False Gospels

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

Great Error

Paul corrected gross error in the Galatian assembly. The key error he dealt with was the false gospel of the Judaizers, who taught the Gentiles that elements of the Mosaic Law – particularly circumcision – were necessary for salvation. Biblically, this is a classic case of legalism. However, Paul declared that if any angel or man preaches a different gospel, that being is to be accursed. The Greek word for accursed is anathema, which means eternally damned. Harsh words indeed, but such is the crucial nature of this issue.

Then as now, legalism is alive and thriving. Far too many people in the Church claim that God's grace is not enough to save, but that elements of Law must be added. These include dietary practices, worshiping on particular days and not others, and more. Others within the Church claim that believers must be baptized, pray the rosary, go door to door, or save the Earth (environmentalism). In our world of inclusivism where everyone is okay as long as they are sincere, we don't accept the truth that God says salvation is exclusive to His grace through faith in Jesus alone. Scripture says that those who proclaim these false gospels are eternally damned.

Deception in the Church

As a Church, we are quick to rightly expose cults, false religions, Eastern mysticism, and other heretical teachings for their deception and false gospels. However, we forget there are those within the Church, which Paul was referring to, who proclaim false gospels. One of the prevalent false gospels today is that of health and wealth. Proponents claim God guarantees His children health and wealth. Though true that God gives health and wealth, these are not guaranteed, and many have been hurt or died because of such lies.

Health and wealth doctrine is sometimes cloaked in such language as giving you a better life or live your best life now. It's also stated as believe and achieve or name it and claim it, which amounts to faith in faith itself. Faith is key, but faith in faith is a false gospel because it places faith in what we want and desire, and not in God. Jesus didn't come to make our life better according to the whims of humanity, but to save us from God's wrath and make us more like His Son!

Another false gospel is moralism. This is where people proclaim Jesus died to make you a good or better person. Jesus did not come to make people better, but to bring them spiritual life. If you are a Christian, the messages of moralism are do better and try harder. While every Christian should be ethical, holy, and moral, this is not the Gospel, but the life which results from believing the Gospel of God's grace and recognizing that salvation is 100 percent God's grace and nothing else!

Moralism is self-defeating because it falsely teaches that we can save ourselves. Moralism is the result of pride, which leads to more pride, where we look down on others who are not like us or are not as moral as we are.

Another false gospel is liberalism, where people only focus on helping the poor, widows, and the sick. The focus is on the external. The Church should indeed help the needy, but this is to flow out of one's response to the salvation of God's grace. The Emergent Church is a staunch proponent of this false gospel, as well as the Social Justice movements. They do good works, devoid of doctrinal truth, and the Gospel of God's grace.

The only way to fight a lie is to know the truth, and the truth is that there is only one Gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God who took on Himself flesh and died in our place, shedding His blood as the perfect sacrifice. He was buried and physically rose three days later, and by faith in Him alone, can we be saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Ephesians 2:8-10).

Do you believe His Gospel, and in Him alone by faith?

Michael Weis is a pastor, video operator, editor, and social media manager at Zion's Hope.