One of the most frequently used phrases in Christian circles is ‘The Gospel.’ According to a recent study, few adults know what this term means. Its literal translation is, ‘good news’—or the assertion that salvation is only available through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and a person’s acceptance of Him as Savior. The study stated that only four out of 10 Christians knew this. In Galatians 1: 6-10, Paul marvels that they were turning away so soon from Him who called them, in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel. There are those today still perverting the gospel of Christ. Paul’s astonishment is not that false teachers exist, but that the church was following them. In verse eight, Paul invokes a curse on anyone, himself included, who distorts the gospel, even angels from Heaven.
Remember those who followed David Koresh in a compound in Waco, Texas in 1993? Or the Heaven’s Gate Cult in 1997, taking their own lives in an attempt to connect with extra-terrestrial visitors? They will not find themselves excused because of their sincerity, and those who led them will bear a greater judgment.
The greatest distortion of the gospel today is preached in order to fit Christianity into a materialistic society. I call it ‘the gospel of success’ or ‘the gospel of prosperity,’ which is based on the premise that God wants to bless you; therefore, you can only expect good things from Him if you follow Him. The problem with this gospel is that it ignores the fact that in our Christian life there will be sorrow: there is suffering, and there is death. The key of the gospel of Jesus is not the avoidance of life’s events, but the possibility to overcome them.
My weekly prayer is that the reader of this commentary becomes spiritually inspired of God. Intercessory Prayer is life-giving blood. Contact Expressions of Faith at P.O. Box 330127, Nashville, Tenn. 37203; or e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. God bless!