the exclusion of other components of the cross. There is a very large movement that is sweeping through many churches today that major 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.
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.
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SOURCE: Charisma News
Bert M. Farias