Dont Follow Another Gospel

DON’T BE SEDUCED INTO FOLLOWING ANOTHER GOSPEL

(Pastor Lee Jackson FFWC)

I)  INTRODUCTION – WHEN A ROCKET IS LAUNCHED ON AN INTERPLANETARY MISSION, A SMALL PROBLEM WITH THE NAVIGATION SYSTEM CAN HAVE GRAVE CONSEQUENCES.   IF SCIENTISTS CANNOT CORRECT AND MAKE ADJUSTMENTS FOR  SMALL ERRORS IN THE HEADING THE ROCKET PAYLOAD WILL LIKELY END UP LOST IN SPACE UNABLE TO FULFILL ITS MISSION.  SCIENTISTS MUST BE ABLE TO CONSTANTLY COMMUNICATE WITH THE VEHICLE IN ORDER TO CONSTANTLY ADJUST HEADING, SPEED AND ACCELERATION AT CRITICAL TIMES TO KEEP IT ON THE PRESCRIBED COURSE AND HEADING.   IT IS THIS WAY IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.   ALTHOUGH WE MAY HAVE ACCEPTED CHRIST AND STARTED OUT ON COURSE, SATAN, IS ALWAYS TRYING TO DECEIVE US AND TAKE US OFF COURSE.   THE APOSTLE PAUL, FOUNDED THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA ON HIS FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY AND APPOINTED ELDERS OVER THEM.   THEY STARTED OUT WELL, BUT SOON BEGAN TO LISTEN TO OTHER VOICES AND WERE LED ASTRAY.  (TEXT GALATIANS 1:1-12)

II) PAUL REMINDS THEM OF HIS AUTHORITY

A)       THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE THE CHURCHES HAD BEEN LISTENING TO THE WRONG VOICES.  THEY HAD GONE OFF COURSE LISTENING TO THE WRONG VOICES.

B)       PAUL SPEAKING WITH THE SAME APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY BY WHICH THE CHURCHES WERE ESTABLISHED NOW SPEAKS WITH THE SAME AUTHORITY  ORDER TO BRING ABOUT GOD’S WILL IN THE SITUATION

1)    “SENT NOT FROM MEN NOR BY MAN BUT BY JESUS CHRIST AND GOD THE FATHER WHO RAISED UP CHRIST JESUS FROM THE DEAD.”  (1)

2)    “THE ONE WHO GAVE HIMSELF BECAUSE OF OUR SINS TO RESCUE THEM AND TO BRING ABOUT GOD’S WILL FORM THEM.”

3)    IT WAS  AND STILL IS GOD’S WILL TO RESCUE THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING .  HE TAKES NO PLEASURE IN THE DEATH OF SINNERS  NOR IN THEIR BEING ETERNALLY ALIENATED FROM THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN A PLACE OF ETERNAL TORMENT.  IT IS GOD’S WILL THAT ALL SHOULD BE SAVED.

C)      PAUL WAS ASTONISHED (SURPRISED AND PERPLEXED) THAT THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA WERE SO QUICKLY DESERTING THE LORD THAT CALLED THEM OUT OF DARKNESS BY HIS GRACE, TO FOLLOW A DIFFERENT GOSPEL, WHICH WAS NOT THE GOSPEL AT ALL.

1)    GOSPEL MEANS GOD’S GOOD NEWS TO MANKIND.   MARTIN LUTHER IN STARTING THE REFORMATION MOVEMENT REDISCOVERED THE GOOD NEWS WHICH IS “BY GRACE YOU ARE SAVED THROUGH FAITH, NOT OF WORKS LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST,  IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD.”

