Another Gospel

There are a lot of “Jesuses” (I made that word up) in the world today.  One Jesus is for world peace, one if the champion of the elimination of hunger, one exists solely to make you feel good, and another exists for only the most dire of emergencies, while another is hailed as the founder of the Republican Party.   With all these Jesus’ how in the world can we understand which one to follow?  Let me make the suggestion first off that they aren’t all right—or real.  Secondly that when the day comes, the real one will be made known.

Take an illustration on money for example Counterfeit money is lacking in authority—it does not have the backing of the federal government. A good counterfeiter can dupe some people into accepting his copy work as legitimate currency. But eventually, when the fake money is brought before the authorities, it will be found false and sentenced to destruction.  Likewise, a false Jesus lacks something very important: the authority of God. The preacher of a false Jesus may believe it and persuade (others) to accept its message. Nevertheless, in the final analysis, there is no salvation in this fake gospel.

Look at this passage in Galatians:  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.  (9)  As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).  That kind of flies in the face of Islam and Mormonism in which an angel is depicted giving a “new” or “final” add-on revelation to the New Testament.  It also flies in the face of so many Jesuses in the world.    Also, it says that God will make known on the last day the real Gospel, and those peddling a false one will be brought to light.

So how do we deal with this conundrum that religion has created in America, and the world today?  First off, we have to do all things in love.  Too often we turn people off because we try to be holier than thou and self-righteous, when in reality that’s the exact opposite. We ourselves need to be ready to tell people exactly what the Gospel is.  I love how God looks out for the not-so-smart people like me and gives us a few sentences on just exactly what the Gospel is:  Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,  (2)  and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain.  (3)  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,  (4)  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,  (5)  and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  (6)  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.  (7)  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles” (1 Cor. 15:1-7, ESV).   That’s it!  That’s the Gospel!

We try to overcomplicate it, and that’s when all these strange gospels begin to emerge. The next time someone asks you, “What is the Gospel” take them to the passage in 1 Corinthians 15.  Don’t take them every where else first, just let God speak for Himself—to often we try to defend God (as if HE needed it) and make things overly complicated or completely false. There’s no need for a wile goose chase with the Apple Dumpling Gang through Scripture—just let the Lord continue to reveal Himself as He has for millennia.  Just something to think about.

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