The Dangers of Another Gospel

The Dangers of Another Gospel

The Dangers of Another Gospel is a sermon that highlights the importance of sharing the true Gospel with other people who are lost, it is the duty of every Christian.

Key verses:
Galatians 1:7-24

Today, we have many people who tell stories about the Bible, they tell different things about the Bible. A lot of the time, they tell things that are not good or not true. Many are trying to change the way the Bible was intended for people. We have people denying the Bible outright. That is the sad truth that there are people out there today who are making up fairytales or making people feel good. Or say to you live your best life now and if you do this and this and this, you will have and health, wealth, and comfort. We are just going to make people feel good and just tickle the ear. But that is not what the Gospel is all about.

The Gospel is to see people come to Christ and to trust Jesus. When we do wrong, we ought to feel convicted and change. That is what the Bible and the power is. We have people today who are just doing this, they try to make people feel good. It is a good thing to feel good, but it is a better thing to do wrong and set it right.

Some people only use the Bible when they feel like it. What they will do is open the Bible and just go wherever they want to go and then close their Bible and talk about their thoughts. Is that Bible? No, they are talking about their thoughts. They are not using the scriptures and communicating with what God’s Word is supposed to tell us. Others make it a fairytale with good stories. There are some good people out there that do like to use stories to illustrate truths. Sometimes that can be a little too much.

Tonight, we will see the dangers of this trend and how the Bible can change a life in a very dramatic way. So, let’s look at Galatians chapter one verse six:

Galatians 1:6: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:”

Galatians 1:7: “Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”

I submit to you this evening that we ought to share the Gospel of Christ. What is that? That Jesus died, was buried, He rose again the third day according to the scriptures, not just some make you feel good fairytale, etc. The Bible is to lead people to Jesus and to correct us when we are wrong. That is what it says in Timothy:

II Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

This is what the Bible is there for. That is what the Bible should be. But there are people who are trying to sugarcoat it and lead people astray. We are going to look at that and why the Bible the way it is can still work today.

The Danger of Twisting the Gospel

First, we are going to look at the danger of twisting the Gospel and that is found in verses six through nine. Paul writes this letter to the churches in Galatia, not one church but multiple churches. The letter gets straight to the point. Normally, when Paul wrote a letter to a church or to an individual there was a nice long introduction, but here, there is no nice long introduction, he gets really pointed and gets to the source of the matter and it comes pretty quickly in the sixth verse here.

He addresses topics that hinder churches in America and worldwide unknowingly. There are people walking into church today who are going to sit down and listen to whoever is speaking and instead of being a Berean and trying to search the scriptures and know if these things are true, they are accepting every single word that the guy or girl up there is teaching them or “preaching” to them. But in Galatians, it tells us to be aware of that.

Galatians 1:6: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:”

The verse starts out with “I marvel.” Paul is shocked, he marvels at this. The churches in Galatia would have the first Paul had visited in his missionary journey in Acts chapters thirteen and fourteen such as Iconium, Derbe, Lystra, and there were mixed results there. In one of the places, he was kicked out, they stirred up a whole bunch of people against him and followed him to another place. In Iconium, he had persecution, they followed him up to Derbe, and they stoned him thinking he was dead. He goes to Lystra and heals a man and there was still contention.

In this region that we are looking at, that Paul is writing the letter to the churches, there was already opposition there. That opposition had taken hold of the churches that were planted there. Now, he is trying to help these churches to go back to the truth. He was shocked because it was so soon. Probably a few years, I am not sure how long by the time he left there and wrote the book of Galatians. He was shocked at how soon they were taken away from the faith. How so? They were twisting the Gospel of Christ. Most likely, there were the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees, the Herodians, all those types. These were the people who were so opposed to Paul trying to kill him and now they tried to hinder the work that is there.

There are people who want to hinder the cause of Christ, but they do it unwittingly to the people there. They walk in like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, like John chapter ten describes, like a hireling, and they just secreting come in and try to twist it very subtly, almost like being the devil himself incarnate. Slowly but surely trying to twist it around and try to give what they feel instead of what the Bible feels.

So, Paul was shocked that it was so quick because Paul had spent quite a bit of time in Iconium, he was there to establish things. He was working and seeing a lot of good things coming, and so soon, they turned away. They go to another gospel.

Someone has steered them to a legalistic mindset. You can look more at that in Galatians chapter three. What is legalism? It is trying to use the law to get yourself into Heaven. If you do enough good things you will get yourself into Heaven.