2)    THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA HAD THOSE WHO HAD SPRANG UP AMONG THEM (LIKE THE TEARS AMONG THE WHEAT IN JESUS PARABLE) WHO WITHOUT DIVINE AUTHORITY OR CALLING, BUT BY THEIR HUMAN REASONING DECIDED THAT THE CHURCHES SHOULD BEGIN TO:

(a)  REESTABLISH THE RITE OF CIRCUMCISM (5:2)

(b)  OBSERVE THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW (3:5)

(c)  OBSERVE JEWISH HOLY DAYS

3)    THEY WERE PERVERTING AND MIXING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST WITH THE JEWISH RELIGION AND CUSTOMS, IGNORING WHAT WAS ACCOMPLISHED ON THE CROSS WHEN THE CURTAIN OF THE TEMPLE THAT SEPARATED THE HOLY PLACE FROM THE HOLY OF HOLIES WAS TORN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM.

4)    THIS WAS THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST ASSERTING ITSELF FROM WITHIN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST.

5)    I HAVE LITTLE DOUBT THAT THESE PEOPLE WERE OF GOOD INTENTIONS.  THEY, NO DOUBT, WANTED TO BRING ABOUT A RECONCILIATION BETWEEN THE THOSE WHO FOLLOWED THE JEWISH RELIGION AND THOSE WHO FOLLOWED THIS NEW SECT CALLED CHRISTIANS.   ISAIAH TELLS US THAT “OUR WAYS ARE NOT GOD’S WAYS AND OUR THOUGHTS ARE NOT HIS THOUGHTS”.   THIS WAS IN CLEAR OPPOSITION TO WHAT GOD WAS DOING AND INTENDED.

6)    THIS POINTS OUT THE NEED FOR APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY WHICH IS DERIVED AND DELEGATED DIRECTLY FROM CHRIST, WHO RECEIVED HIS AUTHORITY FROM GOD.  (JOHN 14)   THERE ARE THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO TURN THE CHURCH INTO A DEMOCRACY.  THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS NOT A DEMOCRACY BUT A THEOCRACY.   EPHESIANS SAYS THAT CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” (Ephesians 4:11)

7)    THE PASTOR MUST FIRST FOLLOW CHRIST AND THEN HE IS QUALIFIED TO LEAD THE CHURCH WITH GOD’S WISDOM, DIRECTION, IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.   HE IS THE SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP BUT THE SHEEP CAN FOLLOW HIM OR GO THEIR OWN WAY.  ERROR AND COMPROMISE ARE BROUGHT INTO THE CHURCH WHEN THIS CHAIN OF AUTHORITY IS BROKEN.

III)           THERE ARE THOSE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST TODAY WHO ARE TEACHING AND FOLLOWING A DIFFERENT GOSPEL

A)       THERE ARE SAINTS IN THE CHURCH WHO HAVE LOST THEIR FIRST LOVE AND HAVE BECOME SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND JUDGMENTAL, JOYLESS CREATURES WHO ARE TRYING TO LIVE UNDER THE LAW AND FORCE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME.  THEY ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE SPLINTER IN EYES OF OTHERS, UNAWARE OF THE BEAM THAT IS IN THEIR OWN EYE.  THEY NEED TO REPENT AND REDISCOVER THE GRACE OF GOD FOR THEIR OWN LIVES AND FOR THE LIVES OF OTHERS.

B)       THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE FOLLOWING AN EMPTY GOSPEL THAT DENIES THE NECESSITY AND EFFICACY OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST AND ITS ATONING POWER, REDUCING THE POWER TO A SOCIAL GOSPEL BASED UPON MAN’S PHILOSOPHY, SOCIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY.

C)      THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE FOLLOWING A GOSPEL THAT DENIES GOD’S DESIRE AND POWER TO HEAL THE SICK AND CAST OUT DEMONS.

D)      THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE FOLLOWING A GOSPEL THAT DENIES THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE POWER TO BE HIS WITNESSES.  JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES NOT TO LEAVE JERUSALEM UNTIL THEY WERE ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH TO BE HIS WITNESSES.

