Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Authentic Gospel II

Written by  William Danyere

Mark 10:17-27

The strategy of the devil from the beginning has been to peddle half-truths and establish these as the whole truth.  Whenever half a truth is handled that way it becomes a lie, Genesis 3:5.  That the eyes of our first parents would be opened was half a truth.  That they will know what is good and evil was another half truth.  And the devil presented these half truths as whole truths.  The devil was trying to establish that God was lying when He said that they will die the moment they ate the forbidden fruit and secondly, he was trying to establish his lie that the real reason why God did not want them to eat the forbidden fruit was because they would become exactly like God.

 

God channel preachers and many charismatic preachers do not give careful attention to the details of the Gospel of God’s Word.  As a result they have added a lot of unbiblical paraphernalia to the true Gospel.  The average Christian’s view of the Gospel is a grossly distorted view in as much as he has listened to these preachers and subscribed to them.  If we are to be accurate we would not call these people Christians all but they are people who profess to have faith when they are still dead spiritually.  They carry their Bibles and go to church every Sunday but they are no different from those who have never stepped their foot in Church.  They live like the world.  They have made decisions for Christ but their lives show that this choice does not change anything in their lives.  It does not affect them in any way except the outward motions of religiosity.  There is no evidence of grace in their lives whatsoever.  There is no trace of a transformed life in them at all.  The Truth that is necessary for life is hidden in a smokescreen of human invention and ingenuity.

A large number of people have been deceived into thinking that they have everlasting life when they have not.  They have been persuaded into this conclusion on the basis of mere human logic.  Multitudes who are being told that their sins are forgiven will be surprised to hear Christ say to them, “I never new you depart from me!”  (Matthew 7:23).

Vazhinji vedu sevaparidzi nevafundisi tiri kungotevedzera kuvhangera kuri kuitwa nevaparidzi vane mukurumbira mazuva ano asi hatina kumbogara pasi tichifunga kuti zviri muBhaibheri here.  Many of us are zealous to preach but I am afraid the zeal is not according to knowledge.  They have never stopped to examine their message and thier methods in light of God’s Word.  How we need the mercy of God!

What we are saying is not something that we can say in passing.  It is crucial and we must pay our utmost attention to it.  Look at the converts we are priducing because of such preaching.  I would like to believe that some of them were involved in the short sleeve, long sleeve of 2008.  Today we have converts who do not desire holiness but who are zealous for many other things.  They do not live to further the cause of Christ rather they seek self-advancement.  They do not study the Word and it does not trouble them to miss church.  They give no evidence whatsoever that they are truly converted.  All this has come about because of the preaching of a perverted Gospel and the use of ubiblical means to carry out missions.

The kind of Gospel that is preached today does not challenge sinners but leaves them in their comfort zones which are nothing but sinful.  The preaching of today does not unruffle the feathers of sinners for fear of scaring them away from their folds.  The difference between Christ’s Gospel and the modern Gospel is so great that it should be a cause of concern to any godly pastor.  I think there is no sincere Christian who deliberately intends to deceive sinners.  But do we know that when present half truths as whole truths we are lying to people.  In that instance we cease to be messengers of the kingdom of light and become messengers of the kingdom of darkness.

Are you preaching the Gospel of Christ in your church?  Are you preaching the authentic Gospel?  Or yours is an authentic fake Gospel?  Do not be afraid of scaring people.  It has always been like that when a person decides to side with God he loses friends in the process.  I say it is no good reason to shy away from the true Gospel.  Are you telling God’s story when you preach the Gospel or are you telling your own story?  If you are telling your own story I am asking you to see you are a religious mecernary and you are heading towards destruction.

From the verses we have read we see the Master Evangelist Himself going about the work of evangelism.  Listen to His message and observe His methods when you copy that you can never go wrong!  Again I urge you to observe His motives, and you will see that you cannot improve on them!  In this young man of 30AD we see all men of 2012.  To reach them we must say what our Lord said.  To please the Lord we must labour as Christ laboured.  Let us learn to follow the Christ of the Scriptures in evangelism.  Let us take hold of the authentic Gospel.  Let us shun every evil when it comes to preaching, Mark 10:17, 18.

The Rich Young Ruler’s Assets

The rich young ruler was quite a remarkable man, one who any gentleman would respect.  You can even notice it in the way he greeted our Lord.  He greeted Him with abundant courtesy.  He kneeled to Him and called Him, “Good Master.”  It is obvious that he was deeply interested in religion.  He came running to the Lord in enthusiastic pursuit for spiritual help.  So anxious was he to secure eternal life that he could not wait for a private conversation.  He spilled the beans in front of anyone and inquired about his soul’s welfare.  His life was visibly pure as far as the human eye could see.  He said he had obeyed the commandments from his youth.  When the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Do not commit adultery,” he could sincerely report that he was chaste.  To our Lord’s command, “Do not steal,” he could say that he was honest in business.  His wealth was not gained by fraud.  His wealth was a result of hard work.  He had always respected his parents and he was no slanderer.  He has been like this from his youth.  He is a person that we can say without reservation that he had a successful life.  He was a ruler, a noble man of authority and influence.  Humanly speaking he had everything going for him.  He accomplished great success while he was still young, which made him an exceptional young man indeed.  I think if he had lived in these days where every virtue is paid handsomely with an award, he would have been a worthy candidate for the Citizen of the Year Award and would have been the number one favourite of many people.  Do you know that if the rich young ruler was present today, most of the present day preachers would fall over one another in trying to make him one of their converts?  They would be tremendously happy to see him confess Christ and join their church in the shortest possible time.  The driving force behind all this would be the size of tithe he would bring to the church!

