In his first letter to young Timothy, the apostle Paul wrote the following…
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. — 1 Timothy 4: 3-4
Immediately after telling Timothy that this would be the case Paul exhorted his charge to faithfully preach the truth of the Gospel — without apology and without compromise.
Have you ever wondered what this might look like? Could someone teach a false gospel completely contrary to the truth of the actual Gospel and still be considered a “preacher” of God’s Word?
Please note the words of a man, who is today regarded by millions as a “preacher,” in a recent issue of The Christian Post…
“I think, for years, people have been pushed down by religion, and I don’t say that disrespectfully, but they’ve been shown a God that you can’t measure up to.”
Stop right there.
“…they’ve been shown a God that you can’t measure up to,” he said. And he makes this statement as though sharing this truth is a bad thing. But it is the truth, we can’t measure up to God. That is a fact. In fact, it is the very first step in properly communicating the Gospel. We are so unlike God, so beneath Him, that we can’t approach Him. Even worse, we are deserving of His wrath because of our active rebellion against Him. To miss this is to miss the Gospel.
The “preacher” continued…
“And so, my goal is to make God good and let them know, hey, I tell them all the time, God’s smiling down on you right now. You’re his child. He’s got a great plan for your life. You can overcome mistakes, and to me, that draws people TO God.”
No. A message like that draws people, to be sure — but not to God. This is a message that suits their own passions and leads them into myths. You don’t have to “make” God good. He is already good. His Word declares it. We are simply called to declare His Word.
Jim Elliff, the president of Christian Communicators Worldwide, has written an article that deals with this kind of message. In it he asks a very good question: Just how far do we accommodate the sinner before we compromise the gospel?
My guess is you don’t have to go very far toward accommodating a sinner before you compromise the Gospel. And, I’m pretty certain, this “preacher” crossed that line a long time ago. But, in the world’s eyes, he is a wonderful “preacher.” He is successful. He is friendly. He helps them feel good about themselves. And, according to The Christian Post article, when he speaks…
…the crowd cheers.