“Removed” here in verse six talks about the transport, the transfer, the exchange, to change, or to change sides. That is unique and ties in so close to another gospel where they were for the Gospel of Christ and then transfer their allegiances pretty quickly. Almost like if you were a sports fan where you have a player that gets traded to someone else, or if you are a soccer fan, that gets loaned out or whatever the case might be. It is a pretty quick thing when someone gets traded, it is pretty instant. Or, it is like trading a stock, once you buy that stock it gets traded right then and there, or the next day if you pay for it at the end of the day because it has to wait until the next day for the market to open up.

And it was that quick that that church had turned away. If it is that easy for that kind of church to turn away, is it easy for a church like this to turn away? Yes. I will tell you this, that the assistant pastor and I and Pastor McClure, I know that we are not going to teach anything that is not in the Word of God. We are going to stay true to the Word of God because that is what changed our lives. We do not plan to ever change away from that.

But it starts subtly. It starts with just little things here and there. It starts with, and this is a very debatable topic, having preached on it a few years ago, but slowly creeping in different ideas, philosophies, and different kinds of music. Introducing different things and making people feel more at home and comfortable instead of being a welcoming family and let God work. I think people often want to do the work of God instead of letting God do the work himself.

So, someone suggested that Paul’s gospel was only one part of the gospel. In verse seven, he continues that thought:

Galatians 1:7: “Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”

Paul says, “Which is not another’’ – his gospel is not another. Paul knew that people would try to cause trouble before he left. We mention back with those Jews, they were people who just did not like Paul. They did not like what he was doing. Because of that, they were going to try to ruin what was going on. And so, they did, they perverted. The perversion here has the idea to transmute or corrupt. That is what they did. They turned people into a legalistic mind that is addressed in chapter three, because in chapters one and two which we will look at on Wednesday, Paul was trying to reemphasize the point that the true Gospel works. It does not have to be sugarcoated. It does not have to be concealed, it can be revealed, and it can work. Some people say it is old-fashioned. It is old-time. Let’s get with the times, let’s move on with these great huge praise bands and strobe lights, and let’s have you be in the dark, and light all the people up here.

I went to a church one time, and this was a few years ago. This was because I was at home with one of the people in the family. When I went to church there were a few things I noticed. Number one, I was one of only two people who wore a suit and tie. Number two, I was the only person who brought a Bible to the church. Number three, and this is even better, it was so dark in there I could not even see my Bible. I am like up here [holding the Bible very close to the face] trying to read something and the pastor who was there was not even there. He was in Atlanta, Georgia, and he was preaching there and in Connecticut. He had verses that were on the screen, but he has at least three different Bible versions of it. He had one version to the left, then he had his version. I thought no wonder people as so confused today.

If you were here a few months ago when I went through the II Timothy series about scripture and the different versions debate, that was a huge topic back in the 1990s. Brother Glaude and I went to Pensacola Christian College and we got to listen to all those videos on how people were so strong either for the KJV or Strong’s and against other versions, and we do not have the time to get into all of that. There is so much confusion out there today that no one really knows what is true anymore.

I was talking to someone yesterday and I alluded to this morning, that there is much confusion on which Bible is right, which way is right, it seems all ways are right. Which one is right? According to the Bible, the Gospel is Jesus dying, being buried, and rising again. The evangelicum in Luke chapter two, that Christ came into the world to save sinners. But there are versions out there today that take phrases like that out. We are not going to get into that tonight. We can look at that and maybe get into more detail another time.

But there are different Bible versions today that do not even accept Jesus as God, as a deity. That is pretty troubling I would think, wouldn’t you agree? If Jesus is not God, then we are wasting our time. We are wasting Sunday morning, Sunday night. I wasted two or three hours of studying and meditating on preparing to preach which usually end in short-winded messages because I am not a long-winded speaker and we are just wasting our time here, seriously. There are people who try to corrupt the Gospel.

A Danger of Not Sharing the True Gospel

Galatians 1:8: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

I just saw this now as I was reading this verse. Notice how Paul says, “though we,” meaning Paul and other preachers, “or an angel from heaven.” That is interesting, an angel is a messenger. Who gave the Word of God? God, it was God-breathed. But who does God use to send messages to men? He sent angels to a few of the men in the scriptures. So Paul says, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you,” – could there be other angels that preach to you? Yes, there are angels of the devil. What does it say at the end of verse eight, “let him be accursed.” – meaning, let them be banned, let them be excommunicated. And if they did not understand it the first time, he says it again in verse nine:

Galatians 1:9: “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

There is a danger in not sharing the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, in America and worldwide today, there are people who do that and they do that knowingly because they want to get gain and want to get rich. Did you know there are people that go to churches to get rich off of those people and they have not been caught yet? That is a shame. People say, “Hey, being in the church ministry is really great because I get a really good paycheck.” Is that what you are in the ministry for? No.

