Recently, while seeking to learn more about a particular movement that calls itself a part of the New Testament church, I went online to do research. In my search, I arrived at a podcast of a speaker speaking to a leadership group of one megachurch in a training session. I am omitting the name, though he is well known within his circles. What I want to address is not a personality issue. It is at the core of much of what plagues the church today. One statement (actually a part of a sentence) nails it and, I believe, condemns it very succinctly. Here is a direct quote from the podcast:
“This is a generation that won’t put up with a gospel that is simply individualism. It wants to have a gospel that is gonna change you and me in our relationships and in the world.” I found myself having a Charlie Brown moment with Lucy pulling the football away and Charlie, from his back, screaming: “Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhhh!!!!” Let me pull out the portion of this quote that caused my consternation. Listen very closely and think, with your mind informed by the Word of God.
Before I do though, I want to affirm that the true Gospel of Jesus Christ does change us in our relationships and the world. There is no question of that. But that is not the issue I’m raising, nor is it the issue that has caused a large portion of so-called believers, in various ways, to follow after wrong doctrine. Here is the part of the quote that cannot go unchallenged: “This is a generation that won’t put up with a gospel that is….” That’s it! That’s the problem! Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhhhhhh!!!!
In case you have not figured it out let me state it clearly. Neither this generation nor any other generation has the right or power before God to pick and choose which gospel it will “put up with.” We don’t get to decide which is the true Gospel. Only God does. He has revealed it in His Word. The call to this and every generation is to go to the Word of God and learn the Gospel which God has established and believe that one. That one is the only true Gospel.
The church falls into massive error when it goes to the culture to learn what the gospel “ought” to be. No, we have it in the “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Our task, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, to live the true Gospel and proclaim the true Gospel before a lost and dying world that desperately needs to hear and believe.
The speaker seemed to make light of a gospel that “only” gives us forgiveness of sins. That was the context of the quote. He was saying the generation won’t put up with a gospel that only gives forgiveness of sins and doesn’t truly change us. As I said, the true Gospel of God does change us. However, let’s not make light of the greatest need we and every other planet dweller have, i.e., the forgiveness of sins. If we learn anything from the true Gospel it is that we are to be eternally, not temporally, minded. Take the long look else we will be a people who have wonderful short-term relationships with no eternal blessing.