What are Counterfeit Gospels?

 

Table of Contents


Christian Trinity

I. Preaching the Gospel

1. The Gospel is the proclamation of the fact that Jesus is Lord

How is Jesus unique?

2. The Gospel is the proclamation of the fact that Jesus Christ is the Savior

3. The Gospel is the Proclamation of the Fact that Jesus Rose again from the Dead, Never to Die Again

4. The Gospel is the Proclamation of the Fact that Jesus Christ is the Only Savior: the Only Way to Know God

II. Defending the Gospel: – What are the Counterfeit “gospels”?

The Fruit of Deed

The Fruit of Doctrine

How to Become a Christian

Notes

Resources

 
 

I. Preaching the Gospel:

The early church was the first group of Christian believers to preach the Gospel. They were taught by Jesus Christ and then commissioned by Him to go into all of the world and proclaim this message. The Gospel boils down to one word – Jesus. The Gospel is centered in the person of Jesus Christ. The record of this early preaching of the Gospel is recorded in the book of Acts.

One of these early preachers of the Gospel was Philip and he gives an example of the core of the Gospel message that they preached.

“So he (Philip) started out and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip. ‘Go over and walk along beside the carriage’. Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ The man replied, ‘How can I unless someone instructs me?’ And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him. The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this: ‘He was led like a sheep to the slaughter. And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. He was humiliated and received no justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.’ The eunuch asked Philip, ‘Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else’? So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the good news about Jesus” – Acts 8:27-35 NLT.

Cross at Sunset

Many thoughtful people find the Gospel hard to believe because the facts that it deals with go well beyond man’s ability to reason and understand. How can Jesus’ death on the cross put away sin? How can His death impact my life? Why the resurrection? Why the virgin birth? How can we believe such things? How are we to believe in miracles like walking on water, healing the sick, raising the dead, feeding 5,000 people….? This all seems to be too incredible. People struggle with these realities and turn to various ideas for an explanation. Some consider the Gospel merely a legend and push it off as religious mythology. Others turn to an agnostic view of the Gospel and pass it off as unexplained events.

Some turn to a pantheistic view of life (everything is God) and may even spiritualize the Gospel as an illusionary spiritual “reality”. Others turn to the world of counterfeit gospels that simply present a different “jesus” and a different belief system, not the one provided in the New Testament.

Many times people make faith much more difficult that it needs to be and they do so by looking at the wrong things. If one is open to the possibility that a personal God exists and that He brought the universe into existence, then the door has to be open to His possible intervening in the affairs of men. Here is where the Gospel affirms that God has come into man’s world and He has done so in the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the True, One Almighty God, Creator of the universe Who became human. If Jesus is God, then all of the miracles are simply what we would expect if God did indeed become a man. God appeared as a helpless little baby boy Who needed to be cared for as any baby and Who had to grow and mature like all of us. He became an adult and went through all of the struggles of life, but He never sinned or failed and eventually went to the cross where He died for our sins and then rose again.

He came to deal with man’s greatest need (man’s sin and separation from God) and to conquer our greatest fears (death and isolation). If Jesus was merely just another godly man, then the Gospel would indeed be very difficult to believe. But that is not what the Gospel affirms. The entire New Testament establishes the claim that Jesus is the Divine Son of God; God the Son. When we see the Gospel from this position, we realize that there is no story like this. It is from this place that we can understand the huge reality that the Gospel presents.

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men…. And the Word became flesh (Jesus Christ) and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:1-4,14.

There are four main essentials of the Gospel and these basic, indispensable fundamentals center in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

 
 

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