THE GOSPEL THAT PLEASES
by W. G. Guy
Galatians 1:9-10 – As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 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.
There should not be a reason to have to declare this message because we have access to the truth – the Word of God, the Holy Bible! However, there are many, just as there was in Paul’s day, who preach a perverted gospel for their own gain. They preach messages that make people “feel good”; messages that people want to hear; messages about wealth and prosperity; messages to “please men”.
It is easy to tell who these perverted preachers are because they have vast numbers of people flocking to hear them declare what they want to hear. Their churches are huge; and so are their own bank accounts, their houses, their vehicles and their jet airplanes.
What did the apostle Paul say about such preachers who declare another gospel, such as the gospel of success and prosperity? He said that they would NOT be considered to be servants of Christ. Actually they are serving themselves, preaching and teaching messages the people want to hear, not what they need to hear; and certainly not what God wants them to hear.
Jesus Christ preached that to be a true follower of Him we need to remove those things of the world that hinder our fellowship with Him, but to put Him first in your life.
Luke 9:23 – And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
This simply means to die to selfish desires with the lusts for the things of the world.
These preachers of another gospel focus your attention on the things of the world, things that wealth and prosperity can get you. Their focus is on creation rather than the creator.
1 John 2:15-16 – Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
This writer remembers when the success and prosperity gospel began to be popular. It was introduced at the church I attended when we had a guest speaker come to preach. He declared this doctrine in no uncertain terms. In fact, he wrote a book declaring that you can be a king’s kid. If I remember correctly his name was Harold Hill. We called it “king’s kid theology”; it also became known as the “name it and claim it” doctrine.
During his message I immediately discerned its error and I leaned over and told my wife that his message came right from the pit of hell. She asked why, I said because it is focusing on the things of this world and creation rather than on the creator and the things of the God’s Kingdom. This began the trend to the gospel of success and prosperity that has taken some of the church way off course. This gospel is still on going and remains just as destructive today as it was when it began in the early 1970’s.
Today people still follow such preachers because they bring messages of blessings and wealth which too many people focus on rather than keeping their focus on the Lord Jesus Christ as their provider and protector and who promised to meet all our needs – NOT OUR WANTS or LUSTS! And they use all manner of justification for their wealth and lusts.
Philippians 4:19 – But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
God does bless some with abundance, but that is for His purpose or because of obedience. But our seeking is not to be the things of this world, but of Him and His Kingdom and righteousness.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Please don’t allow yourself to be duped by preachers who add the gospel of the wealth of this world in with any truth they preach, they are deceivers and, as the apostle Paul stated, “if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Jesus warned that in the last days there would come false anointed ones that would deceive many.
Matthew 24:4-5 – And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Note: the word Christ comes from the word messiah and means anointed one. So the warning here is that many would come saying they are anointed and would preach messages that deceive – MANY.
Some of these deceivers will also be able to do signs and wonders, but not by the Holy Spirit, but from another spirit; and again they will attempt to deceive any who are gullible, ignorant of the Word, or looking to those who do things that are sensational in their alleged ministry.
Matthew 24:24 – For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Do not be deceived. Know God’s Word to know the truth and to be able prove all things and test the spirits.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 – Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1 John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Matthew 7:22-23 – 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.
Warning: beware of who you listen to and whose ministry you follow!