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- Jacob Ninan
I asked a group of Christian workers, "Why should anyone come to Christ?" The answer was, "To receive blessings!" One of the workers in that group sang a song that thanked God for His love, keeping and protection, and expounded on how we ought to praise God for these. I couldn't help but feeling greatly concerned that the 'good news' they knew and worked all the year long to share could very well be just this. Looking around it seems that many 'Christians' seem to have missed the real, central point of the gospel, but have made for themselves a pseudo-gospel whose focus is on promises for a more comfortable life here on earth.
I was talking to a girl who wanted to get married only to a 'believer'. One boy told her that he was a believer and she was quite content with that! I asked her, "What kind of believer? Does he just believe that Jesus was a historic figure whom Christians follow as their founder? Or has he known Him as His Saviour and been born again?"
If we ask ourselves this question, "What is it about the 'gospel' that really makes us exclaim that it is such an undeservingly great news?" what would be the answer from our inner being? I suspect that like those stickers on automobiles that state, "Jesus saves" (meaning, from accidents!), many people's answers would pertain to earthly blessings of different types. That is the gospel many have been presented with, "Come to Jesus, He will heal you, solve all your problems, take care of all your needs, and make you prosper in every way." In the words of the apostle Paul, this is a different 'Jesus' than the one whom he preached. The real Jesus suffered and died so that the punishment for our sins could be paid for. It was to make that happen that Jesus came (Mt.1:21). If we have missed that point altogether we have not repented or put our trust in Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, and we are still not headed for heaven!
After I came to Jesus at first, whenever I learnt some more about what He has done for me I would examine myself to see if it had become real to me (I keep doing that even now). Have we taken our salvation for granted based on what we ourselves consider to be faith or belief, or have we subjected ourselves to tests that can tell us the truth about ourselves (2Co.13:5)? Is this something that we can merely assume for ourselves or something that we need to be sure about? (God can give us that assurance now; we don't have to wait for the final day to find out. 1Jn.5:9).
Preachers have diluted the truth of the gospel in order to get more followers than those God has accepted. Preaching on sin, judgment, hell, repentance, etc., has practically disappeared, and the narrow gate has been made so wide that anyone can just walk in without the slightest inconvenience. They only have to repeat a few words and, presto, they have become children of God. There is no change in their lives at all. Beware lest we ourselves are deceived, or we are deceiving others.