Many churches teach a gospel that doesn’t conform to the one preached in the early years of the church. In fact, their message is so different that you would think that it is an entirely different gospel altogether. One that doesn’t even teach that you must be convicted before you can be set free. How can you be set free from something that you don’t even realize that you are guilty of? When the clergy began teaching and preaching “positive thinking” and prosperity gospels, the church began to slide down a slope that it wasn’t meant to be on at all.
Jesus did not teach or preach about prosperity or positive thinking, He taught that we are all sinners saved by the grace of God, period. There is no way of thinking your way into Heaven, your own opinion of yourself or of others should be the same as God’s but your opinion and the work that you do here don’t get you into Heaven! Belief in and an intimate walk with Christ daily are the paths that will take you to Heaven’s gate. The first is a strict requirement, belief in Christ and His death which paid the debt for your sins. The second, an intimate walk with Jesus daily, is essential to your growth and maturity in your faith. Your walk and intimacy with Jesus is not necessary for you to get into Heaven, but it may have an effect on those around you that may need what you have, a relationship with Jesus.
The message being taught and preached in many churches has changed over the centuries, some changes were good some, not so much. The best that we can do today is to bring the gospel to those who are hurting, even if they don’t think that they need it. We may have to get in their faces with the fact that God loves them, but He doesn’t like what they are doing. Whether it is their lifestyle or the drugs or alcohol or whatever it may be that they are using, if their heart doesn’t belong to Him then they are on the wrong path and may not even know it!
It is our job, whether you may be a pastor or a member of a church or a believer who hasn’t found a church, to tell others of the grace and goodness of Jesus. He is the only One who can heal the hurt, the pain, the agony of their lives. He is the cure for their heartaches when life throws them a curve ball, He can strengthen you in ways that you can’t and He will! All that you have to do is accept Him as your Savior and believe in His grace for you, all of the other things will come in time.
In our instant society mindset, we have a problem with the idea of waiting for God to get around to taking care of things, but in order to be an effective follower of Jesus we have to learn to be more patient because He can see things which we can’t. We have “microwave mentalities” because of the stuff that most of us grew up with or grew into as we got older. If something isn’t done now, or at the latest by tomorrow, we don’t want to wait. So, we take the problem back from God and tell Him that we can do it better and faster. The problem is that He lets us do it and He knows what will happen because we didn’t let Him take care of it. We will grow through it, but we may not like it! This is something which I am struggling with now, because I want my problems, financial and otherwise, fixed today not next week or next month or even next year. I struggle with patience or the lack of it, waiting for Him and learning His ways is not easy but it is necessary to your Christian life and mine.