“God has a big dream for your life. God is positive, there is nothing negative about him. God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas, and creativity.” —Popular “Preacher” (PP)
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world” —Jesus.
The two quotations above were both spoken by men who have preached the gospel. One section represents the true gospel, and the other a different gospel. One section contains the words of Jesus and the other contains the words of PP. By reading the words above, you can identify which selection represents the true gospel and which one is false.
We are living in the days when feeling good about yourself is king. We are told to have a positive self-image. We just have to believe in ourselves, or we just simply…have to believe. There is a lot of nonsense being taught in many evangelical churches and it’s masquerading as the true Christian life. To be certain, this isn’t anything new. Over the years I’ve heard everything from: “We are King’s kids” to “You are the head and not the tail” to “God’s got a great plan for your life.” So this dominion thinking and prosperity gospel has been around for quite awhile.
Why is this teaching false, different, and dangerous?
When it’s lined-up next to Scripture it’s full of error, deceit, and idolatry. You might say, “The word idolatry is kind of extreme.” Putting my agenda, wants, needs, happiness, schedule, and future plans before the will of the Lord Jesus Christ…that is extreme. There are so many people who are hurting. They may not know Jesus and have never heard the gospel. They may not know about the new life Jesus can give them. It’s a life of mercy, heart cleansing, repentance, dying to old nature and desires, of true peace and contentment.
Unsaved people need to know that they are on a collision course with the God of heaven and their only hope is coming to an end of themselves and giving their lives to Jesus. This will result in believers who can boldly face anything life brings, because he or she walks with Jesus now. That is true peace and contentment in this life.
Friends, this isn’t just a different gospel…it’s a false gospel and idolatry. We are elevating MY self, MY wants, MY needs, MY comfort, and MY will…above God’s will. God seems to be a life enrichment, a genie, or a nice grandpa who makes the world all about you. It also sets up people for complete breakdown when tragedy strikes. They may very well shake their fist at God and say, “I’m a Christian…this wasn’t supposed to happen to me.”
When we have a correct understanding of living for Jesus, even the tragedies in life will be seen in a different light. We may never understand why God allows some things to happen, but praise His name…I belong to Him and He will see me through. John the Baptist said these words with all humility, respect, adoration, and yielding of his will: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” I think he summed up how the Lordship of Jesus must be lived out in a believer.
The true gospel is where Jesus is in his rightful place and I’m in mine. God is God and I’m not. God is in control. I must relinquish control and surrender my will to His.
Second Timothy 4:3 tells us a time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off.
Notice Paul didn’t tell us that people will run after a teacher who openly denies Jesus and refutes the gospel. He said they will seek after teachers who suit their own passions. In twenty first century lingo: They tell me what I want to hear. Paul also uses the word: “accumulate.” There are plenty of teachers and evangelical fellowships where this message sells…or as it’s been said, “That will preach.”
As much as the Western Church is in danger from this False gospel, the third world countries are in greater danger. Many of these apostate teachers are broadcasting their error, deceit, and idolatry to new Christians who have not learned discernment.
It is time to clean out your “radio” of all these modern day ear ticklers.