There is a reason why the bible says to walk out your salvation with fear and trembling. These verses should frighten the most devoted believer. These people standing before Jesus on judgment day are clearly churched people. They have seen miracles. They have thought to have cast demons out of people. Yet Jesus NEVER knew them. How is that possible? How can someone think they are serving the Lord for decades only to discover when it is too late that He never knew them? Let's ask God!
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. - Galatians 1:6-9 (ESV)
It has been a few years since I stood behind a pulpit, but I feel a preach coming on. When prosperity preachers try and tell you that God wants to bless your socks off for the right price - that is a different gospel! When your favorite word faith preachers tell you that you have the power to create reality with your spoken words - that is a different gospel! When they try to dazzle the eyes with gold dust, gemstones, angel feathers and glory clouds - those are different gospels! When they insist that God must heal you - that is a different gospel! When they make themselves or you the hero of every bible study - that is a different gospel! When they mix their carnal politics with salvation and church matters - that is a different gospel! When they ask you to idolize a country, a flag, a politician or political party - those are all idols and represent a different gospel! When they tell you that grace means the law has no place in the lives of believers - that is a different gospel! When they sell Kumbaya unity at the expense of doctrine - that is a false gospel that God has specifically spoken to:
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. - Romans 16:17-18 (ESV)
It is always humorous when detractors of discernment ministries claim we are causing division in the body when the bible says the exact opposite! It is those that teach contrary doctrine that are the ones causing division because they divide the true gospel from their false. Now, maybe some may still not get why this is so crucial, so let us go back to scripture:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. - Romans 1:16 (ESV)
Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. - Acts 20:26-27 (ESV)
Do we truly understand what the first verse is saying? Only the true gospel has the power of God to save anyone! No one can get saved in a church that is not presenting the gospel! That is why the way is narrow and few find it! Look at what Paul declares to the Ephesian elders when leaving them. He declares himself innocent of their blood because he did not hesitate to proclaim to them the entire counsel of God, you know, the gospel! Joel Osteen is on record saying he does not preach on sin because he does not think people need to be reminded of what they have done wrong. Sorry! That is indeed a false gospel! Such people who teach on everything but the blood of Christ do not serve our Lord but are smooth talkers, deceiving the hearts of the naÃ¯ve. You know, like sheep without a shepherd! Just take a look at what Paul teaches Timothy as he launches into his pastorship at Ephesus: