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.