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moreofHim
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Joined: 2003/10/15
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 The True Gospel and The False

I have thought about posting this before. It really goes along with what I was saying on another thread.

~Christians are generally speaking, categorized into two groups as follows:

(1) "Roman Catholics" and "Protestants" - depending on birth.

(2) "Episcopal"(conformist) and "Free church" (non-conformist) - depending on church-pattern.

(3) "Born again Christians" and "Nominal Christians" - depending on an "experience";

(4) "Evangelicals" and "Liberals" - depending on doctrine.

(5) "Charismatics" and "Non-charismatics" - depending on "speaking in tongues".

(6) "Full-time Christian workers" and "Secular workers" - depending on profession. There could be other such categorizations too.

But none of these categorizations deal with the root of the problem that our Lord came to solve.

Many know that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor.15:3). But many do not know that the Bible says that Christ also died "that we should no longer live for ourselves but for Him" (2 Cor.5:15).

A more Scriptural way of categorizing Christians therefore would be as follows: "Those who live for themselves" and "Those who live for Christ"; or Those who seek their own" and "Those who seek the things of Christ"or "Those who seek earthly things first" and "Those who seek the kingdom of God first"; or "Those who love money" and "Those who love God". (Jesus said it was impossible to love both -Lk.16:13)

But I have never heard of such a categorization being used. This categorization deals with the Christian's inner life and private walk with God, whereas the methods mentioned earlier deal with the external details of his life. Yet it is in this latter way that heaven categorizes Christians. And if that be the case, then this is the only categorization that matters! In this method, others cannot categorize us. We have to categorize ourselves - for no-one but we ourselves know our inner motivations and desires. Even our wives may not be aware what we are living for.

Our Lord did not come primarily to give people a doctrine, or a church-pattern or to make them speak in tongues or even to give them an experience!

He came to "save us from sin". He came to lay the axe to the root of the tree. And the root of sin is : Being centred in ourselves, seeking our own and doing our own will. If we do not permit the Lord to axe and uproot this "root" from our lives, we will be Christians only superficially. Satan may however deceive us into imagining that we belong to a higher class than other Christians, because of our doctrine or our experience or our church-pattern!

Satan doesn't care even if we have the right doctrine, experience and church-pattern, so long as we continue to "live for ourselves" (This, by the way, is just another phrase for "living in sin"!!). Christendom today is filled with Christians who seek their own and live for themselves, who are yet convinced that God views them as superior to other Christians, merely because of doctrinal differences or church-pattern or "experiences". This shows what a great work Satan has succeeded in doing in Christendom.

This is what we see even among many "good Christians" today. They have so many different interpretations of the same Bible - and yet each one is convinced that his interpretation alone is right and everyone else's is wrong. The others, they will say are "deceived". Why is this so? Because they've got their centre wrong.

Man was created to be centred in God and not in himself. And when Christians have got their centre wrong, their "gospel" will be wrong too. Basically, there are only two gospels being preached today - one man-centred and the other God-centred.

The man-centred gospel promises man that God will give him everything he needs to make his life on earth comfortable and will also give him a seat in heaven at the end of his life. Man is told that Jesus will forgive all his sins, heal all his diseases, bless and prosper him materially, solve all his earthly problems, etc., etc.

Self still remains at the center of such a man's life, and God revolves around him - as his servant - to answer his every prayer and to give him whatever he wants!! All that he has to do is "believe" and "claim every material blessing in Jesus' Name"!!

This is a false gospel, because no mention is made of "repentance". Repentance is what John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, Peter and all the apostles preached first of all. And repentance, unfortunately, is what is not preached today even last of all!!

The God-centred gospel, on the other hand, calls upon man to repent. It explains that "repentance" means:

Turning FROM Self as the center of one's life, from doing one's own will, from walking along one's self-chosen way, from loving money, and from loving the world and the things in the world (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life), etc., and

Turning TO God, loving Him with one's whole heart, making Him the Centre of one's life and doing His will henceforth etc.,

Faith in Christ's death on the cross can forgive a man his sins only when he has repented. Then he can receive the power of the Holy Spirit empower him to deny himself daily so that he can live a God-centred life. This is the gospel that Jesus and the apostles preached.

The false gospel makes the gate wide and the way broad (easy to walk along, because one does not have to deny one's Self or stop living for one's own interests or stop seeking one's own gain). Millions attend meetings where such a false "gospel" is preached. And many enter through this gate and walk along this way, imagining that it leads to life. But it actually leads to destruction. The evangelists of this gospel however gloat in, and report about the large numbers of people who "raised their hands and made decisions for Christ" in their meetings!! But it is all a deception. Although some are indeed genuinely converted in such meetings, because of their sincerity, many such "converts" end up becoming "twofold children of hell" (Matt.23:15) - deceived about their true state.

