Two thousand years ago the Apostle Paul warned about the danger of fake news. He said ~ “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1.6–7). Of course, there is no such thing as ‘another gospel.’ With a touch of sarcasm, the Apostle was stating how the whole church had been deceived by a fake gospel, a man-made falsification of the true Gospel message, which had plunged the entire congregation into apostacy from God. The word ‘gospel’ in the Bible comes from the Greek word “euangelion” and means ‘good news.’ The problem of fake news is nothing new. It has been around plaguing the Church for the last 2000 years.
The Age of the False News Gospel
As the end of the age spins ever closer with the dawning of each new day, the Bible says there will appear a myriad of preachers peddling a fake news gospel, which is void of God and the power of the true Gospel message of Jesus Christ. ~ “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, [because] they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn [their] ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2Timothy 4.3,4). The gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven has been falsified by the enemy because the devil knows that it is the precise and unadulterated knowledge of the truth that sets people free1 from the dominion of the kingdom of darkness. The Apostle Paul wrote ~ “The gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1.16). As the millennium draws to a close, more than ever before Christians must be aware of the enemy’s desperate attempts to falsify the true message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How to Identify the True Gospel
The devil is a master of deception, but even He cannot fool those who are guided by the Spirit. ~ “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand” (Mark 13.22,23). The first sign of a false gospel is that it is directed at the head, not at the heart (spirit). Anyone who has ever read anything from the Bible notices immediately that the words, though sometimes difficult to understand and not rhetorically fashionable, have a direct and unquestionable impact on the spirit of the individual, and begin at once to undertake profound spiritual transformation of his life. God does all things through His word, even the new (spiritual) birth is a product of nothing more than hearing and receiving the word by faith. The Bible says, we are ~ “Born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1Peter 1.23).
The Fake Gospel is Void of Power
The false gospel, on the other hand, is all intellectual and carefully aimed at the mind, not the heart. It is devoid of any transforming spiritual power and relies completely on personal performance tactics, like self-help or personal improvement because it is a human product of men, not a spiritual product of God. Next, the fake gospel always conducts its followers further into Satan’s kingdom, instead of liberating from it, by promising health, prosperity, and happiness regardless of sin and one’s affection to the ‘world.’ The Bible calls Satan’s earthly kingdom ‘the world’ system, which at this moment rules over those are unwittingly taken into bondage by demons. ~ “According to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Lucifer], the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Ephesians 2.2,3).
Grace or Grease?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, conversely, will transport the hearer out of the power of darkness and into the Kingdom of God. ~ “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed [us] into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1.13). In the fake gospel, there is no need for change, repentance, or to stop sinning. It erroneously pretends that all sin is automatically forgiven by grace, which is absolutely untrue. Is it grace or grease? The Bible tells how false preachers deceptively turn the gospel of true grace into a greasy false gospel of perversion, and lewdness. ~ “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1.4). The true place of grace in the Bible is not providing a license to sin; it is the power of God stop sin. The Apostle Paul wrote ~ “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6.2,3). Jesus directly charged sinners to stop sinning, not continue in it. ~ “And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8.11).
The Choice is Yours
In the final analysis, it is really quite simple. Is your gospel experience leading you further into the kingdom of God or into the kingdom of darkness? ~ “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4.4). Is it making you an enemy of the world and friend of God, or making you a friend of the world and an enemy of God?
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Notes 1. John 8.32
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© L. Jonathan Blais 2022 All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.