But how did the Lord Jesus Christ handle this very successful, rich young ruler who came to Him and begged to know how he can get to heaven?  Vaparidzi vemazuva, vakaona munhu akadai, vanototi dzawira mutswanda, hadzichanetsi kunonga! This would have been the dream of our present day preachers.  They would have jumped at the opportunity at the slightest opening to be the first to show him the way of salvation.  If he had come to them and asked the same question he asked the Lord Jesus Christ, they would have quickly opened their Bibles and begin to lead him step by step to Christ.  For the likes of them they would not be so foolish as to waste such a golden opportunity.  They would not have wasted time but they would quickly ask him,, “Do you believe that you are a sinner?”  If he answers yes, they would hasten to ask, “Do you believe that Christ died for sinners?”  Again if he says yes, then they will ask him, “Will you accept Christ as your Saviour?”  If he answers in the affirmative then they make him to repeat what they call a “sinner’s prayer” after him.  That’s it!  He is in!  He is now a born-again Christian!

If you exclaim that was too quick, they will explain to you that the Lord has already been dealing with this young man.  He is a case of a ripe fruit which is only waiting to be picked.  So with very little instruction, they fast-track him into the kingdom of God.  Soon he will be statistic enumerated as one successful business man they have recently converted.  Furthermore, he will appear in the adverts of the church, and if the church has a magazine, he will make a top story of the magazine.  You see it all about filling their church and filling their pockets.  That is all that matters nothing else seems more important than that.

But when we look at how the Master evangelist himself handled the rich young ruler we see a striking difference from these modern preachers.  The way He handled him the modern day preachers would consider it a rough, uncouth, and extremely defective way to reach out to a sinner.  Judging from the way many so called soul-winners do their work we may say that the Lord Jesus Christ was ignorant of the necessary tactics to win a soul.  They would say He squandered a golden opportunity.  Of all things they would have consider it very unwise to go to the Decalogue, to go to the Ten Commandments as our Lord did.  The man has clearly asked for the way to eternal life, it is no good to show him the Law, they would reason.  He simply needs to be shown the way and in their thinking the law has no bearing whatsoever to the question asked.  They would say starting to talk about the Law was irrelevant and is like foolishly allowing the fish to go back into the water when you need meat for supper that evening.  If one of their followers had related such an incident to them they would have harshly reprimanded him for his lack of common sense.  And if he held an office in their church they would have to think again about his position.  How could he dare waste such a “God-given” opportunity?

Jesus’ Rebuke

The Lord Jesus Christ refused to accept the compliment of the rich young ruler when he called Him “Good Master.”  Clearly the would-be convert, was aware that the Lord Jesus was a great teacher.  But he was ignorant that he was speaking to the Christ, the long awaited Messiah, the Son of the true and living God.  Jesus’ reply was in effect saying no person is essentially good and He said fully cognizant of the fact that the rich young ruler did not take Him as the God-Man but as every other man who is born sinful.  In that case Jesus was emphasizing the fact that only God is originally and essentially good.  Any other creature can be said to be good only as far as God makes it so, especially when we remember that the whole creation was cursed together with man.  Had the Lord Jesus Christ been like one of the modern day preachers He would accepted the compliment with a loud, boisterous, “Ndinogamuchira!”  Hama dzadiwa zvine ngozi kusimudzira vanhu nemashoko makuru.  Tikashandisira vanhu mashoko makuru ko, kana torumbidza Mwari tinozoshandisa mashoko api? Panofanira kuva nemutsauko pakurumbidza Mwari nekurumbidza vanhu venyama.  Ko, sei Ishe Jesu Kristu akaramba kunzi “Mudzidzisi akanaka?”

 

Do we not often say the same thing to people we consider to be good?  We often hear people say, “He is a good father.  He is a good driver.  He is a good teacher.”  Usually the people we would have referred to take the compliment without feeling they are being proud.  That is normal and I can confess that I have accepted such complements at one time or another.  I am sure it is the same with you.  What the Lord Jesus Christ was rebuking here was the readiness of the rich young ruler to flatter people with wonderful praises while he had very little reverence for God.  The Lord was aiming at bringing the rich young ruler to have some respect for God.  God is holy and he deserves our respect.  So instead of accepting the compliment He seized the opportunity to instruct him about the right attitude to God.  The big thing that we learn from Christ’s approach is that Christ focused his attention on the holiness and goodness of God.