Christianity Today 1  

Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

The modern version of Christianity is big business to those who publish books and to those who record music. Interesting, but the New Testament thinks of Christianity differently. “Mega churches” abound and the masses fill the expensive buildings to have their ears tickled. People walk the aisles or raise their hands to accept a Jesus while they have never heard of the biblical Jesus. People speak of God all the while ignorant of the true God. Preachers are paid large sums of money and they will not step on toes in order not to step on their own toes as well as those who pay them. As long as they have some sort of profession or said a prayer they are said to be “good to go” into eternity.

The modern version of Christianity is divided into various groups who focus on what they want to focus on. There are those who focus on morality, yet there are those who focus on doctrine. There are others who are quite legalistic and yet those who are not as legalistic as those are still legalistic. It is easy for legalism to hide in the hearts of those who are legalists as well. While doctrine is necessary, there is an academic approach to doctrine that makes it simply another philosophy. While morality in a sense is necessary, the morality that flows from the life of Christ in the soul is holiness and that is far different than a mere external morality.

A few preachers will use the word “Jesus” and the word “Gospel” and yet never preach Christ and Him crucified. It is one thing to speak the words, but it is quite another to preach Christ. It is one thing to mention the word “grace” here and there, but that is not the same thing as preaching grace. It is one thing to speak of God as being sovereign, but it is quite another to preach a sovereign God. It is far easier to agree that an orthodox creed is true than it is to believe the truths in the creed from the depths of the heart. It is far easier to talk about the love of God than it is to love the true God. It is far easier to profess faith than it is to have faith and then to live by that faith.

Evangelism (of some sort) is widely taught and less widely practiced, but could it be that the evangelism that is practiced is plainly and clearly based on a false gospel? Could it be that preachers who preach on the television and hold crusades here and there are preaching heresy rather than the Gospel? Could it be that the vast majority of professing churches are the product of a false gospel and a pseudo type of Christianity rather than the real thing? Could it be that the United States of America is inundated with a false Gospel and that this false Gospel is what is preached by the vast majority of preachers in our day? Could it be that when a person walks in the door of a professing church that it is highly likely that the person will be misled as to what Christianity really is?

The orthodox leaders of religion during the days of Jesus held strongly to their “Bible” and practiced what was in line with the recent historical teachings of that day. They assumed that they were orthodox and they assumed that they were righteous. Could it be that many of those assumptions are the same today? Could it be the case that Jesus would spit us and our orthodoxy out of His mouth? Could it be that that He would think that our morality was nothing more than external morality worthy of nothing but eternal flames? Could it be that He would not appreciate our fine buildings and our order or so-called worship? How would we know? Are we just following the thinking and practices of the religion of our day as the Pharisees followed along in their day? Do we think that Ephesians 2 just spoke to the people of that day?

Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

What if Ephesians 2:1-3 described our religious practices and not just the practices of unconverted people following the course of the world? Can unconverted people follow a course of the world in the things of religion? Yes, we see that in the New Testament. Can unconverted people follow the prince of the power of the air in the things of religion too? Yes, we can see that in the New Testament too. But how do we know that we are not trapped in the things of a worldly religion or a self-powered religion too?

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