Delivering or Deceiving?

Proverbs 14:25

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.”

Oh, So Sweet

There is a terrible crime that has arisen within the Church. It first reared its evil head, oh, about 2000 years ago.

You see there have always been people who have twisted the message of the Cross to serve their own desires, whether that be for money, fame, or truly wicked schemes.

Paul once wrote, “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Galatians 1:7b, NIV)

Perhaps you have seen this today? If you are not sure, here are some examples of perverted gospels that can be found within organizations that call themselves churches:

No Sweet-Talk?

While some of these things are based on some truth, none of them are necessarily true.

Just before the reference above, Paul said “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all.” (Galatians 1:6-7a, NIV)

The truth is that the Gospel of Christ – while having some pretty sweet promises of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness, and everlasting life – is a message that convicts us of our sin and leads to repentance. It tells us that there is only One True God, and we can not get to God on our own, so He came for us. It tells us that the life of a believer will be difficult (John 16:33). It tells us God provides what we need (Matthew 6).

A deceitful witness will tell you what you want to hear or make you believe what he wants you to hear, and it will only end badly for both of you.

A true witness will tell you how much you need a Savior, how much You need a God full of love, mercy, and grace.

Merciful Father, thank You for the truth that is Your Son. Help us to believe His gospel and be a faithful witness to the world for the Gospel. Help us not to be deceived nor to deceive; rather move through us to save those who are deceived!

About Daniel M. Klem

I am a product of the '80's (meaning I was born in that decade) and married to the most beautiful woman I know since 2009 (beautiful in appearance and as a woman of God). I graduated in the spring of 2013 from Grand Canyon University with a Christian Leadership major, and now I am a student at Phoenix Seminary. Also, most importantly, Jesus saved me ... and you. View all posts by Daniel M. Klem

3 responses to “Delivering or Deceiving?

  • ariseandshine22

    Brother Daniel, you state and I quote: Here are some examples of perverted gospels that can be found within organizations that call themselves churches – God wants you to be rich and happy.
    In response to your posting, I guess your God would rather have us as Christians to be poor and broke. Sorry, I see God as having us to be prosperous in all ways, in every aspect of our life – to be blessed financially, materially in order to be a blessing to others. A poor and broke believer has little or no means to help others whereas a rich and prosperous one who has at heart to be a channel of God’s manifold blessings has the means to do God’s will here on earth. Abraham, the called-one of God was very rich as well as his son Isaac and grandson Jacob. Abraham is the father of our faith as Christian believers. However, we may choose to live in poverty and lack unless we appropriate the promises of the Word of God concerning finances and prosperity.
    Try Malachi 3:10b ”Bring ye all the tithes … and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” We may put God to the test in the realm of finances and expect to live a life full of poured-out blessings from Him, a life that is full to overflowing because He opens for us the windows of heaven so that there’s isn’t even enough room to contain them all. Have you this kind of faith to claim this promise? Or do you give your tithe just because it is required of you?
    What did the Master say in John 10:10 … ”I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. Here’s a literal expanded translation of the Greek by Helps Ministries, Inc: John 10:10: “I came in order that they [believers] might continuously have life, even that they may continuously have it all-around (4053 /perissós).” Perissós (an adjective, derived from 4012 /perí, “all-around, excess”) – properly all-around, “more than” (“abundantly”); beyond what is anticipated, exceeding expectation; “more abundant,” going past the expected limit (“more than enough . . . “). I don’t call a life of poverty and lack with little or no means to help others as the result of the superabundant, excessive, overflowing life that Jesus intended for each one of us. But remember, we get what we’ve always believed for. What comes around goes around.
    Where I attend church, we are taught and believe the Word of God and expect prosperity from the One who wants us to be prosperous in order for us to be a blessing to others.
    I’ll leave you with this verse: 3 John 2: ”Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth”. God is very definitely for the prosperity of His children in all aspects of our life. To believe and teach otherwise is a real shame as it gives the wrong image as to Who our God is and what He intends for His people to receive from Him by faith.
    Glenn Kelly

    • Daniel M. Klem

      Thank you, Glenn, for sharing your thoughts, but I respectfully must disagree. Is it possible that some will be blessed with wealth and/or perfect health? Yes. However, there are other things to consider.

      For starters, we have Jesus’ promise in John 16:33, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Of the things Christ promised us in the life, we have His presence through the promised Holy Spirit and that we will face problems in this world. (See John 13-17)

      In fact, when Jesus did speak about physical wealth, it came with a warning: “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Other translations make it more plain that it is difficult for the rich to enter heaven, because, as is referenced in other places, money tends to bring problems, specifically as the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

      I am not saying that all who have your understanding love money. I know many godly people with a lot of money. However, financial prosperity is not God’s modus operandi. Most Christians and other godly people throughout history (see most Christians in the Middle East and Asia today) have done great things without a lot of money. There is a reason there is a common refrain, “Why do the wicked prosper?” (see Jeremiah 12:1, for example)

      However, consider Paul, quite possibly the greatest evangelist in the world, who frequently struggled (see Philippians 4 for his description). Look at what he said about the churches in Macedonia in 2 Corinthians 8, that they gave out of their poverty to support Paul’s ministry to other churches.

      The closest Jesus came to teaching about giving out of riches was with the example of the poor widow:

      “And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
      And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
      And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
      For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had” (Luke 21:1-4).

      The real issue with the prosperity teaching is that God established the message to be spread to the world through the Church:

      “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
      Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
      Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).

      Most of those referenced with much riches are those who did not use their riches the way we are called to as God’s people.

      Most of the happiest people in the world have little yet give generously just the same. God does take care of His people (e.g. Matthew 6:33; 6:5-15).

      Unfortunately, as much as I want it to be, pulling extra meaning out of words does not make those meanings true. Our Western definition of prosperity and abundance does not necessarily translate into God giving us a lot of money and stuff. We are to have a life of vitality, that our very essence will be overflowing with Life (meaning Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life – John 14:6).

      To teach otherwise can be heresy and lead others astray.

  • Anthony Baker

    I will wait for Daniel to respond before I do. It was his post 😉

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