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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Different Gospel

Galatians 1:6-7, “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.”
Two thousand years ago, the forefathers of the faith were faced with much the same problems as the current generation of Christian warriors is. Since the advent of Christ, the enemy set his sights on those who would follow Him, those who would surrender their hearts to the grace that is in Jesus, and has fought tirelessly to throw up roadblocks, and cause the innocent to stray.
The enemy’s greatest success has not been in physical intimidation, persecution or torture, for history bears witness to the fact that every time dark days arose, every time persecution was at its height, so was the faith and the steadfastness of the elect. Persecution strengthens the faith, it compels the followers of Christ, to trust in Him wholly, and thereby see supernatural provision, and protection. Though persecution might not be beneficial to the flesh, it is good for the spiritual man.
The enemy has tried a myriad of methods to cause the children of God to stumble, and he has found none more successful than the perversion of the gospel of Christ. It is because this method is so successful that it has been around for so long. Throughout time it has been known by different names, this different gospel, but all for the same inevitable result, that of separating us from the grace of Jesus.
Today, this different gospel is most widely known by its appropriately given nickname, the good time gospel. The difference between the good time gospel, and the gospel of Christ, is that the good time gospel can only be applied in the individual life, during good times. When all is well, when life is prosperous, when blessings are abundant, it is easy to talk the heart into believing, that such times will last forever, that there are no storm clouds on the horizon, that perhaps the talking heads on television got it right after all, and the road to heaven is paved with rose petals and ATMs.
The trouble with the good time gospel, is that when times begin to change, when prosperity is not so abundant, when the world doesn’t seem as rosy, it begins to lose its relevance, and rather than give hope, rather than provide a solid foundation, it abandons those who so heartily followed it, leaving them empty, hollow, and with the same look of wild desperation in their eyes as the rest of the world.
The key difference between the true gospel of Christ, and the good time gospel, is that the gospel of Christ sustains you, keeps you, strengthens you, comforts you, and encourages you not only during the sunny days, but also during the stormy ones. The gospel of Christ sustains the faithful soul through the darkest of trials, through those long nights when all that is left is our faith in He who is able, and our trust that He will make a way when there seems to be no way in sight.
Throughout my life I have had the honor of knowing men who were able to weather the storms of this life, trials and tribulations beyond what some can imagine, because they were grounded and rooted in the Word, because the gospel of Christ was alive for them, and in them. I have known men who spent years in prisons, being tortured and beaten, degraded and reviled, suffering at the hands of cruel and unfeeling souls, only to come out stronger in their faith, and more committed to the cause of Christ. The good time gospel could not have kept them, it could not have sustained them through such barbarous seasons, but the gospel of Christ was more than able to do just that.
The gospel of Christ remains the same today. It is still able to keep us, no matter what our circumstances, no matter the trials and the hardships that may come upon us. Although it might be easier to give in, to go with the flow, to embrace this different gospel, when the darkness descends, and the hearts of men are weighed, when the material things of this world are turned to ash, and the hopes we placed in them become as dust in the wind, we will realize, belatedly so, that the easier path isn’t always the right one, and the consequences of turning away from the gospel of Christ are heavy and eternal.
Pleading ignorance will not suffice, since we have been warned, ever so lovingly in God’s holy Word. Though generations come and go, the enemy’s tricks and deceptions remain surprisingly consistent, for it seems he realized long ago, that if something isn’t broke, it doesn’t need fixing. There will always be gullible souls that will gravitate toward a different gospel, there will always be those who rather than giving God their all, attempt to find a means by which they can give God their least, but in the end only the gospel of Chris can give us consistent sustainability, wherein we remain steadfast and rooted in good times as well as in the face of adversity.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

11 comments:

a seed sower said...

Michael, you are blessed to have known and know, warriors of God, who have, and do suffer persecution still today.
A Christian who has never had to go through any sort of persecution or true testing of their faith, is one like Peter, in his infancy, who said, “Lord I will never deny you”. We think we will always stand for the Lord, only to find that when push comes to shove, when the rubber hits the road and our faith is truly tested, it is not as strong as we think.
A Christian who is not willing to go through persecution, will find it is upon them soon enough. Christians who sit in churches year after year learning the Word and hearing and re-hearing it, and geting absolutely no experience of putting their faith into action, or having the opportunity or standing on The Word, are at a sever disadvantage. It is rather like those who go to college for a life time, and never put into practice that which they have learned.
It is when you are under persecution that your faith arises and grows, just as you said Bro Michael, and that is when you see the miraculous hand of God in action, Amen.
Any time the child of God steps out in faith willing to lay all down for Christ, He Lifts them up, He sustains them, He makes His Word come alive in action, He works miracles for His Glory …Amen.
God Bless You

Anonymous said...

Mat 24:10 Then many people will fall by the way and will betray one another and hate one another. ISV

This is what you can expect when the Good Times Gospel comes to an end. Betrayal and hate, from those who believe the GTG, their god will have abandoned them and they will turn on all whom they can, inorder to get what they can, from their betrayals. It will be about their appetites until their end. Beware those still in the Harlot Church!

