Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Castrating the Gospel

"Therefore, don't be afraid of them, since there is nothing covered that won't be uncovered,
and nothing hidden that won't be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light.
What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops. Don't fear those who kill the body,
but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body
in hell. Matthews 10:26-28 KJV

What do I mean when I say castrate? I'm not talking about making it unable to produce children, though metaphorically that could very well be the outcome. What I'm talking about when I say castrate is to deprive it of the strength that God intended it to have. Lets began with the definition and then move into how we deprive the gospel of its strength.

Cas-trate  [kas-treyt] –verb (used with object)
1. Psychology . to render impotent, literally or metaphorically, by psychological means, especially by threatening a person's masculinity or femininity. deprive of strength, power, or efficiency; weaken: Withoutthose ten new submarines, our navy will be castrated

If there is one thing that makes impotent the gospel of Jesus Christ is the modern day Christian's desire to give it in what he thinks is love. “Jesus Loves you and so do I” is a poor representation of the gospel compared to how it was taught in the days of the church of Acts. This modern day gospel is given with the intent of making the lost feel good, but the original intent of the gospel was to bring the truth of the person Jesus Christ and make know the need for salvation which comes only though Him.

The devil delights in the “
Jesus Loves you and so do I” gospel that we give today because its full of everything but truth. Like a 21st century harem guard (eunuch) we castrate the gospel, robbing it of all its power, and we make it ineffective because we desire not to see the division it was created to cause. Adopting a world view of "why can’t we all just get alone,?" we seek after earthly peace not godly, forgetting there is a real enemy who seeks to destroy us.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace,

but a sword For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, 
and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against 
her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household 
Matthew 10:34-36 (KJV)

The goal of Jesus first coming on earth was not to set up His kingdom of Peace, but to bring in the gospel, which would lead to strife and division. We should question our integrity concerning how we give the Word of God if people are not angry with us for presenting the gospel. This does not mean that we should give the gospel with an attitude; it means that we cannot water it down so that it is more digestible to the hearer. Preparing their heart is God responsibility, our responsibility is to be good and faithful servants in how we give the gospel. 

We should be questioning our faith, “do we really believe what the bible says,” if we are trying to muster up a new way to reach the lost without conflict. God does not need our help with the gospel, and it was not created by mistake, it doesn't have to be fixed, because its not broken. It doesn't have to be updated, because it has never run out of style, and it doesn't have to be modernized, because the wages of sin is still death.

Those of us that think we have a new and better way to give the gospel, are completely wrong. Stuck in our egocentric stupor we act as though we have something that can be added to God. I bet most of us when we witness, we tell our families and friends that we are soul winning, completely forgetting that only God can save. I just lost the ten readers that I had didn't I?


is there anyone out there….?

Just in case there is someone still out there I will keep moving forward. It is the correct working of the gospel to cause one brother to convert and another brother to hate the gospel. This is because the gospel, when it is presented in its correct format uncovers the corruption of the heart of those hearing it, and there are only three things a person can do when this sin is uncovered and naked before him. 

1. He can accept the gospel and seek truth;
2. Deny the gospel and get angry
3. Have no response at all ( which is the worst of all possibilities)

This is hard to get this through to people, yet it is absolutely seen in the bible. If men/women are not getting converted to Christ when you give the gospel, then men/women should be getting angry about Christ when you give the gospel. This is the correct order of things and the purpose for Jesus teaching the gospel the way he did.

For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, 

and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law 
against her mother in law. Matthew 10:35(KJV)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ causes trouble, yet we advertise it as if it were a super elixir from a traveling circus that would fix whatever ills you. The gospel when given correctly, and biblically is both enlightening to the hearer and dangerous to the giver and will cause division even between two brothers, expect that!
But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, 
and part with the apostles. And when there was an assault made both 
of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them 
despitefully, and to stone them, They were ware of it, and fled unto 
Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round 
about: Acts 14:4-6 (KJV)
Honest people, I did not make this up. Let us use the bible itself as an example ( there are many more) of what happens when the gospel is correctly given.

  1. James the son of Zebedee older brother of John was killed by Herod Agrippa (Acts 12: 1-2) 
  2. Paul was Stoned almost to death (Acts 14:4-7) 
  3. Stoned again in Lystra and left for dead (Acts 14:19-20 ) 
  4. Paul’s clothes are ripped off him and he is beaten with many stripes and put in prison in Philippi (Acts 16:16-24) 
  5. Jews attack Jason’s house, drag everyone from the house (Acts 17:5-9) 
  6. There were riots in Ephesus (Act 19:29-41)  
  7. Riot in the Temple in Jerusalem (Act 21-26-36) 
  8. The Jews plot to kill Paul (Acts 23:11-22) 
  9. Paul was shipwrecked in ( Acts 27-28:10
  10. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (2 Corinthians 11:25)
  • The number one reason that the gospel is so poorly given is the fear of man, what he would say about us, or what he would do to us. But Jesus tells us that what man has done to Him we should expect the same to be done to us.(John 13:16, John 15:20) 
  • Don’t be fooled, if we are really sold out for Jesus Christ there will come a time when men will hurt us, but we can’t fear man greater then God (Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:3-5) 
  • Avoiding conflict was not the way of those before us, they did not run away from conflict by trying to water down the gospel they ran toward conflict by giving the gospel in its purest form. We don’t read about Andrew, or Barnabas or Bartholomew, telling the Jews “Jesus can fix your finances, your perversion, addiction, or your marriage”. And neither should we. 
  • Nowhere in the entire bible does one apostle tell someone “Jesus Loves You and so do I” not James the brother of John, nor James the half brother of Jesus, not Thaddeus or Jude, Luke, Mark, or Matthews not one of them and they gave their life for the gospel. 
  • Fear never crossed the mind of Matthias, Paul, Peter, Phillip, or Thomas. All publicly beaten and killed for the purity of the gospel. Scripture tells of these men for our benefit, so that we might know the truth about the gospel and sound expectations of men.

"Therefore, don't be afraid of them, since there is nothing covered that won't be 
uncovered, and nothing hidden that won't be made known. What I tell you in the 
dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops. 

Don't fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, 
fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 
Matthews 10:26-28 KJV

Your brother in Christ

Soli Deo Gloria

Inspired by The Gospel of Matthew by J.C. Ryle (Chapter 10).