When preachers tour like rock stars, it’s no wonder sinners flock to stadiums. Of course, preachers holding stadium-sized events packed out with lost souls is awesome—unless those preachers present a hyped-up, watered-down, seeker-friendly gospel that’s giving the assurance of heaven while sending people to hell.
I am convinced that too many people who claim to be Christ-followers are not really saved because some false teachers and false prophets are propagating a “different gospel” centered on “another Jesus” (see 2 Cor. 11:3-4). I am convinced that many self-professing saints are going to sit right next to sinners in hell when it’s all said and done—thanks, in part, to rock-star preachers presenting a hyped-up, watered-down, seeker-friendly gospel.
Especially in America, it’s easy to say, “I believe in Jesus.” It’s called mental assent. I believed in Jesus before I got saved, too, but I was still on my way to hell. Many who have “accepted Jesus into their hearts” have responded to a “different gospel” centered on a false Christ. What does these gospels espouse? These gospels are mixed with compromise. These gospels are impure and defiled religion. These gospels offers a humanistic, self-help message that taps New Age principles. Indeed, these false teachers and false prophets are moving in a false anointing and presenting a false Christ. And it’s deadly.
Perverting the Gospel of Christ
This is not a new problem. More than 2,000 years ago, Paul wrote, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Cor. 11:3-4, emphasis added)
Church, why are we putting up with this false gospel? Why are we spending millions of dollars on books filled with heresy penned by false teachers? Why are people flocking to stadiums to worship another Jesus?
They have been deceived by the serpent’s craftiness. Their minds have been corrupted from the simplicity of Christ. The gospel is not difficult to understand, and it’s not difficult to recognize false doctrine if you are a student of the Word. But members of the lukewarm, apathetic, bless-me-only church are too lazy to open their Bibles and read Scripture for themselves. Members of the lukewarm, apathetic, bless-me-only church want to be spoon-fed a feel-good 20-minute sermonette rather than be challenged to die to self, pick up their cross and walk the narrow road. They've turned away from the real Jesus to another Jesus. Paul felt the same angst in his spirit that I feel in mine.
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9, emphasis added).
Fables and Fairy Tales
I’m also marveling at the masses that are paying to hear a different gospel, a perverted gospel—a gospel that will send them to hell if they embrace its doctrines. What are these gospels? Some of those "gospels" insist there is no hell. Some of those "gospels" say we’re all going to heaven in the end. Some of those "gospels" give you a license to sin without penalty (hyper-grace). False teachers are using familiar Scriptures to justify their stance, but they’ve essentially turned the Bible into a book of fables and fairy tales.
I don’t care who doesn’t like it. I’m taking the apostle Paul’s advice: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:2-4).
When the Lord called me into ministry, he gave me parallel Scriptures out of Ezekiel 3 and Ezekiel 33. I’m a watchman called to warn the church. If I don’t open my mouth and people die in their iniquity—in their different gospel from another Jesus—some of the blood will be on my hands (Ezek. 3:17-19). I don’t want any blood on my hands, and I’m not going to shut up just because the false teachers—or anybody else—doesn't like it.
Does He Know You?
Here’s the rub. Jesus is come back to separate the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32). And I’m seeing too many goats sitting in the church saying amen to a false gospel centered on a false Christ.
Jesus put it this way: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt. 7:21-23)
They never knew Jesus, and Jesus never knew them. They were following another Jesus based on a different gospel that was more convenient to their humanistic lifestyle, tickled their ears and promised peace when there is no peace (Jer. 6:14).
I shudder to think of the horror on that day, when masses who rushed to the stadiums and megachurches to hear rock-star preachers (or even no-name preachers in small congregations; it's not about the size of the event, it's about the message being preached) present a hyped-up, watered-down, seeker-friendly gospel realize they’ve been duped. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And there will be suffering for eternity. God forbid. Let us pray that these false teachers and false prophets will be exposed and that discernment will rise among believers and non-believers searching for the true hope of the real gospel. Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including A Prophet's Heart: Avoiding the Doorway to Deception. You can email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website here.
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