Will the Gospel Change Things? :: by Don McGee

Tragic and hate-inspired events are happening with growing regularity in civilized countries  like our own. The question some Christians are asking is this: “Can the gospel still make a difference? But, the most prophetically precise question is this: “Will the gospel still make a difference?”

The distinction between the two is not about the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but rather it is in understanding the spiritual monster that is being passed off as the gospel in these last days, and how it gives voice and inspiration to these hateful events.

Understood in light of prophecy, a “yes” answer to the first question can leave people somewhat hopeless because they clearly see this is not happening. A “not much” answer to the second question shows Satan’s end time tool of a mongrel version of the gospel is having great effect.

Some of the statements in this article may sting a little bit, so it is necessary to preface them with a few thoughts.

One: It is a fact that every preacher and teacher will be misunderstood at times, but that is a hazard that comes with the calling.

Two: The gospel must always be presented with kindness and love if its message is to be heard.

Three: It must also never be soft-sold or watered down to fit any culture. Four: The powerless social gospel message bears much of the blame for fostering the current and growing social unrest.

People do not agree on what these things mean because they do not all use the same standard by which end-time culture and its influences are measured. When it comes to end time events Christians can be broken down into two basic groups.

The smaller group consists of those who are not just knowledgeable of the Bible, but who are particularly aware of the nearly 33 percent of the Bible that was prophetic when it was written.

The much larger group consists of those who don’t know and make little effort to know. I believe that our readership is quite capable of interpreting current events through the lens of scripture, and will understand that the thesis of this newsletter is biblical.

To begin, there is a popular but false religious belief that the Church will win the world to Jesus thus creating a global social/religious utopia which will be presented to Jesus as some kind of gift. There are several problems with this false teaching, not the least of which is that it soon becomes apparent to any objective observer that the church is not winning the world to Jesus. So if a person’s faith about the future is based upon a church-inspired utopia, we ask what happens to that person’s faith when they realize that the church is not doing this?

Satan has provided religious people with a response to this perceived failure by giving them a false gospel that they believe will solve the ills of society.

David, in Psalm 2, clearly explains how Jesus is going to rule this world. First, God the Father, not the Church, is going to give the nations of the world to Him. In Isaiah 9:6-7 we see that it is the government that will rest upon His shoulders, not the Church.

Jesus will rule this world (Romans 8:16,17; Revelation 3:21, etc.), but He will do so with a rod of iron (Psalm 2, Revelation 2:26ff). I know this does not fit with the social gospel’s view of the tolerate Jesus, but that does not matter. The fact is that during the Millennium He will take the reigns of this world and will force it into subjection, and we can be assured it won’t be through the meaningless social gospel.

Now, look at one example of how many self-professing Christian leaders are taking the wrong path in the face of social unrest. In response to the continued assassinations of police officers, pulpits and social media are filled with comments by Christians who say they just want justice, good will, etc.

Then they recommend doing things that range from: Apologizing for one’s race, to sympathy for murderers, to encouraging people to leave extravagant tips in restaurants, to driving through crime-infested neighborhoods and waving to people in order to be friendly.

This not only has nothing to do with the gospel, but it is absurd. Just when the truth is most needed they feed people this pabulum from hell’s kitchen.

The lives of people will be changed by only one thing, and that is the truth. They won’t be changed by feel-good appeasement, or by Christians making nonsensical comments and doing ludicrous and dangerous things. All this looks good, smells good and sounds good on its surface, but it is empty except for its inherent, self-centered vanity.

But, there is something else here; something that is practically ignored by many and that is the fact that the gospel is not going to be received by most people (Matthew 7:13,14). In short, most of the people on this planet will be lost. A small gate and a narrow path is not what most people want.

Most like the idea of salvation that the gospel offers, but they flat-out reject the narrow confines of discipleship the gospel demands. A wide gate and a broad way is easy and allows for a lot of individual expression in religious life, but the problem with that wide and easy way is that the end is destruction.

The gospel of Jesus Christ can indeed do much regarding the social ills of the world, but its central truth will not be widely accepted because the world does not want it. Know this: most people do not want God in their lives. Instead of “Repent!” the plaintive cry is, “Everybody just needs to come together and get along…”

Discipleship and revival begin with repentance. It is that simple. But the message from pulpits today is all about somebody’s idea of justice, equality, sharing of wealth, etc. That message will not get a person out of their bed much less to heaven.

This truth does not sit well with the social gospel crowd. They don’t want to hear about wrong choices and the resulting destruction they bring. The modern “It’s all about feelings” church has substituted the gospel with a social counterfeit that is spiritually impotent. There is no power in this modern message because there is no truth in it that the Holy Spirit can use for conviction.

What is being presented as the gospel sounds more like a university humanities class. But, when civil tragedies happen like the racially inspired murders of white police officers the social-gospel is the first thing that many Christians pull-out and present from pulpits and social media to whoever will listen.

Sadly, many young people are being sucked into this narrowing vortex of emotion-fueled false conclusions. And what makes it so tragic is that when these young people finally realize the impotence of these fallacious social arguments they tend to just “give up on religion and the church” instead of seeking the truth about this degraded world from Scripture.

