What’s Wrong With The Gospel? By Keith Green – 10 – What’s Specifically Wrong With Modern Gospel? 10 of 15


Keith Green

Keith Green

It’s Me-Centered Instead of Christ-Centered. First and foremost, it is the gospel that appeals to the selfish. Instead of honoring God, it  places the sinner at the center of God’s love and plan. But the Bible places Jesus at the center of God’s plan, not the sinner.

One of the most well-known phrases of modern evangelism is “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” But the sober,  biblical truth that needs to be presented to the sinner’s mind is “You have made yourself an enemy of God, and in your present state of  rebellion there is absolutely no hope for you.” In fact, God’s “plan” for the sinner at this point in his life is to separate him from His  presence forever, in hell. However unpopular or unlovely that may sound, it is the only truth and reality about anyone who is an enemy  of God through sin.

The whole line of reasoning in our modern gospel continues on and on in this mistaken way. “Sin has separated you from God, ‘and His  wonderful plan for your life.’ Jesus came and died on the cross, so that you may experience ‘His wonderful plan for your life.’ You must  accept Jesus now, so that you will not miss out on ‘His wonderful plan for your life!'” You, you, you, you!!! It’s all for YOU! I’m not sorry to  say this, but Jesus did it all in obedience, for His Father’s glory. (Phi 2:8-12) Of course, it infinitely benefits those who love, serve, and  honor Him, but that was a secondary consideration, not the primary one. (Please read Eze 36:22-32.) If people come to Jesus mainly to  get a blessing, or only to get forgiveness, they will ultimately be disappointed. But if they come to give Him their lives in honor and  worship, then they will truly have forgiveness and joy – more than they could ever imagine! (1Co 2:9)

It’s Shallow, Cheap, and Offered as a “Bargain.” Our gospel reduces the good news to a “come and get it while you can” sale. We make  every effort to take all the bones out – everything that might offend someone, might make them hesitate or put off their decision. Jesus  didn’t do this. He never lowered the requirements for anyone. One had to be completely sincere, totally humbled, having counted the  cost, willing to leave everything, family and property, “count all things loss” so that they might “gain Christ.” (Phi 3:7-8) When that same  rich young ruler “went away sad, for he had many possessions” (Mat 19:22), Jesus didn’t go running after him shouting, “Hey, wait a  minute! Let’s talk this thing over, it isn’t as bad as it might sound. Maybe I was a little too harsh!”

Maybe we’re so eager to “see the converts,” to publish “how many got saved at our last concert” in the bulletins to our supporters, that  we’ll do anything to rush someone into a “decision” before he’s had a chance to really make one. The problem is, if you have to rush him  into it, he probably will change his mind later anyway. For as a friend of mine says, “If somebody can talk them into it, somebody can talk  them out of it!” (1Co 1:17)

Salvation is Shown as a Barter or Trade, Instead of the Result of Obedience by Faith. We offer forgiveness of sin like Monty Hall on “Let’s  Make a Deal.” I’ve even heard, “You give Jesus your sin, and He’ll give you salvation in return!” No one in the Bible ever thought so low of  the grace of God to talk about the gift of eternal life like it was for trade. It is a gift! You can’t earn it, or buy it, or give anything in return  for it. How it must offend the Holy Spirit to hear people talk of His Jesus so. (Act 8:18-23)

It Produces Selfish, “Blessed,” and Feelings-Oriented “Converts.” Anyone who is made to believe he becomes a Christian under such  preaching will seldom bring forth the true fruits of a real convert. He will remain just as selfish as he always was, only now his selfishness  will take on a religious form. If he wants something for himself, he will say he “has a burden” for something, or he will say, “It is the desire  of my heart,” or some other religious-sounding phrase like that. He will pray selfishly, desiring blessings for himself, and even if he does  pray for others, it usually will be for selfish reasons. After all, when he “accepted the Lord,” he was told how much Jesus wanted to bless  him and how much God had stored up for his account, and how the Bible was like “a checkbook full of promises, just waiting to be  cashed!”

Such a person always seeks to “feel” good about himself, his own church, his own pastor, etc. His whole world is built on feeling blessed.  He was never shown how he was created to bless God… God was not created to bless him. (Psa 149:4; Phi 2:13)

As you can see, the “converts” described above are not like those pictured in the book of Acts, when the Church was new and the fire was  hot. Take a look at Act 2:41-47 and Act 4:31-35, and you will see the tender spirit of love, and the mighty spirit of power that prevailed  among the brethren in those early days. I believe that one of the great reasons that “everyone kept feeling a sense of awe” (Act 2:43),  was because “they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to prayer. “(Act 2:42) I believe that Peter and the  others made every effort to convey the whole message of the Gospel when they preached and taught, and that is why the Spirit of God  could anoint and bless the new converts so powerfully- God always anoints the truth! (Isa 55:11)

 

(Tomorrow I’ll post the 11th section)

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About Dave Harman
I was found by Jesus April 9, 1975. I married the love of my life Helen, August 19, 1978. We have one daughter, Elizabeth, whose husband and two children live nearby. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in January 1997. In January 2004, Jesus Christ healed me and I have been symptom free ever since.

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