The Gospel does not need any help. It does not need to be enhanced. It does not need a secular introduction to it. People do not need to be tricked into salvation. It is not up for debate; it is not amendable. Sacrificing doctrine for the sake of marketability is simply assuring that more people will be going to hell who think they are not. I know this is a difficult subject for many because it has become in vogue in these days to "church worship" more than "God-worship." People do not want to take a serious look at what they are being taught, how they are being taught, or how their church is living up to the standards Christ set for it. Read the first few chapters of Revelation and see the words of Christ Himself to seven of the churches that were established back then. Churches can go wrong just as easily as a person can in their walk. Is there a lot right in the church? Absolutely but that does not mean you turn a blind eye to all that is not right. There are souls at stake and eternities hanging in the balance. Looking at the key verses today we see two main points to discuss. Working backwards in the key verses we see the first point is that we have to understand the nature of this battle is not carnal -- it is spiritual!
But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve. -- 2Corinthians 11: 14-15 (NLT)
Listen beloved. The devil is real. He is not some cartoon cut-out in a red suit with a pitchfork. He is not some cute animation sitting on your shoulder playfully trying to persuade you into doing bad things. The Bible tells us that he runs to and fro seeking whom he may devour. The Bible says that his entire mission for your life is to steal, kill and destroy you. The Bible says that his native language is lies -- it is all he knows how to speak. I know that the modern church shies away from talking about the enemy. I have even heard the absurd argument that speaking about him lends credibility or power somehow unto him. That is a lie from the pit of hell designed to get you to drop the shield of faith to your side while the enemy fires his fiery darts into your life. Period - end of story. Paul teaches us:
so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes. -- 2Corinthians 2: 11 (NLT)
But as long as we are willfully ignorant of the schemes of the enemy, we will more easily fall prey to his tactics and he will outwit us. One such scheme is to poison the body from the inside out. To convince enough people to accept enough leaven that the true Gospel is no longer at the forefront of the church. That success is measured in terms of attendance numbers instead of lives changed and hearts regenerated. That victory is somehow found at the altar instead of at the cross. That the church and service unto it, supersedes Christ and our service unto God.
And note verse 14 -- not only has Satan disguised himself as an angel of light but his servants do as well. What greater angel of light do we have today other than preachers? I know this is difficult but remember what Paul warned the Ephesian elders about! False teachers like ravenous wolves will not spare the flock! And what is the rallying cry of the false teacher? Unity! We all must be unified. God hates spreading discord amongst the brethren! There are so many New Testament verses also dealing with the subject of how important it is to God that the body be unified. But unity for the sake of unity is insanity. The unifying principle must be nothing more or less than Jesus Christ and Him crucified:
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. -- 1Corinthians 2: 1-5 (NIV)
Unfortunately today we have far too much faith resting upon the wisdom of men and not God. We have fallen for the wise and persuasive words uttered with eloquence or what we perceive to be superior wisdom. We deify pastors while stripping the deity from Christ. These new age ideas, slick Jesus-marketing schemes, and the motivational-self-help would be modern saviors are nothing more than the false prophets and teachers Paul was warning us about. But when we look at the first half of these key verses, we find even more of the truth of God: