What the Gospel is Not

God is love. Jesus showed compassion.

Both of those statements are very true. But how exactly are we to live out those truths? Did you know that there’s a movement on social media called “Empty the Pews”, which is an attempt to draw people out of traditional “repressive” churches, and allow them to live their best lives and “follow Jesus” in an environment that loves and affirms them?

Isn’t that so evolved? Christians who subscribe to such an ideal sound so loving and progressive. They’re “allies” to those who have been both marginalized and “abused” by the conservative church. That’s what Jesus would have done, right? He wasn’t hateful or bigoted.

I would dare to say that every Christian determined to be the “good” in the world by telling people to do whatever they want as long as it makes them happy are leading those people (and potentially themselves), straight down the road to hell.

We’ve become so preoccupied with being considerate of people’s feelings, and making sure no one is offended, that we have forsaken the true gospel. Which is, have faith and believe, repent of your sin, and follow Jesus by living a holy life through the power of the Spirit.

If someone lives in Christ, and in the Spirit, their feelings will be taken care of, because rather than living for self-gratification, they live for God, and His will becomes their will. But modern, liberal Christians aren’t giving them that chance. No, they’re allowing people to bask in their own depravity, and thus fulfilling their own desire to be loved and respected.

“The religious people crucified Jesus.” Yes, the religious people hated Jesus because he made them uncomfortable, and made them aware of their wrongdoing. But don’t let that distract from the true message that Jesus came to deliver, and that his disciples continued to carry out. We were sinners, that needed salvation. We have to repent, and sin no more.

Ah but the issue of what is sin, and what isn’t sin. Here’s something for you. The Bible doesn’t evolve. It doesn’t change. It doesn’t cave into culture. The Bible was written in a particular culture, one that we don’t understand. And it’s not because God didn’t have the foreknowledge to write about the future, but because the inspired writers lived in their culture, and knew nothing else.

We don’t expect history books, or Greek philosophers to evolve. Rather, we understand that they wrote according to the era they lived in, but we still use the truths they wrote about. The Bible is the same yesterday, today and forever. We need wisdom to understand the cultural differences, but the basic truths, and commands still stand for us now, just as they have stood for generations.

Has the Bible been misinterpreted in the past? Yes it has. But what we’ve mistakenly done is compare things that have no business being compared. Slavery became a product of the culture, it was not instituted by God at the beginning of time. God’s people weren’t taught to be racist. They were set apart in practice to be holy. Equality was instituted by God in His original plan for mankind. Violence was not.

Sexuality, and all that encompasses it, from gender to marriage, was laid out and planned by God in the beginning. By the way, Jesus was there at the beginning too. He didn’t address every single human issue during his earthly ministry, but unless he stated that a particular law was no longer necessary to follow, the commands of God still stood.

But, we sound so much smarter and more loving when we change the Bible to fit social norms, and actually believe that we’re helping the situation. “The conservative church is so bigoted and harmful”. No, the liberal brand of Christianity that makes it’s own decisions on right and wrong is destructive. In an attempt to “be like Jesus”, much of modern Christianity has done the exact opposite.

God’s law is not oppressive, it’s not limiting, it’s not condemning. God’s law is freedom, because through the power of the Spirit, our feelings and desires become re-directed to reflect the true intention of His plans for our individual lives, and for humanity.

The gospel of Jesus offers hope to get out of sin. It doesn’t give license to happily live in it. Much damage has already been done, perhaps even some that’s irreversible. The prophecies of the Bible are coming true and the signs of the end are already upon us. Now is not the time to let feelings decide what is and isn’t sin. Now is the time to tell everyone about the redemptive power of Jesus, and that simply “being a good person” won’t get you into heaven.

For more information about the gospel of Jesus Christ, click here

marcy dimichele

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