Monday, November 1, 2010


1 Cor. 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Gal. 1:7, “There are some…who want to distort the gospel.”

2 Cor. 11:4, “For if one comes and preaches…a different gospel…you bear this beautifully.”

The message of the gospel is the most glorious of truths. And because “it is the power of God for salvation to ever one who believes” (Rom. 1:16), it is the work of the Devil to oppose its proclamation in every possible way. He relentlessly works to distort the message, dissuade messengers, and deafen hearers.

The Apostle Paul reserved his most severe condemnation for those who would distort the gospel: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). Lest his readers underestimate his concern, he repeated himself, “ As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:9).

Nevertheless the gospel message is distorted in countless ways and counterfeits gospels are in wide circulation. In this day of diminished doctrinal emphasis and understanding it is getting harder and harder for believers to distinguish the genuine article.

The Father of Lies is a proficient distorter of truth. “Indeed, has God said?” he asked in his first deception. His temptations to our Lord were not with clearly identified falsehoods, but with subtle distortions of the truth (Matt. 4:1-11). It is a device of the Devil to dress up his deceptions in attractive and innocent looking garb (Eph. 6:11; 2 Cor. 2:11).

So it is with the gospel. Catholicism does not deny Christ and the cross, but the gospel is diminished and distorted in the sacraments. Mormonism acknowledges Christ, but not the Christ of the Bible. The modern evangelical church has its own distorted gospels. The believer needs to be able to discern the genuine article amidst counterfeits (1 Thess. 5:21).

Discernment is all the more necessary in this postmodern day. Most deny the existence of any absolute truth. Many believers give but lip service to the inspiration and inerrancy of God’s Word. “We preach Christ crucified” is not the anthem of the modern church. And gospel distorters find little resistance.

But in the midst of the darkness of our day, there are those who are gladly and accurately proclaim the “glorious gospel of the blessed God” (1 Tim. 1:11). And from time to time God opens the eyes of the blind to the truth. Praise God for the gospel and the salvation it brings! Let us always endeavor “to make it clear” (Col. 4:4).

Pastor Jerry

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