E)        THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE FOLLOWING A “FEEL GOOD” GOSPEL THAT CLAIMS THE BENEFITS OF SONSHIP AND HAVING BEEN ADOPTED INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD:

1)    WITHOUT STRESSING THE NEED TO WALK IN OBEDIENCE TO HIS WORD, RECOGNIZING THEIR ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE WORDS OF CHRIST.

2)    NOT  STRIVING FOR THEIR “HIGH CALLING” TO FUNCTION IN THE BODY OF CHRIST.

3)    NOT DENYING THE WORKS OF THE FLESH AND CULTIVATING THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT (GALATIANS 5).

4)    HAVING LOST THE FEAR OF GOD AND HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD’S COMMAND:  BE YE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY.

F)       THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE FOLLOWING A GOSPEL THAT DENIES THE NEED TO ASSEMBLE OURSELVES TOGETHER OFTEN AS WE SEE THE DAY OF THE LORD APPROACHING.  MANY HAVE BECOME A LAW ONTO OURSELVES ATTENDING CHURCH ONLY WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT.   THEY HAVE CRIPPLED THE GROWTH OF THE CHURCH AND THE FUNCTIONING OF THE BODY OF CHRIST BY THEIR LACK OF COMMITMENT.

G)      THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE FOLLOWING A GOSPEL THAT DENIES GOD’S COMMAND TO BRING THE TITHE INTO THE STOREHOUSE THAT THERE MAY BE FOOD IN HIS HOUSE.    THEY THINK THAT THEY ARE MORE QUALIFIED TO DECIDE HOW TO SPEND GOD’S MONEY SO THEY GIVE TO CHARITIES AND TV MINISTRIES INSTEAD OF THE LOCAL CHURCH, CRIPPLING THE FINANCES OF THE LOCAL CHURCH AND ITS ABILITY TO MEET THEIR COMMITMENT TO MISSIONARIES THAT THEY PLEDGED TO SUPPORT AND FAMILIES THAT COME TO THEIR DOOR WITH DESPERATE NEEDS.   IN FAILING TO BRING THE TITHES AND OFFERINGS INTO THE STOREHOUSE, THE LOCAL CHURCH, WE ARE STYMIEING THE GROWTH AND OPERATION OF THE LOCAL CHURCH BY CRIPPLING ITS FINANCES AND AT THE SAME TIME INSURING THAT GOD CANNOT BLESS OUR FINANCES BECAUSE WE ARE NOT DOING THINGS HIS WAY.

IV)          CONCLUSION – PAUL WAS NOT WRITING THIS LETTER TO THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA BECAUSE OF HIS DESIRE TO MANIPULATE THEM OR TO CONTROL THEM OUT OF SOME INNER CRAVING FOR POWER.   HE WAS WRITING TO THEM AS AN APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST, WHO RISKED HIS LIFE TO BRING THEM THE GOOD NEWS, AS A LOVING FATHER IN THE FAITH WHO HAD BIRTHED CHILDREN INTO THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST.   HE WAS ZEALOUS FOR THEM, THAT THEY CONTINUE TO GROW AND MATURE IN THE FAITH.   HE HAD THE HEART OF A PASTOR WHO REALIZED THE EXTREME AND CONSTANT DANGERS THAT WERE LURKING OUT THERE.   HE REALIZED ALL TOO WELL THAT THEIR NEW FOUND “FREEDOM IN CHRIST” COULD BE LOST, THAT THEY COULD STILL LOSE THE RACE.  (GAL. 5:1, 7, 13) THIS IS THE SAME SPIRIT THAT I BRING THIS TO YOU THIS MORNING, NOT TO BEAT YOU DOWN AND DISCOURAGE YOU, BUT TO MAKE YOU AWARE OF THE DANGERS OF FOLLOWING ANOTHER GOSPEL AND TO REMIND YOU THAT WE HAVE AN ENEMY THAT GOES ABOUT AS A ROARING LIONS SEEKING A PREY.

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