I am in the ministry because it is time to serve people and that is where God called me. If I expect to get rich off of this ministry, then I am in the wrong place. I can go get six-figure salaries elsewhere. That is not church ministry. Church ministry is people and seeing people come to trust Christ as their Savior, and seeing them grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, II Peter chapter three.

There are people, both men and women, and that is unscriptural, but they are there. They try to do that to get personal gain and that is not what the Bible is telling us what to do. So, there is a danger of twisting the Gospel. There is a danger of going against the Word of God.

Paul is very passionate about the Gospel. But why would that be the case? Why would Paul be so up in arms about people, trying to make sure that they are staying to the true Gospel of Christ? He was trying to share his testimony, verse ten:

The Blessing of the True Gospel

First, we looked at the dangers of twisting the Gospel, now and finally we will look at the blessing of the true Gospel.

Galatians 1:10: “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men?” – that is a good question. Are you in ministry, such as pastor, assistant pastor, missionary, evangelist, deacon, to please God? Or are you in the ministry to please people? For those who are serving in the church, are you doing it to please God? Or do you do it so that other people can take notice of you? There are people who will do that. You might say that Christian people would not do that. You would be shocked.

“Look at what I have done. I do this every single week and look at how good I do this.” Are you doing this to make people proud or are you doing this because this is what God wants you to do? God has used different ministries in the church. There is cleaning. Without cleaning, no one wants to come in it. There is fixing things. If we do not fix things they will be broken and look bad, there are children’s ministries, and there are other things going on.

Are we are doing these so people will look at us to see what we do, our skills? Then we are in it for the wrong reason. That is what Paul is saying here at the end of verse ten, “for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” If I am here just trying to look good in front of people, I am in the wrong spot. Verse eleven:

Galatians 1:11: “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.”

Are there manmade gospels? Yes. Read some of these other translations, read some of these other religions that are out there. There are manmade gospels and they do not lead to Heaven.

Galatians 1:12: “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Who taught Paul the Gospel? Jesus himself. Paul alludes to that in verse thirteen. People say that Paul was not an apostle and that he was not there when Jesus was crucified and resurrected. He was not personally trained by Jesus Christ. Paul is about to answer that question right here. He has seen Jesus in His glorified state, and he was personally trained by Jesus Christ for three years, the two main qualifications to be an apostle.

Someone who claims to be an apostle today is not an apostle. An apostle is one who is sent forth. There are no true apostles today. “I hear churches have apostle so-and-so.” It is manufactured, it is not true. Otherwise, this person would be one-thousand-nine-hundred years old, and I have not seen anyone live that long. The longest living was Methuselah, and he was only nine-hundred-and-sixty-nine years old. So, unless they are looking really, really good for their age, there is no true apostle on this world today. Verse thirteen states the evidence of the true Gospel in Paul’s life.

Galatians 1:13: “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:”

Paul writes, “For ye have heard of my conversation” meaning his lifestyle, “in time past in the Jews’ religion,” – Judaism, the legalistic system, “how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God and wasted it.” If you want evidence read Acts chapter eight verses one through four where it says that Saul made havoc on the church. You may say, that is not Paul, then go to Acts chapter thirteen which says that Saul was also called Paul. He was the same guy, what is the difference? One was his Jewish name, and one was his Roman name, that is the only difference, a nickname you could say. My name is Christopher and I go by Chris. It is easier to say than having a two or three-syllable word, Christopher. Chris is just a simple one-syllable word.

So, Paul says, that before he was with Christ, he was against Christ. Paul writes “I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it” – and he did, he hauled people to jail, Acts chapter eight verses one to four.

Galatians 1:14: “And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”

Paul was a high-ranking Pharisee. He would have probably taken over the high priest after Caiphas had left, that is how high he got. He was what we call a rising star, a phenom in sports terminology. How so? Paul writes, “being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.” – that is what he was taught until he had the Damascus Road experience.

Galatians 1:15: “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,”

Galatians 1:6: “To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:”

What is Paul saying here? God changes all. It was instant, it was immediate. We mentioned this morning a group of people who before they got saved, lived the wow, but when they asked Jesus Christ to be their Savior, their life changed around, that is what is going on here. The true Gospel can change people’s lives forever.

Again, what is the true Gospel? Believing in Jesus Christ to be your Savior. Trust in Him to forgive you of your sins, to save your soul, and give you eternal life. That is the true Gospel. That is what we read in Acts, I Corinthians chapter one verse fifteen, which is pretty much throughout the New Testament.

