Oct
6

The ‘Easy Gospel’

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THE EASY GOSPEL

We live in a world obsessed with making things ‘easy’. Numerous electrical appliances make household chores ‘easy’. Fast food and ready meals have saved endless hours in the kitchen, therefore making eating ‘easy’. But has this streamlined approach of making life ‘easy’ come into the Church? Has the church tried to make the Gospel ‘easy’ for men and women?

How do you make the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ more appealing to the world and easier to live with? It is very simple: you take out the bits they don’t like. Men and women do not like to hear about sin, repentance, judgment or hell, so you don’t mention them. They do not want to hear about reformation in their personal lives, and having to forsake their darling sins, so don’t preach on them.They want the end result of being born again, which is to be in heaven, without actually having to experience the practicalities of the new birth here on earth. In theological terms: they want salvation without sanctification. In simple terms: they want the benefits of being a Christian without having to perform the duties of being one.

There are three areas where the Gospel has been affected by this ‘easy’ culture.

1- EASY BELIEVISM

It is the solemn duty of the Church and indeed of Christians to point sinners to Christ. That is what we are commanded to do in the ‘Great Commission’ of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, there is a method of presenting Christ and the Gospel which is very able to produce a ‘decision for Christ’, without actually producing a true convert. The method is simply telling people to “say a prayer”, “ask the Lord into your heart”, “call upon the name of the Lord”. While there are important truths in some of these statements, there is a vital component missing – repentance. The Lord Jesus Christ said “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). At the very outset of his ministry the Lord Jesus Christ preached “repent ye, and believe the Gospel”.

Repentance is fundamental to salvation. Why then is it neglected when some professing Christians tell sinners about salvation?

(1)Those who practice easy believism have a low view of the holiness of God. They do not comprehend that God is perfect in his holiness and cannot tolerate any sin but demands absolute repentance of all sin. They fail to see the sole reason we need salvation is because we are totally depraved and corrupted in our sinful nature and through fallen humanity.

(2)- They do not want to offend. We live in a society where you are not allowed to offend anyone. If you have to tell someone they are a sinner and they need to repent; they might be offended at such a suggestion and might sue you in the courts! Sadly, some believe it is better not to talk about sin, viewing it as a negative and gloomy subject.

(3)- Many church leaders like the numbers game. They like boasting of ‘conversions’ and ‘decisions for Christ’. If they have to start talking to a person about their sin and their need of repenting of their sin, that person might decide that they don’t want to be saved, and that would reflect badly in the upcoming church newsletter.

Sadly, an easy believism Gospel does not normally produce a true convert. It might produce a slightly reformed and remodelled character who attends church and gets involved in a few things. However, if the soul has not repented, they are not converted and are not one of the Lord’s people.

2- EASY LIVING

The result of easy believism is easy living. If a sinner has not seen the awfulness of their sin and their depravity before a Holy God, they have commenced their ‘Christian life’ on the wrong path. They are not a Christian because they lament their sins against God and flee to Christ as their only hope of mercy, but rather they are Christians because they don’t want to go to hell or because they want God to help them with some personal problem in their life.

How can you tell if some is affected by ‘easy living’?

(1) They do not see their need to live a holy life. As they have not seen the heinousness of their crimes before God in breaking his commandments, they do not feel their need to reform their lives. They think they can carry on as they were before, with a little ‘church-ianity’ thrown in every now and again.

(2) The ‘easy-believer’ will have no desire to live a holy life. If anything, the thought of having to live by God’s law and in conformity to scripture is an abhorrence to them which will utterly ruin their social life and all future plans that they have made. Such a suggestion would prompt them to quickly renounce their faith! Thankfully the pastor who counselled them will not mention such tyrannical practices of ‘dying to sin’ that died off with the puritans!

(3) They reject the authority of scripture. They might declare that they believe the Bible to be God’s Word, but if their life is not reflecting this, then they are denying the authority of scripture over their souls. They seldom take time to read the Bible- because they do not value it as the ‘lamp unto their feet’ to lead them to a closer walk with God.

3- EASY CHURCH

Sadly a Church that is focused on producing converts at any cost has compromised the truth of the Gospel. But what can the church offer people who have been ‘won’ with an ‘easy believism’ Gospel and encourages them on an ‘easy living’ form of Christianity? It can only be an ‘easy Church’.

There are three areas in which the ‘easy Gospel’ has affect the church.

(1) The ‘Easy Pastor’. No man likes to make himself unpopular or make enemies. We all want to be loved by everyone and be everyone’s friend. However, the duty of the pastor is not to be popular, but to be faithful to Christ. regrettably, many pastors shy away from preaching the ‘whole counsel of God’ and opt to be loved and praised by men than be faithful to the Lord. Such are described in scripture as ‘blind watchmen’ (Isaiah 56:10), “false prophets” and “wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

(2) The ‘Easy Sermons’. There are many sermons preached in ‘easy churches’ which could not be faulted for their biblical accuracy or theological correctness. The problem does not lie in what ‘is said’, but rather what is ‘not said’. Dealing with the sins of the congregation, pride, the reality of our fallen condition, the judgment day that is approaching, and the eternal lake of fire that Christ-rejecting souls will be cast into; these are subjects that are neglected in the ‘easy sermon’. Many sermons today are more like motivational speeches or comedy segments than soul-searching sermons desired to convict of sin and convert to faith in Christ.

(3) The ‘Easy Services’. If you want to attract people into church, you don’t want to spend too long preaching, so you really need other things to entertain the people. Music, drama, social clubs and celebrity appearances are a good way to draw a crowd and make your church look vibrant and popular. If the Lord Jesus Christ turned out the money changers from the temple, how would the King of Glory deal with such abominations in HIS church today?

FINAL THOUGHT

No good can possibly come from the modern ‘easy Gospel’. In fact, only evil can come from it. A false Gospel leads men and women astray from the truth, perhaps fooling them into thinking they are saved, and then damning their souls in hell for all eternity. What did the Lord Jesus Christ say about those who were false converts, and thought they would be heaven:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew 7:22).