Here we are already at week five of John MacArthur's Slave!
If you'd like to review weeks one through four......
Weeks one through three took a look at the "slave" side of the relationship, week four and again here in week five, we'll take a look at the "master" side of the relationship.
Thanks for joining me!
In what ways have you seen the gospel of Christ distorted?
Well, I think we’d be here all day discussing the ways the Gospel is distorted. Perhaps an easier answer would be to look at teaching that has not distorted the Gospel, even though distortions have even crept into evangelical churches lately.
How can believers protect themselves against distorted versions of the Gospel?
One of the questions in the last chapter touched on this. I think the one sure way for you to protect yourself is to read the Bible for yourself. Get a trusted translation (NAS proven very trustworthy and a very close word for word translation from the original language) and if what you are hearing doesn’t line up with what you are reading, then what you are hearing may likely be a distortion of the Bible.
Galations 1:6-9 Dangers
Distorters of the Gospel will be accursed. Once you start moving away from truth, the areas become grayer and grayer until you aren’t really sure what truth is any more. Then, people can teach almost anything, and with a good argument, win people over to their way of thinking. This very reason is how the main stream cult religious movements gain so many followers.
When you attend church, are you more interested in a good show or in hearing God’s truth even if it steps on your toes?
Okay. On the soap box.
There are so many seeker churches today that are so focused on getting people through the door, but don’t know what to do with the people once they get them there. It’s “Great! You’re saved! Feel good? Well, see you later then!” and the new Christian just flounders around wondering what to do next. There are no discipleship programs in place. It’s like churches forget that church is actually for believers. Now, don’t get me wrong, we certainly want to bring people to Christ, undoubtedly, but having a system in place that grows the new believer into a mature Christian is vital. Churches get so caught up in numbers, and I mean what pastor wouldn’t want to lead a large “successful” church? Everyone likes to see fruit of their labor, and they think that “success” is reflected in numbers. But, if you have a church that is strong in discipleship, leading and teaching, that church is going to grow exponentially all by itself without focusing on any “seeker” programs. People who have a real interest will show up anyway. When you don’t have churches strong in these things, sure the church may grow some, but many of the attenders will fall away because there is no strong foundation of discipleship, leading and teaching. And, once the entertainment factor is done, they're out of there. This is happening in mainstream evangelical churches all the time. I remember one new church that didn’t have a building decided to meet in a movie theater and offer popcorn for their morning services. Now, I don’t know what the teaching of this church was, but these “gimmicks” are popping up all over. What can we do to get people to think our church is cooler and more fun than that church over there? MacArthur mentioned the “prosperity gospel” and touched on that last chapter as well. Here in Oklahoma, we are in the heart of charismatic country, and I feel like many (most?) charismatic churches and “prosperity gospel” churches are hand in hand walking down the distorted gospel highway. And the distortion is so gradual and subtle, you eventually stray completely from the Bible before you even realize it.
Off the soap box.
Paul knew that in this life he was to wholeheartedly serve Jesus, and even so, this life would be filled with trouble, persecution, sin, and suffering. But. He also knew that this life is a race, and if he ran it to the fullest, when he died, he would be leaving behind all the troubles of this world to enter into eternal life with Jesus, in a perfect environment with all of Christ’s riches and rewards waiting for him. (Much better than the suffering that this world has to offer!)
Colossians 3:17 and 23
What are your thoughts?