If there are any changes in behavior through the social gospel the changes are generally insincere, superficial and short-lived. New Orleans is a good example of this, in that this crime-ridden city has had many religiously-led recommitments to peace, tolerance and non-violence all of which, however, were absent the demand for repentance.

Of course these choreographed productions have not worked. And the reason for failure is the truth was not presented, thus the power in the message was personified in a charismatic snake-oil salesman type of leader instead of the Holy Spirit. These “hold to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…avoid such men as these” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

We are not to become cynical, but we are also not to become fools. Modern reprobate social/religious leaders misconstrue the gospel because they not only have no idea what they are talking about, but they hate the truth. They are all about “God is love” but they vehemently dismiss any move toward repentance, discipline and responsibility.

It has been said that it is spiritually nauseating to witness Christians cowering down in what is, in reality, prideful self abasement before this hideous forgery of the gospel. Their overwhelming desire seems to be to appear humble, noble and Christ-like in the eyes of whoever is angry about whatever, but in reality they have misrepresented Jesus’ message.

The purpose of the gospel is not to appease people, but it is to turn people to Jesus after the Holy Spirit convicts them by pointing His finger in their faces and saying, “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7)

It is true that what sets Christianity apart from the pagan religions is God’s grace and mercy, and for all eternity we will praise God for His love that produced His grace and mercy. But, the atoning blood of Jesus is not to be handled with carelessness. It’s about repentance, forgiveness and discipleship—not worldly sorrow, license and carnality. When Jesus forgave the woman taken in adultery He said, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

It is that last part that the vendors of the social gospel leave out of their sermons, speeches and media posts. And it is because Jesus said those words that most people refuse to accept the whole truth of the gospel.

Such is the case presently in our country. The question is not whether Christians should do what they can to help people. The question, rather, has to do with how it is to be done with honesty and without compromise and appeasement. Honesty will cause Christians to ask themselves some probing questions regarding the social chaos we are seeing.

For example, who is in most danger of assault, robbery, etc.; a white person stopped at a convenience store in a black neighborhood, or a black person stopped at a convenience store in a white neighborhood? Who kills more black people; white cops or black criminals?

But, you see, many Christians have been so thoroughly intimidated by the secular church and its social gospel that they will not dare even ask such questions though their beloved social gospel is supposed to be so powerful and unbiased.

Most community leaders refuse to think about, much less ask such questions. Interestingly, in the wake of their silence some Christians feel awkward and think they must say or do something “to show Jesus to victims of injustice.” In the process they ramp-up the social gospel guilt theme which takes away from the only message that can save their souls.

Sadly, the social gospel greatly influences young, gullible people. In a graduate class at a Christian university I heard a young minister who, by the way, drank the Kool-Aid long before he entered that classroom, say, “What I do is to tell my wife that when she and the kids drive through a high-crime neighborhood she is not to lock the doors on the van so we don’t offend the people.”

Folks, this is insanity! And to think, these are the men leading many modern churches!!

The first chapter of Romans has been referenced many times in these pages, and for good reason because it is a vivid 1st Century description of society in the end times. In the 18th verse Paul gives a grave warning to those who “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” And one way modern preachers and social gospel commentators do this is to reject integrity of insight. That           is, they know the truth about these things, but do not have sufficient personal integrity to admit it.

Take this example from the world of church-dom. Some years ago an editor published an article listing a number of things he said premillennialists must believe simply because they are premillennialists. He was wrong on each alleged pre-mill belief he listed, so I wrote him a letter in which I said I was pre-mill, that I did not believe any of those things he listed and concluded by saying I knew of no pre-mill who did.

He never responded to my letter, but he did respond to a friend who had also written him with the same argument. He wrote to my friend, “You are wrong! A man who takes the pre-mill view of prophecy must believe these things!

His core problem was that he refused to acknowledge the definition of pre-millennialism, whether he accepted pre-millennialism or not. He found more satisfaction in believing the false definition of pre-millennialism than he could ever find in admitting the truth. Besides that, he kept his job as editor of the publication and he remained in the good graces of his peers.

After all, there is nothing like the ego-boosting recompense one receives for standing by a popular accusation even when they know it is not true. Such is the case with the social gospel perversion and its lack of integrity of insight. This also seems to be a characteristic of many politicians.

Further, the base nature of humanity feeds on the social gospel’s dregs and the result is often sickening. This can be seen in the way professing Christians will quite often “like” or comment positively on certain social media posts where the message is filled with sewer-filth language.

The disturbing thing about this is that their consciences have been so deadened by the prevalence of that kind of thinking and language that they simply shrug their shoulders when it is brought to their attention saying, “Oh well, no big deal. That is our society, and anyway God understands.”

Yes, Christians should help real victims, but for someone to disagree with a political sign does not make them an offended victim of social injustice. Especially so, when the one allegedly offended viciously assaults the sign bearer. This is just one result of turning the gospel of Jesus Christ into a sociology dissertation that Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren would be proud of.

Bastardizing Scripture and tagging it as “the gospel” leads one to ignore and thus tolerate hatred, murder and self-indulgence in the name of justice. In these last days Satan has successfully duped people into believing the main purpose of the church is to make people happy with life when the real purpose is to make people disciples of Jesus Christ. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…” (Isaiah 5:20).