“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:
- God wants you to be rich and happy.
- If you are truly a believer, you would never get sick!
- With enough faith, you can heal the sick/get rich/never get into any trouble.
- If you sow a seed [give money to my ministry], you will receive [a list of “blessings”].
- God hates fags! God wants your soldier dead!
- We are our own god.
- We can find god if we look deep inside ourselves.
- Jesus was just a great teacher.
- We can become a god!
While some of these things are based on some truth, none of them are necessarily true.
Just before the reference above, Paul said “6 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— 7 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!