Hi friends and welcome to another article on my site. What a weird title hey? You might be thinking as the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers said of the Apostle Paul in Acts 17:18… “What does this babbler want to say?” with a title like that?
Well, let me explain what this is article is about. For me, it is about addressing an issue that is dear to my heart since becoming a born-again Christian. It is about addressing the ongoing attempt to blend the true message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a promise that it is also a means to an end to guaranteed health, wealth, prosperity, success, your best life now, etc.
If you are paying attention in your daily walk with Christ you can clearly hear this other ever-pervasive message preached and taught online and offline by certain churches, Pastors, evangelists, fellow Christians, etc today. I would even go so far as to say that the Gospel and this “other” message are so well blended in today in various arenas that quite often you will miss it when it is “dropped” into a sermon or everyday conversation with fellow Christians etc.
So, just who is this article primarily aimed at? This article is solely aimed at Christians i.e. self-proclaimed born again Christians, myself included. From personal experience I would even go further to say that it is aimed at Charismatic, Evangelical and Pentecostal Christians.
Why write something like this? it is written as a gentle reminder as the title says, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just that…and nothing else…
This article is also written as a caution and warning to my sisters and brothers in Christ globally to beware of false teachers of the Gospel.
With that intro out of the way, lets jump in below and explore this issue further.
**where scripture verse numbers are quoted below, just hover over the text to see the actual verse wording*
**My disclaimer… I am not a university qualified theologian, pastor, bible scholar, past seminarian, priest, etc. I am simply a born-again man that loves Gods’ written word, The Holy Bible, love studying it, thinking about it, and living by it.**
Please do enjoy this read and don’t forget to add any of your questions/thoughts /comments on this article, below when you are done :))
The Gospel is definitely about you, me, us and God.
I first noticed the issue, mentioned above in the intro, whilst reading the Bible cover to cover in 2018 and more specifically, after reading the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and then on into the New Testament.
To put it bluntly, I started to realise that what I was hearing and seeing online and offline from fellow “Christians” looked and sounded nothing like what was talked about in these four Gospels. What I started to notice ranged from small deviations from these scriptures to completely “off course” eisegesis of sacred Biblical text.
There is so much “noise” on the internet on Christianity and all matters related to the risen Son of The most High God, Jesus Christ. I found this absolute pearl of the true meaning of the Gospel on a random YouTube channel the other day that I just had to share it here.
“The gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ is just that. It’s an announcement of something that happened in history. It’s that Jesus lived a perfect life and died a substitutionary death on behalf of sinners.
He rose from the dead bodily and now, ascended to heaven, sits at the Father’s right hand victorious over sin and death. Because of this fact everyone who trusts in this announcement will be saved from the coming wrath of God on the last day – That’s the gospel and it is outside of you.”
Pretty simple hey? That’s it, that’s exactly what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about. Nothing more, nothing less and this Gospel is about you and me in that it is offering a free gift to all comers to receive a restored relationship to our creator, God Almighty via His Risen Son, Jesus Christ. There is a tonne of Bible scripture and verses that declare this simple yet precise summary and a sample of that can be seen below in these selected verses:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek”
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Other scriptures declaring this message can also be seen in another article on my site here.
And here is how the Gospel isn’t about you…me …us…
As stated in the intro the Gospel isn’t about you/me/us in that its purpose is not there to be used/called upon/preached about etc. into guaranteeing us e.g.
- achievement of personal goals
- help with self-esteem issues
etc and any other obscene
twisting of the original message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Bible as a whole.
Let’s now pull apart my argument here using God’s word alone, The Holy Bible.
What is separating us from the true Gospel message?
To answer this question, I can see 4 issues hidden in “plain sight” that are definitely not helping the promotion of the true message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
1. False teachers
The Bible clearly speaks of a time when false teachers/prophets will abound and during this time they will be declaring messages that range from subtle yet critical errors when “proclaiming Christ” to out-and-out, in your face, clear as day lies all the while using Our Lord Jesus Christs’ name to cover this deceit.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds
2. Church leadership that is lost.
The Bible is also very clear when it comes to describing the true role of a Pastor/Minister/Reverend etc. The reason I list a few of these scriptures is so that if you ever see a Pastor/Minister etc running a ministry/church etc that seems to be a bit unlike the descriptions below, pay attention, pay attention, pay attention! Don’t just believe everything that comes out of fellow Christians’ mouths because they have the mic, they sound “smart”, they look good etc. Here are some Biblical descriptions of the true role of pastors/ministers/bishops etc….
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.
For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?
For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts
3. Biblical literacy/illiteracy
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work
I am not some fantastic gatherer of statistics so I will only speak from personal experience on this issue related to my home country of Australia. I am also assuming most other developed nations would be similar(considering we all follow each other anyway in most other aspects e.g. culture, trends, society etc.)
