Apostasy in the Church Part 7
The Partial Gospel
By Jim Allen
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Continued from Page One
Why would Jesus deny knowing and then accuse these professing believers of practicing lawlessness when they have so many good works? Jesus will deny them because they focused on their good, man-centered works to the exclusion of His work and shed blood on the cross for them. They could not or would not acknowledge or believe His completed work of the law would be sufficient to save them. Because of their unbelief, Jesus could not impute His righteousness to their accounts. He would not sprinkle his blood over the doorway of their hearts. They were proud and boastful of their good works and now stand exposed and naked before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). These doers of good works failed to grasp the truth of the Cross, and were not driven to their knees to see their unworthiness and need for the Savior. Had they been broken in spirit and empty-handed before the Lord, the true meaning of the gospel would have risen in their heart like a morning dawn giving new meaning to the glory of God's grace and our full dependence on Him.
In flow with the preceding, the partial (lawless) gospel is well documented. In Rick Warren's book he said, "In the entire universe, only two of God's creations fail to bring glory to him: fallen angels (demons) and us (people). Not giving God his due glory is called "sin." All sin, at its root, is failing to give God the glory he deserves....None of us have given God the full glory he deserves from our lives." Sounds good, does it not? Here we see the author sugarcoating the "fallen nature of angels and humanity" as nothing more than innocent, casual neglect that you can easily correct by fulfilling God's five purposes for your life. Although many argue Warren's book is biblical, others argue it fails to deliver the most important message of all, which is the law acting as our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24).
Warren says of his book, "The Purpose-Driven Life explains in detail how to fulfill God's five purposes for your life." What we need to remember about the word "purpose" is that every purpose defines the reason for what exists, is created, or is done. The word "done" implies there is one or more steps a person needs to take to fulfill the purpose, which is a work. One example of doing something for God is Purpose Number 3 that says, "You bring God glory by becoming like Christ." Although Warren speaks a truth, the book goes on to explain that to become like Christ one "makes a commitment" to Christ by reciting the salvation prayer, which is how to begin fulfilling that purpose. The difficulty I have with the third purpose is not the need for one to be born again but the lack of Godly conviction and spiritual preparation leading up to the prayer. Bible verses (such as the Romans Road) that are central to salvation are wholly omitted from Warren's book. At best, purpose number 3 will create false converts who will think about his or her "commitment to Christ" as justification for salvation; and thereby miss the essential truths about the law, blood atonement, and work of Christ on his or her behalf. Many professing believers today, when asked about their salvation, quickly point to a time when they recited the salvation prayer or made a personal commitment to Christ. By default, they place faith in something they did to become right with God. This is a work. They do not know about or understand the law and its foundational importance in leading them to salvation.
Scott Diekmann writes:
Part of Rick Warren's audience includes non-Christians and false converts. Some argue in Warren's defense by saying the purpose of Warren's book is to help people see God's purposes for their lives, and that the book does not need to present law as part of the gospel. At best, this argument is an incomplete equation with missing values because without law there can be no conversion and without conversion, the unregenerate will not understand God's purposes or His purposes for their lives. Romans 8:6-7 says, "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so." Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, and many others (including older movements like the Promise Keepers and Alpha Course) will not submit to or acknowledge God's law. Any doctrine adopted by a person, church, organization or movement and so written to gloss over the precepts of the law and focus only on the positive aspects of the gospel is another gospel. Psalm 19:7 says, "The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul." The Holy Spirit uses the Ten Commandments and Old Testament doctrinal accounts (upon which there are many) to open the spiritual eyes of the lost to see who they are apart from God, to see their sin, desolation, and need for the Savior. A person whose eyes have been opened to his or her plight will ask for mercy and forgiveness, as recorded in Luke, "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'" (Luke 18:13).
The only time pastors and teachers should be allowed to present the gospel without the law is when all within their reading or listening audiences are born again, standing firm on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ. Since we cannot judge or know for sure who is or is not born again, pastors and teachers must present a balanced view of law and grace, which is the whole counsel of God, and then for law to always pave the way for grace. The apostle Paul said of this matter:
"For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock." (Acts 20:27-29)In closing, the gospel has been so twisted by men of perverted mind that it is no longer of any use in many churches. That some should find salvation in spite of the increasing number of prowling wolves and rank deception is both rare and a wonder. Today, it would appear people exist merely to serve the harlot church and her affiliates instead of serving people. People are growing weary of supporting the needs of the Harlot whose hunger is a deep pit and her financial coffers forever empty. Many have left the Harlot church with injured hearts and broken spirits. Some have rejected their faith outright. Evangelical elites who work to change the gospel into a lie are from Babylon, a religious system of men who devise fables. These evangelical elites are citizens of Egypt in search of wealth and worldly pleasures. They dress in royal robes without righteousness and from their pulpits on Sunday morning think they are doing a great work. These Pharisees are eloquent orators, using uplifting words to remind the lowly servants to obey and say "yes" to every demand without question or complaint. They are blind guides, kings ruling over fallen kingdoms. They expect undivided allegiance to their every authoritarian demand and pastoral whim. This is not what Christ intended for the church.
In my next and last post on this series, I will write about the Gospel of Grace and its flow from Genesis to Revelation, interlaced with law, grace, the completed work of Christ, and then our acceptable work unto the Lord.
1. Rich Mabof; "Freaky Facts about Death"; MSN Health and Fitness.
2. "Rick Warren-False-Prophet"; defendingcontending.com; Paraphrased.
3. Scott Diekmann; soundsitness.org.
Image Credit: Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo; "The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy"; Public Domain
Apostasy in the Church: The Series
Part 1: When Wolves Lead the Flock
Part 2: Under Cover Lies
Part 3: Their Greed, Your Seed
Part 4: A Time to Refrain from Embracing
Part 5: Angels of Light
Part 6: Miracles, Signs and Wonders
Part 7: The Partial Gospel
Part 8: The True Gospel
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