by Mike Ratliff
This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. (Galatians 5:8-10 ESV)
One of the first things lost when apostasy sets in is adherence to the genuine Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as the one and only way God has provided to save people from their sins, bringing them into an eternal relationship with Him through their propititiation, the Lord Jesus Christ. In our time, with Relationship Theology having come to the fore, it has become akin to a ‘sin unto death’ to cause grief or hurt feelings in some one else by daring to explicitly give them the truth of the doctrine of Total Depravity and their need of a Saviour. The ‘sin of hurting someone’s feelings’ has become a major issue in our time. Things have been turned upside down.
My friend Pastor Ken Silva refers to some pastors and theologians who think like this as EvanJellyFish. They have no backbone. They operate in the fear of men, but not in the fear of God. Their gospel is whatever makes the people they are preaching to happy. The Apostle Paul was not an EvanJellyFish.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-10 ESV)
Paul had heard that the Galatian church was under attack from Judiazers. These were so-called Christian Jews who taught the keeping of the Law of Moses as necessary for salvation along with believing the Gospel, in other words, a changed or different Gospel. Notice that he did not mince words here. Here is the Greek for v6, “Θαυμάζω ὅτι οὕτω ταχέως μετατίθεσθε ἀπὸ τοῦ καλέσαντος ὑμᾶς ἐν χάριτι Χριστοῦ εἰς ἕτερον εὐαγγέλιον.” Word-for-word translation of v6 would be, “I marvel that so quickly you are transferred from your calling in favor of Christ, to another good news (gospel).” Let us be clear. Christians can disagree about some things, but not about the Gospel. Paul’s issues with the Galatians here are not over things which believers might legitimately disagree. Paul’s blunt frankness here would be shocking in today’s “politically correct” church environment.
What is Paul’s remedy to those doing the Gospel distortion? He says twice, “Let him be accursed.” The Greek for this is, “ἀνάθεμα ἔστω” or “anathema let be. “The word ἀνάθεμα or anathema literally means, “Condemned.” Paul was saying in this passage that since the Gospel he preached is the one and only way to salvation and that to preach or teach otherwise is to invalidate and nullify the death of Christ, anyone “editing” this genuine gospel will be eternally condemned.
What pressures are brought to bear on preachers and teachers of the gospel to “edit” it? One of the greatest snares is to be a man pleaser. Paul says in v10 that those who preach the genuine Gospel are servants of Christ and cannot be man pleasers. These are mutually exclusive.
Now, if we take this scenario and look at the current church situation in our time with the Hegelian Dialectic being used in the Diaprax process to make the visible Church part of the world or “this present age” instead of separate as it should be, we see that this gospel editing is simply part of the Diaprax process. Each synthesis cycle of taking the visible church further and further away from the genuine Gospel and what the church is supposed to be doing also turns the gospel these people hear and practice into something more and more man pleasing.
I have received some emails from an atheist in Europe who has been reading this series. He believes that what we are seeing is a trend towards the world moving to atheism. He wanted me to post his comments and did not like it when I refused citing the comment policies I have in place on this blog. He then wrote that eventually all of us professing Christians will die and then all that will be left will be atheists who will look at us and laugh at our folly. What does God’s Word say about those who say things like that?
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. (Psalm 14:1 ESV)
There is no way to explain genuine faith to the atheist. The unregenerate religious person on the hand believes he or she has faith and “proves it” through “feelings” or some other thing in themselves. Genuine faith is different for it is based in Christ and His finished work and believes Him and the Gospel and this is lived out in a life of faithfulness.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 ESV)
In any case, the visible church is apostatizing very quickly. God is preserving the genuine Church, the elect; the real believers. Some are in good faithful churches. Others are separate because there are no good churches close to them. Others are in house churches. These have this genuine saving faith and await the soon return of their Lord. Let us pray that it will be soon.
Soli Deo Gloria!