From what I have personally seen/experienced in Australian evangelical, Pentecostal, charismatic churches today, I would estimate that the Bible is just not being read or studied by more than half of your average Sunday congregation.
I would even go further to say that even if it is being read it is being read in a “snippet” format i.e., Read a little from here, a bit from there and maybe the rest of the “info” out of it can be gleaned from a social media scroll feed or the best “click bait”
clip on YouTube etc. Have a look at some of the below statistics related to Biblical literacy/illiteracy in my home country of Australia:
- A Bible Society survey revealed that only 2 out of 10 Australian Christians read their Bible daily*
*Sourced from GSI Report February 2011; NCLS 2006; Milk to Meat Bible Engagement Report; Hughes, P. & Pickering, C. (2010). Bible Engagement among Young Australians: Patterns and Social Drivers. Unpublished research report initiated by Bible Society and other partners
- A 2017 article on the Vision Radio Christian website confirms similar statistics to the above in stating
… “ that less than 2 of every 10 Christians in Australia are engaging with God on a daily basis through the Word. Three out of five young people do not talk to their Christian friends about the Bible…”
…” 60-80% of young adults will leave the church once they finish their education and with an average of only 2 people coming to faith each year in each church.”
4.use exegesis not eisegesis
Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then, you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
Exe what? eise what? And what do these weird-sounding words have to do with what we are discussing here? I think after you have a look at the difference between exegesis and eisegesis you will probably see clearly how this can have an impact on just what Christians are drawing out of the Bible and how that understanding can go on to affect every aspect of their ongoing walk with the Lord.
According to Christianity.com the definition of both are written as:
“Exegesis essentially means using the words of the text in Scripture, through the lens of their original context, to determine their intent. They let the text itself reveal what the writer is revealing to the reader. By doing this, we don’t read anything into Scripture that wasn’t there before, and we study the meaning of the passage that was intended for a specific audience.”
“Eisegesis means reading into the text with a preconceived notion we may have. This can often mean coming to the Scripture with a biased cultural lens that didn’t exist during the time the Bible was written.”
To put the above definitions into every day speak just let scripture say exactly what it says….
Try this. Think back to when you were a kid and you were just learning to read very simple kids’ books. Here is what I remember of that time in learning to read:
I was taught the alphabet
I was taught what letters sounded and looked like
I learned what letters sounded like when joined together i.e., words
I was taught grammar, punctuation, pronunciation, vowels, how to write etc.
I learned what sentences were about when the words were joined together
After I had mastered all of the above, I intuitively and logically learned about the context of the text and finally, I comprehended what a sentence/paragraph/book was about when all of this was put together!
Why am I explaining this all like we are all back at primary school again? It is because the last two points above as well as help from the Holy Spirit (for those that are born-again believers) will always reveal to you the true meaning of any Bible passage, verse, text. It’s not exactly mystical or rocket science when you look at a biblical text like this now is it?
Well, that turned out to be a longer article than I intended it to be but I suspect, when the Holy Spirit wants to get an issue across, He will make sure it gets across! I know that was all rather long-winded but in summary, let me share the below 3 points in the hope that you never let go of Christ and day by day get to know the real Father, Son and Holy Spirit of The Bible:
#1 Deuteronomy 6:5
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”
#2 Read the word, study the word daily (this can be as little or as long as you choose)
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You
#3 Keep your ears and eyes open daily and discern, measure, compare everything you hear and see with Gods’ written word alone.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then, you will make your way prosperous, and then, you will have good success
There is good news that the God of the Bible and His Son Jesus Christ are still alive and well and just as keen to find those that are looking for them!!
The Holy Bible is a God-breathed, Holy Spirit-inspired love letter to all past and present.
The truly great news is that
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit treasure us, mankind, more than creation itself because we are family to him, blood kin and today he is calling to you and me to come home to him. Will you come home today to Jesus Christ?
“Well how do I get there?” you might ask.
you are not alone anymore!!
I do pray and hope that this article was able to help you in getting to know just who the real Jesus Christ is and I am excited for the journey that now lies ahead of you in your new walk with Christ now!!
I do have 2 vital suggestions for you before you go:
1. try and read a bit of the bible every day. If you don’t have one, you can download a free offline version here.
Doing this will truly grow you and strengthen you in Christ!!
2. Get around other “born again” Christian believers asap. You can does this by seeking out your nearest “bible teaching church”. You can find one by simply entering “bible teaching church near me” into google or via a search on most social media platforms.
Getting around other believers will also be a great source of strength to you as well !!
Please do comment below or email me at email@example.com on any thoughts that you may have on the above article. I do really look forward to hearing about any testimony you might have on how Christ has impacted your life now. I would also like to hear any questions on how I can assist you now, in moving forward with your walk with Christ today and into the blessed future that awaits you!!
I truly hope that this article was able to assist somebody, somewhere !!
Stay blessed !!
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