What’s Wrong With The Gospel? By Keith Green – 18 – The “Poor Jesus” Syndrome 18 of 21


Keith Green

Keith Green

This is the form of preaching that misuses the Scripture in Rev 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and  knock . . . ” How many evangelists have used that Scripture to paint a pathetic picture of Jesus standing outside a door, waiting, knocking,  knocking, waiting, for the sinner to open up and let Jesus in? Sometimes these preachers go on and on, until it starts to sound like, “Aw,  poor Jesus is out there in the cold, shivering, waiting for someone to let Him in. Won’t you go ahead and let poor Jesus into your heart?”

What a line of reasoning. First of all, this statement by the Lord in Revelation is not to the unsaved, it’s to the Church in Laodicea (see Rev 3:14). The picture is truly pathetic. Jesus is standing outside of His own church, knocking for them to let Him in! (Sound familiar?) And if  there’s any doubt left as to who He’s talking to, look at Rev 3:22, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the  churches.”

Second of all, the truth of the matter for sinners is the exact opposite. Jesus is not outside of their world, knocking to come in – they are  outside of His Kingdom! And they can knock all night like the five foolish virgins (Mat 25:11), but Jesus will never let them in unless  they meet the requirements: a humble and contrite heart, and a complete disgust for sin. Then, and only then, will God deliver them  from their slavery to sin – and transfer them by His grace to the Kingdom of His lovingkindness. God will never repent for someone – He  will take every step possible to make the sinner see the folly of his ways, but the final move is up to the individual himself. Each person  must make the final surrender, the desperate gasp of “I am a fool to run my own life! Lord, show me the way to your door, and I’ll knock  and knock, and beg forgiveness …I’ll do anything, anything, ANYTHING YOU SAY!” Then, and only then, will God save a sinner.(Psa 34:18; Psa 51:17; Isa 66:22; Luk 18:14; Jam 4:10)

 

(Tomorrow I’ll post the 18th section)

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What’s Wrong With The Gospel? By Keith Green – 17 – Other Man-Made Methods 17 of 21


Keith Green

Keith Green

Quick and Easy “1-2-3 Steps-To-Salvation” Booklets. I certainly cannot fault the intentions nor the integrity of the men and  organizations responsible for these little tools. One of the best known of these booklets has been printed in over 30 languages, and has  over 100 million copies in circulation. With that in view, it is even more urgent for me to say that unless these or any other “gospel”  booklets contain the same message that our Lord preached (and commanded His disciples to spread “to every kindred and nation”), then  they are worse than “inadequate tools,” they are wicked!

For the Bible says in Proverbs, “Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the unfaithful messenger to him who sends him.”  (Pro 10:26) Paul said that if we are really Christians, then we are “ambassadors of Christ” (2Co 5:20) – we are God’s sole  representatives in this foreign land called “the world.”

With that analogy in mind, consider what a president would think of an ambassador to a foreign country, say Russia, who is told to deliver  an extremely urgent message that will involve the peace of the whole world. And that ambassador (even with the best intentions) gives  only a small part of the message, in such a way as to make a very different impression – in fact, the exact opposite impression – than what  the president wanted to make. What do you think that president will do to the ambassador when he finds out the damage done?

Booklets like these usually mention a “sort-of” repentance like, “you must turn from your sins, to Jesus.” But they rarely explain what  “turning” really means. This is also true of such other vital terms such as “Lord” – they usually refer to Jesus as “Lord,” but again, they  seldom define “lordship” – and people go their merry way, believing they have the full right to continue running their own lives as long as  they call Jesus “Lord.” (See Mat 7:21; Luk 6:46)

I don’t care how many letters I get saying how much good has been done by such and such a ministry, or how many have been “saved”  through such and such a booklet. Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits ” (Matt 716) and in another place He said that “Your  fruit should remain” (Joh 15:16), which means it should last! I believe we shall see in that great day, when God spreads out the lives of  men in judgment, how many were truly converted by the efforts of these ministries, and how many were turned aside from the path of  righteousness – being led to believe the pleasant half-truths contained in these shallow and false epistles that have been printed to the  ends of the earth by people with “the best intentions, and the highest integrity.” (Mat 23:15)

 

(Tomorrow I’ll post the 18th section)

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