For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." How 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? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, & bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom 10:13-15).
What could be simpler? Salvation is so simple that Jesus said, "...whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it" (Mark 10:15). Paul speaks of the "simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Cor 11:3). In its very basic terms, salvation is gained by calling "on the name of the LORD."
Paul's concern, however, is evident, "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel you have not accepted..!" (2 Cor 11:3-4).
And to the Galatians he warns, "a different gospel which is not another; but there are some who want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed" (Gal 1:7-8).
What are some of these gospel perversions? In the 70's Bible studies consisted of people sitting around, sharing what the Bible "meant to them" and their "feelings." Gatherings were not for hearing the Word of God, as they would sing, "I just came to praise the Lord."
Now, the attempt is to create "unity." A unity which Jesus promised ALREADY EXISTS for those who believe in Him (John 17:9,20). The fact that EFFORTS are underway to "create" unity, means that it doesn't exist. Thus, they are not Disciples of Christ, by definition.
The False Doctrine in this case? Unity without Faith in Christ. Actually, the "false doctrine" is "No doctrine." Just "tear down the walls" of DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCES.
These same movements attempt to engage in "discipleship." What a waste of time! ...the participants are not In Christ. Discipleship before Son-ship? An impossibility.
New Age psychoanalytical thought has made its way into the pulpit. A pastor, whose church has grown from nothing to 350 in less than a year was heard in a devotional "from" Philippians 2:1-5, that: 1) We should have "good attitudes" because that's how to accomplish much; and 2) We should have the same attitude of Christ, because He had good "self-esteem."
That passage in Philippians speaks of "love for one another," not having selfish ambition, with LOWLINESS of mind "esteem" OTHERS "better" than ourselves, and looking out for the interests of others. Nothing about building up "self" there. In fact, just the opposite.
The passage goes on to express "how" Jesus gave of Himself when He HUMBLED Himself and died the most cruel death, for undeserving man. Can anyone in their right mind envision Jesus, hanging on the cross, crying out in utmost agony, "My God, My God, WHY have You FORSAKEN me?!"...as being an example of Jesus FEELING "self-esteem?" Utter nonsense!!!
A DIFFERENT "Jesus" and "gospel" than taught in (2 Cor11:4).
So, why does such a "church" grow to 350 members in a year? Fulfilled prophecy. "The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers" (2 Tim 4:3) ...to make them FEEL GOOD.
Another prophecy is being fulfilled, "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD" (Amos 8:11).
Why is there such a famine? There is a dirth of Gospel-preaching Preachers. "For both the prophet and priest are profane; in My house I have found their wickedness," says the LORD (Jer 23:11).
Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the LORD. They continually say to those who despise Me, 'The LORD has said, "You shall have peace'"; And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, 'No evil shall come upon you'" (Jer 23:16-17).
That is the "message" from the pulpits today. "You have a lot of worth. You're not so bad. You don't REALLY need to repent. God accepts you just as you are--continuing in your sin." Jude wrote, "Men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 4).
Are these preachers not preaching "Peace" & Love & Acceptance? If they are preachers, and they are preaching, it MUST BE from God, right? After all, Romans 10:15 said, "how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of PEACE."
God says, "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have TURNED THEM FROM THEIR EVIL way And from the evil of their doings" (Jer 23:21-22).
"There is no peace," Says my God, "for the wicked" (Isa 57:21).
So, by definition, the "Gospel of Peace" is a gospel which will TURN PEOPLE AWAY FROM THEIR SIN.
These prophets are further described, "they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name... who steal My words every one from his neighbor" (vv 27,30).
But God says, "Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him? Do I not fill heaven and earth?" (v 24). "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life" (Gal 6:7-8).
"For the lips of the priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts" (Mal 2:7). This is what SHOULD be the case.
Do you find yourself in the minority? You are trying to hold to God's Word faithfully, and you find yourself rebuffed by the New Age "imitations" of godliness? "Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Gal 6:9-10).
(Scripture quotations are from the NKJV)