And drawn into the Old Testament, someone told me one time that they do not believe in the Old Testament, that it is ancient history. You need the Old Testament to help complete the New Testament, because the New Testament goes at least, just in Hebrews alone, one-hundred-and-two references back to the Old Testament. There are over two hundred references back to the Old Testament. And yet, some people say we do not need the Old Testament, it is old and archaic. We just need the New Testament. That is wrong, you are taking away from the Bible. So, verse seventeen, after Paul gets saved:

Galatians 1:17: “Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”

Paul writes, “Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me;” — there are a few reasons for that. Number one, people had known Paul as the persecutor, so for him to come back, they may have thought that they were being targeted, that he would come after them again. But here is the reason why he did not go back, “but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” – Damascus, Syria is where he was going to go to persecute Christians, but then, when you read in Acts chapter nine, later on, he went back and preached Jesus unto them. What happened in Arabia:

Galatians 1:18: “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.”

“Then after three years,” – Paul had his personal training from Jesus Christ at that point. He was taught by Jesus Christ about the Bible. It would be great to be taught by Jesus Christ about the Bible. But the Bible is already here for us so we can know who He is. To be personally trained would be the best teacher you could ever have. Then Paul goes to Peter, which is significant, and Peter accepts him.

Galatians 1:19: “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.”

Pretty accurate, pretty good, I mean, someone who is related to Jesus.

Galatians 1:20: “Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.”

What is Paul saying here? This is not false, this is his personal testimony here, this is true. You know, you cannot argue with someone’s personal testimony. If they make up something like, “When I was five, I jumped over the top of my house.” That is a little ambiguous, wouldn’t you think? But mostly, you cannot debate somebody on a personal experience because you were not there unless you were there.

I could say that I am the world’s best ice skater in my mind accept I cannot stop. Me and the wall, we have conversations because the wall helps me to stop. I do not know how to stop; I am not from Massachusetts like some of you are. They have all that snow in the wintertime and have all that time to practice or from New Jersey. I did not live up there, I lived down here in Florida. I did not learn to ice skate until I was sixteen. There are still things I do not know how to do. But the point is, I could convince you of that, but I know in my heart that I am lying. I cannot ice skate, I cannot even ice skate backward, I cannot stop, you kind of need to know how to do that in ice skating. It is a little essential.

But there are things you cannot dispute someone’s personal testimony and how they came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. I guarantee you that every single person in this room had a different experience in how they came to trust Christ. I highly doubt that you had the same experience as somebody else.

Let me give you an example. How many of you, if you feel embarrassed, you do not have to do this, but how many of you have trusted Jesus as your Savior before the age of twelve? How many of you asked Jesus to be your Savior between the ages of thirteen and nineteen? How many of you are from age twenty and up? So, all of us have varying experiences and times that we asked Jesus Christ to be our Savior. We do not have the same experience.

And you know, and I have mentioned mine, but I sat there [pointing to a pew] and that is what opened it up and at my house in Delray is where it finished out, but it was four days later, back when I was six years old. All of us had different experiences on how we came to Christ. I am not going to lie to you on that aspect and fact and I am telling you the truth on how I know I came to Jesus Christ to be my Savior. The important thing is I came to trust when I came to trust Jesus Christ as my Savior because if I have not, I should not even be behind this pulpit right now.

There are people in churches today who are not even saved. Do you know the reason why they are interested in perverted gospels out there? Let’s finish up.

Galatians 1:21: “Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia;”

Galatians 1:22: “And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ:”

Galatians 1:23: “But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.”

Here is evidence that Paul had a changed life. They knew him as the persecutor, now he is going back and saving people for Jesus Christ under the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 1:24: “And they glorified God in me.”

The Gospel changes lives, that is what Paul is trying to communicate.

In conclusion, the true Gospel changes lives. It does not need to be watered down, sugar-coated. We need to share the Gospel with those who have no hope. We need to share the true Gospel. “Wave the answer back to Heaven, by thy grace, we will.” “Standing on the promises of Christ my king,” – the Word of God.” The Bible stands like a rock undaunted ‘mid the raging storms of time.” – the songs we sing tonight. The invitation we will be looking at in just a second here, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.” – the true Gospel. How do you get it? You turn your eyes, you trust him, you believe him.

Two questions, number one, have you ever asked Jesus to be your Savior? Maybe there is someone here who has not. Maybe today is the time to do that. Number two, is the thrust we were going to tonight, are we sharing the true Gospel with other people who are lost? It is the duty of the Christian, not just the pastor, assistant pastor, or deacon, children’s pastor, leaders in the church, no, that is a Christian job. Everybody has that job to share.

I challenge you and myself, try to talk about Jesus Christ to somebody this week. Try and share with them the Gospel. You never know what life could be changed by you taking that first step. You can do it six feet apart, or three feet apart, whatever standard we are working on now. Are we sharing the Gospel with other people?

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Christopher K. Lewis is the Assistant to the Pastor of West Park Baptist Church. Rev. Lewis helps the senior pastor with various church duties and guiding others to a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

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