“…there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accurse! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. ” Galatians 1:7-10
Paul had no patience with, and placed no trust in those who promoted a new and improved gospel. Within his life-time Paul had seen the believers in the Galatian church influenced by those who were leading them away from the truth of the gospel, by telling them that following Jesus was not enough. They were buying the lie that keeping The Law was the new standard by which they must be reconciled with God.
Note to self: Avoid any influence in your life and ministry that tries to dilute the power of The Blood of Jesus, and attempts to infuse new power to save you by adding ANYTHING to The Savior’s finished work on The Cross. The Gospel is Good News because Salvation comes from God, through The Lord, Jesus Christ + nothing. Make no substitutes for, and accept no additives to Jesus.
The strength of the church is based upon the purity of The Gospel. The Gospel has life-giving power because it flows from the heart of God, through the blood of Jesus. His death on The Cross was a substitution for man’s sin, and a sacrifice required by the character of God.
God won’t fellowship with sin. His holiness requires that the separation that sin brings between His holiness and man’s sinful condition, be dealt with once and for all. Jesus did this at the cross. Those who personally identify with His death, and humbly accept His sacrifice for their sin are saved from the consequences of sin, and reconciled with the holiness of God.
There is no better news than The Good News. Preachers offering any new and improved gospel, slowly poison the people in the pews. If they drink the Kool-Aid, they will eventually discover that any new and improved gospel is not better, only bitter.
The curse of the contemporary church is the constant pressure to be on “the right side of history.” The ever-shifting sands of cultural norms, conventional wisdom, and political correctness erode the substance of The Gospel and weaken the spines of preachers.
When a preacher becomes more interested in being hip, than being right, he loses his backbone. Preaching for the approval of man, and losing the favor of God leads the church bus down a dead end street, and kicks The Gospel to the curb. This only happens, EVERY TIME.
Paul would have none of it. People are not reconciled with Holy God, by seeking the favor of man, keeping more rules, going to church, or cleaning up their act. They are made right with God, by recognizing they deserved to die for their sin, and identifying with the death of Jesus on The Cross, as the only way their sins can be forgiven.
Adding anything else to the finished work of Christ turns a preacher into a freelance reporter, not a bond-servant of Christ. Paul saved his harshest language, and most withering rebuke for these false preachers. Twice he said they were accursed.
Transliterated directly from Greek to English, the word is “anathema.” Translated it refers to a person, animal or thing doomed for destruction, or held up before the congregation to be the recipient of the direst of consequences. It paints a powerful word picture of God’s disdain for those who dilute the blood poured out at His Sons’ sacrifice.
The death of Jesus on The Cross for man’s sin was never a suggested alternative to being right with God. It has always been the only option, and the main headline. Preachers are not called by God to be rogue reporters who reinvent the news. They are called as His evangelists to present The Good News of His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ.
Preachers who attempt to improve the message, to seek the favor of man, only weaken the message, and find they lose their right standing with God. Reading God’s Word, and praying for His direction, protection and correction prepare a preacher to be an evangelist, and keep him from becoming an apologist. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!