To Gospel or not to Gospel

I read a post today by a friend of mine in the blogging world that got me to thinking, or trying to think anyway. Bryan over at http://chiefofleast.com/ posted an article he reblogged from reformedbaptistfellowship. This was an article on today’s preaching in the church, or lack thereof. You can see Bryan’s repost here.

Why is today’s preaching so different? Not all preaching, there are many good preachers of the Word yet, lest I be barbecued for saying otherwise. There is however a decline in quality teaching of the Word of God today…why?

Many churches teach a feel good theology. They teach that Jesus loves you, well that is true and a good thing to teach. What about the rest of what God has to say? These types of churches only teach the “nice” parts of the bible, you know the parts that are easily palatable. This is doing a huge disservice to their congregations.

Many other churches teach that God wants to give you all good things; this is totally reprehensible. God does not want to give you the world and everything in it, what would you need Him for then? (If we had all things, we would be busy enjoying them instead of where our true enjoyment should come from…God) Why then are we not all rich? Drive nice cars and have all the toys? This is called prosperity gospel teaching, and it is very damaging. Suppose you are a fresh new Believer…and you are taught in this kind of church. You are taught that you just pray enough, ask properly, and Walla…God your sugar daddy in heaven will give you all things. What happens when you don’t receive many of things you asked for, and after this has happened for a few years? People are going to become disillusioned and walk away from Christ, that is a terrible thing to happen because they were improperly taught and their false expectations were not met. No blame on God for this, the blame and the shame belongs to the one(s) teaching a false gospel.

Today’s churches need to come back into preaching the way God intended it to be done. I don’t presume to speak for God, but some things are just blatantly obvious.

God did not say anywhere in the bible that He would give us everything we want, people take verses in the bible out of context and make theses verses say what they want to hear.

An example of this is 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know what our Lord Jesus Christ gives freely, that though He was rich, for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.”

This verse has nothing to do with money and possessions. This verse is actually teaching that our true “wealth” comes in the form of our spiritual blessings in Christ. Yes Paul was talking in the surrounding verses about real money, but he was talking about giving it away, not lining our own pockets with it! The coming kingdom is not going to be about money, and being a disciple of Jesus is not about how much money and you can have and how many toys you own.

Another verse taken out of context, John 14:13-14 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

But wait…that looks like Jesus is saying He will give us all things. It looks that way because that is the part prosperity gospel teachers choose to use. The whole verse reads this way…

13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Now John 14:13-14 has a whole new meaning! Jesus will do anything for us that brings glory to the Father, context always matters! What we ask for must be within the will of God, not for our own selfish gain.

I abhor the teaching of the prosperity gospel so much; I can’t state it in words. God would never be ok with this teaching…ever! Life with God on this earth is so much better than without Him, but the best God has to offer is yet to come…eternal life with Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”

The best is yet to come; we don’t even comprehend what that is…He did not tell us. We only know that we will be with Him as we are forgiven our sins and adopted as His children.

Next time, part two which finishes this article on the Word and teaching it.

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Categories: FAITH FOR TODAY, THE WORD OF GOD FOR TODAY

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11 replies

  1. Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” AMEN!

  2. I read the article at Reformed Baptist Fellowship, and may also link to it later myself. There is much truth and wisdom to be found there. I have two comments in response to what you have said:

    1) My response to “health & wealth” or the prosperity Gospel lessons is that we should always look to Christ as our example. The Apostle Paul encouraged us to follow his examples as well, also teaching that Christians should conform to the image of Christ. Neither of those two guys had anything, in this lifetime. Jesus taught that the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head. Ananias was told by God in Acts that Paul would be shown “what things he must suffer for my name sake.” Paul lost his health, Jesus lost his life, neither one of them ever preach the Gospel ’till they got rich. “Take up your cross and follow me” does not look like a guy dragging a heavy bag of money around.

    2) What happened to good preaching? Paul wrote to Timothy (2 Tim 4:3) exactly what was going to happen. The ESV reads: For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions…” Christ centered preaching, Biblical exposition, “good preaching” has been replaced by any and everything because people cannot or will not endure it. Anything else will do, and plenty of pastors, worship leaders and congregants have been willing to swap good preaching for a larger crowd, bigger building and more money.

  3. This is exactly what’s wrong with the ‘prosperity gospel’ of The Prayer of Jabez (in my opinion). To start with, that one, rather obscure verse was a promise to Israel, not to us. And no, we aren’t promised “land, seed and blessing”.
    The Gospel, the Good News doesn’t need to be diluuted or hyped, just shared.
    Nice post, Greg!
    Debbie

  4. Having already commented on this post over at CB, I will just limit this comment to saying that I was at first surprised at you coming out so strongly in favor of not really caring if people were offended by preaching what is right and what is wrong in God’s eyes! Then I remembered how much you deeply love your fellowman and are simply wanting the best for all manking–the best of the truth of our Lord!

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Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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