Good News – Bad Gospel!
Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.
Galatians 1:8 (NLT)
Note from Kip,
Okay, so I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer! David Platt released his book Counter Culture Feb 03, 2015 and even though I have treasured David’s message for some time, I just recently got around to reading the book.
I did so because of a small group study that I’m planning on leading through Counter Culture for six weeks starting the beginning of August.
All I can say, is wow! What took me so long to tap into this clear message that caused me to be convicted of my approach to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve harped on our tenancy to want to put God in a box, fitting Him in to our goals and aspirations. I’m not done with the book yet. I’m only about halfway through Counter Culture and I have had to repent and reset my thinking about the demands of the Gospel in my life.
The Gospel Your Way
We like being catered to. We enjoy having things our way. You could say it is human nature to desire that, and you’d be right, it is. It is the nature of the flesh to have our plans and goals ahead of everyone else’s, even Gods.
Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh., This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
2 John 1:7 (HCSB)
I’ve mentioned in the past, that we need to be wary of what I believe to be the most prevalent antichrist that is among us today. This deceptive, cunning, self absorbed menace, will stop at nothing to justify his own satisfaction. He is you and I, or by his common name ‘self’.
Until I started reading Counter Culture, it never dawned on me just how pervasive this antichrist had become. Even though I had determined to follow Jesus, no matter where that led me, this antichrist managed to subvert my application of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I tell you just how far this goes. I get all worked up about gay marriage being practice today because it runs counter to my faith and understanding of God’s Word. The Bible tells me clearly that marriage is not an institution of man, but of God, and God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. He makes absolutely no claim that this really should be two people in love. Or perhaps two things in love, not necessarily people.
My Gospel says God doesn’t condone this.
I may have bristled a few feathers being as direct as that, but that is the point of this mornings devotional. It’s not for me to attempt to justify my approach to dealing with this by taking this principle and applying it to myself alone, leaving it out of my world view. We simply can’t do that!
I had taken a position that gay marriage was wrong but it was up to the individual and God for others. Abortion the very same thing, I was dead set against the practice and ‘those women should not be doing that’, but its between them and God.
I realized that on and on I had allowed self motivation, to minimize my exposure to conflict, by adding in allowances there in ‘my gospel’. Sexual immorality was not my business as long as they kept it behind closed doors it was between them and their God.
You may want to look bunk up in the urban dictionary, it’s not a place to lay your head. You’ll find that it means: Bogus. Not genuine. Counterfeit. A total sham. Illegitimate. Nonsense.
What I had been doing was adopting a false gospel that gave exclusions that kept me from offending, or having to confront those things which were outside of where I thought my footprint should be.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (HCSB)
How can I possibly make disciples of Christ and His Gospel when I am not willing to take it seriously and follow it myself. Doing so without applying all of the Gospel to my world view and my interaction with it, makes me a purveyor of a counter-gospel! That makes ME one of those antichrists John spoke of!
Brothers and Sisters, we can not water down the Gospel of Jesus Christ to shield us from being offensive to the world. We are to be the light and salt. Softening the impact of the Gospel does not make it more appealing, it only dims the light and dilutes the salts savor.
What’s even more concerning to me is that holding back I am not keeping the message of the Gospel pure, I am not being obedient to Christ Jesus, because I am not spreading His Gospel to all the world (if any gospel at all), and what diluted message that gets out there isn’t in fact His message at all; it is mine.
What I realize is that it places me in a very uncomfortable position, that I had identified long ago that I never wanted to be in. I found myself sitting in a pew in the church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14).
Jesus said this about that church:
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.
Revelation 3:15-16 (HCSB)
Oh but Lord, Lord! I wrote devotionals, studied your word, and posted scripture online all the time!
Lukewarm, a dim light and watered down salt. His Word is His Word. He has instructed me (us) to spread His Good News to all the earth, not a modified comfortable version of His truth, but His Truth.
“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.”
John 14:15 (HCSB)
It doesn’t say change things up to make it fit your life. There is no exclusion for special circumstances. He’s commanded us to spread His Gospel to all the world. Not to carve out exclusions and exceptions that allow others to tolerate the offense of the Gospel and there by we might not offend them.
So this comes down to a question of Love. His love for me and I have to ask myself, ‘do I truly love you Jesus?’ If the answer to that is ‘yes’ then we must stand on the Gospel without out conditions, exceptions, or reservation. Otherwise, our attempts to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, will only be our rendition of BAD gospel!