Deception is only effective when it contains enough of the truth to mask the elements that if seen on their own would seem dubious and suspicious. There has to be enough “good stuff” to effectively make the lies invisible. This is the artistry practiced by the con man.
The difference between a con man and a thief is this: a con man doesn’t let his victims know they have been robbed. A thief takes his victims property by force or threat, a con man convinces his victim to willingly give it to him, and usually leaves the victim feeling good about it, at least for a while. The Church has for so long tried to fight off the obvious attacks of the enemy that it has closed its eyes to the subtlety of the con man. It requires a decision to keep your eyes and ears open in order to discern.
Ezekiel 12:2: Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not…
Discernment causes division, between good and evil. It requires a choice to be made: Will I remain quiet and let the evil stand, and in doing nothing give tacit approval to the evil, or will I speak plainly the Word of God and expose the evil for what it is and make a stand against it?
Joshua 24:15b: …but as for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.
The gospel of
Romans 10:13-14: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?
and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Romans 1:16-20: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse;
Romans 5:12: Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into
the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have
Romans 3:10-11: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Romans 3:23: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 1:32: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 6:23a: For the wages of sin is death;
Revelation 21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Psalm 111:10: The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom……
Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge; [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Romans 5:8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Acts 2:36: Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
I Corinthians 15:3-4: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Romans 6:23b: ...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
II Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Acts 3:19: Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,
Acts 20:21: Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are ye saved by faith; and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Romans 10:17: So faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Bible shows that it is hearing the gospel of Christ that reveals the righteousness of God, and the wrath of God. Without the revelation of God’s righteousness and wrath, there is no fear of the Lord. Without the fear of the Lord there is no conviction of sin. Without the conviction of sin, there’s no recognition of the need for a Savior. Without the recognition of the need for a Savior there is no repentance. The gospel of Christ must be heard before it can be acted upon. Without it, sinners don’t know who Jesus is, and they cannot believe in him. Without it they have no knowledge of the price Jesus paid when he sacrificed his life on the Cross, or of his resurrection from the dead. Without it there is no knowledge of grace, no knowledge that there’s nothing we can do in and of ourselves that can save us, and that only Jesus can save us. Without it there is no faith. Without hearing the gospel of Christ, there is no hope of Salvation.
Romans 10:9-10: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation
But having heard the gospel of Christ, believed it, and acted upon it by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, therein is the hope of Salvation.
"another gospel of another Jesus"
Galatians 1:6-9: I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the Grace of Christ unto another gospel; Which is not another ; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so I say now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve
through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that
is in Christ. For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus, whom we have
not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or
another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with
Both 2nd Corinthians and Galatians warn of “another gospel”, and “another Jesus”.
In the “40 Days of Purpose” video tape with goes along with the “The Purpose Driven Life” Rick Warren has people pray a prayer at the end of the first session that goes like this: "Dear God, I want to know your purpose for my life. I don't want to base the rest of my life on wrong things. I want to take the first step in preparing for eternity by getting to know you. Jesus Christ, I don't understand how but as much as I know how I want to open up my life to you. Make yourself real to me. And use this series in my life to help me know what you made me for"
Then Rick Warren goes on to say: "Now if you've just prayed that prayer for the very first time I want to congratulate you. You've just become a part of the family of God."
In Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” he invites people to do the following:
“First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purposes. Believe you’re not an accident. Believer you were made to last forever. Believe God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died on the cross for you. Believe that no matter what you’ve done, God wants to forgive you.”
“Second, receive. Receive Jesus into your life as Lord and Savior. Receive his forgiveness for your sins. Receive his Spirit, who will give you the power to fulfill your life purpose. Wherever you are reading this., I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity: ‘Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.’ Go ahead, “If you sincerely meant that prayer congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!” (Pages 58 and 59)
At the point in the book where these prayers are introduced, there has been very little spoken about the gospel; a mention here and there about Jesus, but nothing nearly sufficient to be called “the gospel of Christ”.
Both of these prayers are lacking one thing, the gospel of
Christ. Prior to the prayers there is no mention of the righteousness of
God; the wrath of God; hell, repentance, the crucifixion, the resurrection, no
mention of the Biblical Jesus at all.
