Try Harder… it isn’t THAT heavy!!

Have you noticed the common theology coming from many pulpits these days?  Emergent Church types tell us that coming together to do good in the world is the Gospel.  Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers and the all the other prosperity types teach us the Gospel is the fact that if we do this and believe that we will be blessed.  And let’s not forget Rick Warren, who tells us the Gospel is like a “mulligan”, a golf term meaning that we have another chance to do good.  Countless Pastors around the U.S., Canada, Africa, and Europe echo these teachings every time they ascend into the pulpit.

These teachings could all be summarized (and often are by those preaching it) as “Love God and love others as yourself”.  A teaching that can be pointed at in Scripture, and to be honest, just sounds “right”.  But what is the whole teaching found in the Bible about this message?  That it is a summary of the Law!  Look for yourself:

Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  And he said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. – Luke 10:25-27

So we have established that the common theology of popular pulpits is the Law, right?  And it does say that if we follow the Law we inherit eternal life, so what is the problem?  Well, the problem is found in the fact that we have ALL sinned, we have already blown it!  And, due to our sinful nature, we blow it every day…because we sin every day!  Once you commit one sin, it is too late to follow the Law perfectly, and perfection is what is the Law requires!  Look…

“For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” – James 2:10

So who can be saved?  The answer is nobody at all!  At least, not by following the Law!  Don’t believe me?  Read for yourself:

For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. – Romans 3:20

Love God/Love your neighbor is a summary of the Law, and the law never saved anyone.  Ever.  These preachers are laying burdens on men that they themselves cannot carry.  Their books and sermons may sound upbeat and encouraging, but they are in all reality just the opposite.  They are leading you into hard labor, into impossible tasks, and into slavery.  The Law is like the rock in the picture.  No matter how strong you are (and these trucks are strong) there are some burdens that are just too big.  Salvation has been won by Jesus Christ.  He lifted the rock.  The true Gospel is “Repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus name”.  Belief in who Jesus is and what He did on the Cross is the message that should be proclaimed.  His death does not need additional obedience by you to be made sufficient.  He paid for all the sins of the redeemed, it isn’t a team effort.  Your obedience after salvation will be a sign that you were truly born again into a new creature, into a Christian, but it isn’t what saves you (or helps save you).

Folks, please listen carefully to what you are hearing in sermons and reading in books.  Is it Law or Gospel?  Is it about what Christ did, or what you have to do?  Are you being told to carry the rock, or are you learning the good news that the rock was moved for you, and that Jesus fulfilled the Law, paid your crimes, and redeemed your soul?

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