Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. – Paul (Rom. 10:1)
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. – Jesus (Matt. 4:17)
In “church” circles these days the word “repent” is almost worse than “satan”. It’s not popular to preach repentance, and it’s much easier to coddle, overlook or dismiss sin in the sanctuary. The apostasy in the church and in the Christian home is at an all time high, and the ambivalence toward living saved is escalating. I was listening to a couple of radio pastors this morning and the first one was breathing so hard through his message that I feared he would have a heart attack while telling people to “lay hands on it and believe so that God would do it!” The other pastor’s message was “God is SO good”. I believe that both preached statements are true to an extent; however, I also believe that they are sugar-coated, feel-good messages meant to tide people over for a week, and get happy enough to open their wallets. The Easy Gospel does not compel people to change; it gives an ethereal feel without condemnation, and it is the sole reason that mega-churches exist. Young people who don’t want to change their errant ways seek out the Easy Gospel churches so that they feel no conviction. Those who are settled in their sin will cleave to Easy Gospel churches because the truth offends. True story: after my husband preached a fiery sermon, a church member went privately to the senior pastor and shared that my husband’s message was offensive because (his words) “Sinners are sensitive”. This tickled me so much! The Easy Gospel has many followers just for that reason. Pastors, preachers, teachers who tell the truth are labeled as “too deep” or “super saints”; we are told that we are “doing too much”, and likened to John the Baptist who, for all intents and purposes, seemed like a crazy man crying out in the wilderness. Yet if we compromise souls are lost. John the Baptist, did NOT compromise….he told the people to repent, he did not soothe them with flowery words and promises of blessings from God. He PREPARED them for the coming of the Lord, and they were baptized. He even went so far as to tell the Pharisees and Saducees that they needed to get right as well, and that their religious and financial status would mean nothing (Matt. 3:7-9). He compared them to snakes. No, John the Baptist did not preach an Easy Gospel, but many souls were saved through his ministry.
The damage of the Easy Gospel:
- It produces NO fruit.
- Believers are not taught about the power of the Holy Spirit.
- It reinforces the once saved always saved doctrine.
- Wheat and tare cannot co-exist. The tare will strangle out the wheat.
- Church-goers will not believe that repentance is necessary for salvation!
The proof through the Word:
- And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47).
- And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15).
- And they went out, and preached that men should repent (Mark 6:12).
- I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (Luke 13:3).
- Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).
- For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death (2 Cor. 7:10).
- The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
God even told Solomon that his people needed to repent:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place (2 Chron. 7:14-15).
The Easy Gospel is yet another trick from God’s enemy so that precious souls are lost. As children of God we are mandated to spread the message of Christ so that people will repent of their sins and be saved. The Easy Gospel allows the “once saved always saved” lie to flourish and the message of repentance to be lost. I remember meeting my husband and telling him that I was a saved woman; his response was, “I’m saved too, I got saved as a little boy”, yet he was living in sin, smoking, drinking and sleeping around. He was living the Christian lie. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth because “Sinners are sensitive” because those same sinners will take their Easy Gospel to hell with them for eternity. John the Baptist was not a Christian coward, nor was Paul. The truth is never easy, but the end will justify the means. Let the power of the Holy Ghost be your guide, reject the Easy Gospel and preach repentance. Repentance is an action word and it requires one to reject self and to seek to do the will of God alone. In the selfish society that we live in I know that this is a difficult message, but I’ve personally heard enough of the “name it and claim it” doctrine, and the “God is so good” message that I can scream. People today need to hear that sin is unacceptable and that God is not pleased.
Spread the message of repentance.
May God bless you in all that you do.