Romans 10:13-14 has been ignored. They haven’t believed, because they haven’t heard. The gospel of Christ wasn’t heard because it wasn’t preached.
Then there is “The Salvation Message” from Saddleback Church website: “Our disobedient nature has eternally separated us from our Creator. No matter how hard we try, we can never earn our way back into God’s presence. Our only hope is to trust Jesus as God’s provision for our disobedience. Whenever you make that decision, you step into the eternal and abundant life Jesus promises for all believers.”
Where is the gospel of Christ? Jesus name is mentioned, but where is the gospel? Disobedient nature has replaced SIN, because it is less offensive. Trusting Jesus makes us believers? What happened to “confess with your mouth” and “believe with your heart”? The believe part can’t happen unless the gospel of Christ has been heard.
The Bible’s version of the gospel of Christ shows: All men were born in sin through the original sin of Adam and Eve, conned by the Serpent. Man is separated from God and can have no relationship with God through any effort of his own. All men have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness. Thus the fear of God is known, and it is the beginning of wisdom. God required a perfect sinless sacrifice to pay the price for the debt of sin and to reconcile man to God. God loved the world so much he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus, so whoever believes in him shouldn’t perish but have eternal life. Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. In him dwelled the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Jesus lived a sinless life. Jesus was crucified to become the sinless sacrifice; he took our sins upon himself on the cross at Calvary. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, ascended to heaven, and sits at the right hand of God.
We must believe that Jesus is who the Bible says he is, and
he did what it says he did, and he freely paid the price for salvation, he
offers it freely to us, we don’t deserve it, we can’t earn it, we can’t buy
it, it is given through grace to those who in faith call upon his name, the name
above all names. There is no other name by which man can be
Paul warned the Corinthians against ANYONE coming with another Jesus, another spirit, or another gospel.
Any “Jesus” that you can just open your life to, without having heard the gospel of Christ; without the knowledge of God’s righteousness and His wrath; without conviction of sin; without the knowledge of Christ’s death on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin; his resurrection; or repentance; is not the Jesus of the Bible. This is “another Jesus, whom we have not preached”.
We need to offend some people
Galatians 1:10: For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Psalm 127:1b: Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it:
If Paul had seen today’s Seeker Friendly churches, with their use of polls, questionnaires, surveys, occult based psychological profiles, the world’s marketing consultant firms, and the myriad of other worldly methods designed to please “Seekers” (men) so they will be comfortable, remain unoffended, and become “Christianized” (i.e. learn to look, act, and talk like Christians, without really changing), and keep coming to church, he would probably have written “The Epistle to the Church of Self-Esteem”. He would have used similar words to what he said to the Galatians to condemn to “Seeker Friendly”, “Market Researched”, “Customer Satisfaction”, “Man Pleasing”, “Church Growth Movement” churches built by man’s hands, not by the Lord‘s. He would have proclaimed them “accursed”.
Isaiah 8:14: Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and [let] him [be] your fear, and [let] him [be] your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem
Romans 9:33: As it is written, Behold I lay in Sion a stumbling stone, and a rock of offence; and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
To sinners, Jesus is offensive. The preaching of the gospel of Christ gets right in our face and confronts us with the fact that without Jesus, we are lost and are going to be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. The song “Amazing Grace” say it perfectly….”Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a WRETCH like me”. Seeker Friendly churches would never refer to any unsaved person as a “wretch” from their pulpits. They don’t even refer to them as “sinners” anymore. The “Seekers” might be offended and not come back. Salvation is not a long gradual transition process of moving gently and sweetly from the “World” into the “Family of God”. Jesus described it as being “born again”. Natural birth is a bloody, messy, offensive, painful event, but it results in a new life. Likewise, spiritual birth, Salvation, is a painful, offensive, often traumatic realization of your lost and sinful state, combined with the realization of God’s Righteousness, His boundless love for you, and His provision in Jesus Christ as the way to Salvation. Salvation, being “born again” results in a NEW LIFE…not a paradigm shift.
Roger “Rocky” Muse