The true gospel however, makes the gate small and the way narrow - not smaller or narrower than Jesus Himself made it, as some "super-spiritual" cultists do, but just the same size as Jesus made it. Few there be that find this way to life. There is not much for the evangelists of this gospel to report about, and the statistics are not impressive. But this gospel leads people to the Lord Jesus and to heaven.

"Be careful how you listen. Whoever obeys what he has heard, to him more light and understanding will be given. But whoever does not obey what he has heard, even what light and understanding he thinks he has will be taken away from him." (Paraphrase of Luke 8:18). He who has ears to hear let him hear.

Zac Poonen


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Chanin

 2004/4/10 17:50Profile
prayer1warrior
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Joined: 2004/4/8
Posts: 27


 Re: The True Gospel and The False

Amen.

 2004/4/10 19:22Profile
lazarus
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Joined: 2004/4/9
Posts: 61
Connecticut

 Re:

Heres my few thoughts on the subject. Let me hear your comments on any of them. I hope that you enjoy :-D them and not hate :-x them like you have some of my other thoughts.

Here goes:

We sing songs like "He's got the whole world in His hands, He's got the whole wide world in His hands" But do we remember that "it's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God"?

You can make altar calls but God is calling the altar. You can call out repentance from the altar but God is calling the altar to repentance.

We don't see God move because we only want to hear about Heaven and never about hell. Only peace and never persecution. Never trials and tribulation but only comfort and convience.

The bible says God can make men holy
Preachers say God will make men happy.
The bible says if men follow Christ men will have persecution.
Preachers say if men follow Christ men will have peace.


There has been biblical preachign without revival but there has never been a revival without biblical preaching.

Churches have become nothing more then another self-help or self-improve program. We need to make one thing clear. Church is not here to help you. It's not. It's here to give glory to God.

Preachers in our pulpits today are commiting the sin of preaching "another gospel". Jesus no longer suffered and died to save souls from hell, but rather from hurt. no longer was He crucified for the sins but rather for our sufferings so that we could be satisfied. It's a lie from the the devil which looks like the truth. Satan truly has become the puppet master of many pulpits.

A true convert comes to Christ for His Blood, not His Blessing. We must not preach a gospel that is foreign to the bible.

Will God send you to hell for your struggles? No, but He will for your sins. Will He send you to hell for your weakness? No but He will for your wickedness. WIll God send you to hell for having the wrong theology? No but He will for Idolatry!

Preachers must never change their tones so people won't moan, or tell lies so people won't cry.

In our day most preachers preach a false message of enhansed life when we need to preach the true gospel of eternal life.

You may tell men to repent, but like Jesus do you tell them it's because they will perish?

Let's get back to the truth: that our sins pave our way to hell but His blood paves the way to Heaven.

The church of the bible was a prophetic church, the church of today is a pathetic church. The Christianity I see is not the Christianity I read about.

The church as I see it today is not the church! Don't even try to tell me that this is it. This can't be all there is, there has to be more!

On Tv I heard a sermon called "How to never be hurt again" but never have I heard a sermon called "How to never ever go to hell." It's not a matter of "watering down" the gospel but it's a matter of "changing up" the gospel.

I believe God's Word speaks of a Christianity which has yet to be experienced in our time. It speaks of a breed of preachers which has long been extinct.


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Jesse

 2004/4/11 1:37Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
Amen. In fact, one of the martyrs of the last century, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, wrote a great book abot this very gospel, i.e. the gospel of Christ. He calls us to deny our self, take up our cross, and follow Him. The book is entitled : Cost of Discipleship. I highly recommend this book.


Brother Dave, this is a great book! The Lord led me to read it awhile back and I was pierced to the heart and cried out: 'woe is me'. It's so easy for us to cheapen grace and put disregard to God's Holy Name. I read it and really didn't grasp it all, he is quite a heavy read that's forsure. Here are some powerful quotes from the book:

"Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.
Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian "conception" of God."

"Cheap grace means the justification [b]of sin[/b] without the justification [i]of the sinner[/i]. Grace alone does everything they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. "All for sin could not atone." Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world’s standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin. That was the heresy of the enthusiasts, the Anabaptists and their kind…."

"Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son. … There is trust in God, but no following of Christ."