Anonymous said...

So true Brother. I feel the timing of this reminder could not be better. Jesus said he longed to gather us under his wings like a mother hen with her chicks. I can think of no better place to be, with the dark storms closing in. Praise be to God, in the everlasting name of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I would recommend that Believers subscribe to the VOICE OF THE MARTYRS magazine. It is unbelievable the trials, deaths, tribulations and price Believers face in Islamic, Hindu, and Buddist nations.

In heaven,Believers here in the USA will one day face these dear Brothers and Sisters who have paid the ultimate price. A quick death would be preferable to what some have suffered.

As Brother Michael says in his letter/post the stronger the persecution the more the Believing community grows. It is as if the blood of the martyrs waters the field that are ripe for harvest. A not too popular message for the Joel Olsteen crowd; but a truth, none the less.

It seems people are bent on "backslidding". The heart is deceptive and can be captivated at a moments notice; so it seems with me at times.

Thank you Brother Michael for the truth. I need to be reminded of the danger of slipping away, ever so slowly.

timbob said...

Greetings. This is such a perilous time and this post sheds light on a very dangerous problem. Todays social gospel is leaving most western saints woefully unprepared for the events that are coming to pass. I linked to this post a short while ago; hoping that others will read it also.

Have a blessed day in Jesus.

timbob

Anonymous said...

Amen

Renate said...

Michael, I have read a lot of your writings and am interested in your opinion of what I am doing in my church. I've read other sites and yours as well that condemn selling items in church, but the Helping Hands Ministry sells an awful lot of books and CD's, so you must not be as firm on this as you appear.

My church started a Biblical Justice Group years ago that used to meet and discuss justice/end times issues. When I joined the group, I was energized and started some ministries to try to do something rather than just talk. One of them is a film series called "Films That Make You Think". We show films about child slavery in Third World countries, the costs of war-waging, the corruption of corporations, the AIDS epidemic, and such. They are in the church but the purpose is to awake the people to the injustices that are happening. If we don't try to stop injustice, isn't it our fault it continues?

So what do you think? Is this "entertainment" in the church, or what the church should be engaged in?

Another thing I've started is an "Earth Day" celebration celebrating the wonders of God's creation and helping people find ways of preserving it. We were planning to sell canvas shopping bags (high quality, low price because of a bulk discount we were able to get) to reduce the number of platic bags thrown away every year; also Klean Kanteen drink containers in our effort to stop people from buying so many disposable plastic water bottles. Is selling to prevent pollution and promote sustainability also against God, or just selling for profiteering? Because then there's a fine line between a bake sale for orphans and rummage sales for the homeless and turning the church into a market place - or is there?

Elm Street Chapel said...

True words Michael.

Along the same lines, here is a portion of something the Lord spoke to me this past week:

"Discern between good and evil. Know the path of righteousness that I have set before you and know that I alone am the Way, the Truth and the Life. If any come teaching another doctrine, receive them not for their father is not your Father in heaven."

I know it seems difficult when we let our emotions (our flesh) talk us into befriending those who come teaching another doctrine. Most of the time, quite simply, we feel sorry for them being taught incorrectly. But what God speaks is clear, for after the second or third admonition we are depart from them. If people hear truth, the truth that sets free those who are enslaved to men and their doctrines, but they believe it not, they cannot please God. We must all have ears to hear what He is speaking in these times so that we are not counted as one who disobeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Receiving those who have come teaching another doctrine is disobeying the very words that God has spoken to us, His people.

It seems, to some, that we may be beating a dead horse by saying this, but, the day is short and night comes quickly. Even the voice of the day of the Lord speaks and if we do not value the Spirit of God and that He can lead us into all truth, then how can we say that the love of the Truth is in us?

With love in Him,
Ryan

Elm Street Chapel said...

Amen Michael,
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

“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.”

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God,

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.


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I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

L,J,P&HG
Dave

Bonny said...

Hi Renate, I personally believe that as Believers we have a responsibility not to be greedy, cruel or wasteful whilst on this earth, at the same time remembering that our careful attitude will in no way prolong God's preordained plan to create a new heaven and earth, for as the Scriptures say, 'the earth will wax old as a garment'.
I also believe that, as anonymous said, we should really be aware of the reality of persecution and suffering, such as Voice of the Martyrs and other such ministries bring to us. I pray once a month with a dear older lady for the persecuted church, and the missions and ministries who support them...nobody else has time to attend, which is sad.
No, it is not the 'good time church' who will be able to stand when things get tough in the West, and they will get tough, there is no doubt about that, both in the States and here in Australia. I was reminded again the other day, Michael of your vision of the horsemen being made ready, and these are truly times to prepare ourselves spiritually and allow the Lord to train us for what lies ahead. Thank you dear brother, for your faithfulness.

Anonymous said...

Do what you say,say what you do

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