Monday, May 14, 2012

Renegade Deserters

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "Renegade" - 1 : a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another.

People are branded as renegades all the time. Their accusers generally use less inflammatory labels.

Concerning the gospel, Paul said there is only one, but people who desert it act as if there are others.

In other words, when people desert the one true gospel of Jesus Christ, which is steadfastly rooted in the Cross and what Jesus accomplished at Calvary, they are essentially deserting Jesus Himself.

Galatians 1:6 - "I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting Him Who invited and called you by the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ (the Messiah) [and that you are transferring your allegiance] to a different [even an opposition] gospel."

A "different", and even worse, an "opposing" gospel.

What constitutes an opposing gospel?

Certainly joining a cult like the Jehovah's Witnesses would qualify. They most definitely teach an opposing doctrine because they misrepresent the Person of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes within the confines of the Church there are different gospels taught. Roman Catholics and some Protestant sects are considered "Christian" yet they teach regeneration by works and sacraments such as baptism. That is a different gospel than what the Bible teaches.

An example of an opposing gospel that is subtle, yet no less dangerous, is the message of the get rich quick schemers that have taken over much of Christian television broadcasting. They are mixing the biblical truth of God's prosperity and blessing, and making false formulas on how to achieve it. One can plainly see that since the only ones who are "getting rich quickly" are those who are picking the pockets of good but ignorant believers.

Friends, keep one thing in mind. You NEVER have to pay for grace. Any blessing or prosperity you will ever enjoy flows directly to the believer from the Cross of Jesus Christ. All you ever have to do is steadfastly believe in Christ.

Paul says:

"...but we preach Christ crucified..." 1 Corinthians 1:23

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" Galatians 6:14

"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" 1 Corinthians 2:2.

Seeking riches or to be rich is the way of the flesh, NOT the way of the gospel. Seeking anything other than to become more conformed to Jesus Christ and His will and way would be to follow a different gospel.

Cherrypicking particular verses from the Word and formulating new doctrines is the earmark of a false teacher and should be condemned, not commended.

Do not become like Ephesus and make Jesus your jilted lover! Even denouncing the false apostles was not enough! They had to return to Jesus!

Examine yourself today. What has captivated you and led you away from the truth?

Paul says in Chapter 5, "Who (what) has hindered you? You were doing so well."

Is it the need to gather material things? Is it dependency on alcohol or drugs? Is it a forbidden relationship? The listed "works of the flesh"? (sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies)

Some obviously evil, but some may creep in innocently. ALL are designed to rip you away from Jesus.

The good news in all of this is it can be turned around before it becomes too late. Don't forget, one of the biggest lies ever perpetrated upon the gospel is the false notion that it can never become too late.

Return to the gospel that saved your soul. Denounce anything that has gotten between you and Jesus and...


That my friends is...

...Keepin it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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