"The call to discipleship… means both death and life… [It] sets the Christian in the middle of the daily arena against sin and the devil. Every day he encounters new temptations, and every day he must suffer anew for Jesus Christ’s sake. The wounds and scars he receives in the fray are living tokens of this participation in the cross of his Lord."

"Through the call of God, men become individuals… Every man is called separately, and must follow alone. But men are frightened of solitude, and try to protect themselves from it by merging themselves in the society of their fellow-men and in their material environment. They become suddenly aware of their responsibilities and duties, and are loath to part with them. But all this is only a cloak to protect them from having to make a decision. They are unwilling to stand alone before Jesus and to be compelled to decide with their eyes fixed on Him alone…. It is Christ’s will that he should be thus isolated, and that he should fix his eyes solely upon him."


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/4/11 17:53Profile
shazbot
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Joined: 2004/2/11
Posts: 60
USA

 Re: True and False Gospels

lazarus, I agree with your points. However, it seems to me that most people take this too far the opposite direction. Obviously, we must tell people, "You need to repent because you're going to hell," but I have seen so many people turn away from the church because all they hear is that last phrase, "You're going to hell." Jesus said that it wasn't going to be easy following in His footsteps. But why would He have preached at all if that suffering wasn't so much better than the battering we take living in slavehood to our sin nature?

Christianity will bring physical hardships more so than living in sin. But Christianity also strengthens us so that we can endure those hardships easier than we could endure living in sin.

God is so awesome, holy, powerful, and merciful, that your compelling desire to serve Him should make it much easier than living in sin.

 2004/4/11 21:19Profile
lazarus
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Joined: 2004/4/9
Posts: 61
Connecticut

 Re:

Quote "Obviously, we must tell people, "You need to repent because you're going to hell," but I have seen so many people turn away from the church because all they hear is that last phrase, "You're going to hell."

It's true. The world needs to see us saying hard truths but with soft hearts, with tears in our eyes. They must not see us say "Your going to hell" in an angry way or with what seems like hatred to them.


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Jesse

 2004/4/11 22:36Profile
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

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 Re:

Quote:
It's true. The world needs to see us saying hard truths but with soft hearts, with tears in our eyes. They must not see us say "Your going to hell" in an angry way or with what seems like hatred to them.


Amen [i]Jesse[/i], How can we [b]not[/b] shed a tear in our heart as we show people the reality of hell and eternity apart of an Holy loving God. Here are a few awesome quotes to backup what you are saying ;-)

"However, there was one thing missing at the conference that is often present in their worship - weeping. North American Christians are good at telling jokes, but terrible at weeping for souls. We know how to laugh, but have forgotten how to cry. Somehow, in the midst of our Christian work, we've lost our passion, especially our passion for souls. Consequently, we stand in need of revival."
-Sammy Tippit

"How long has it been since you wept over the eternal destiny of people?"
-Sammy Tippit


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/4/12 0:16Profile
rocklife
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Joined: 2004/4/1
Posts: 323
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 Re:

Quote:

lazarus wrote:


There has been biblical preachign without revival but there has never been a revival without biblical preaching.

Churches have become nothing more then another self-help or self-improve program. We need to make one thing clear. Church is not here to help you. It's not. It's here to give glory to God.




This is a summary of much of the "Christian" preaching, you said it.

God, our Creator, deserves our respect because He is our Creator, even if we are sick, destitute, victimized, He still deserves our love and honor because He is God, He can do whatever He wants, He is the Potter, we are dirt. He already does all the work for us, He even brings us to salvation! He even provided the perfect sin offering in Jesus Christ for us! For us to exalt ourselves in any way is evil.


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Jina

 2004/4/15 3:35Profile
lyndon
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Joined: 2003/12/8
Posts: 65
Manitoba, Canada

 Re:

Quote:
That was the heresy of the enthusiasts, the Anabaptists and their kind…."



Greg, could you expand on that quote, I am quite familiar with Anabaptists and could not say that I have ever noticed a 'cheap grace' tought. Not now or a few century's ago. (Maybe I'm taking the quote wrong?)

Lyndon

 2004/4/15 12:25Profile
lazarus
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Joined: 2004/4/9
Posts: 61
Connecticut

 Re:

Quote "For us to exalt ourselves in any way is evil."

Yes. The Lord must be exalted far above ourselves, far above our works, far above our ministries and our accomplishments. Exalting God gets men to look at God. Exalting ourselves gets men to look at ourselves. Let it be far from any of us to rob God of any of the glory which He so awesomely deserves.


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Jesse

 2004/4/15 12:39Profile





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