“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
—1 John 1:8-10
The "Good News" of the Bible, by necessity and design, begins with the very real bad news of universal condemnation (see Ezekiel 18: 4, John 3:18, Romans 3: 1-20, etc). We all stand guilty before God’s Standard of Holiness. No exceptions and no wiggle-room.
Without the clear understanding of the truth and reality of sin and its deadly eternal consequences…ie., the very bad news…, the much esteemed good news becomes inconsequential, in essence, a watered down scenario that is reduced to "no news" really at all.
Nevertheless, today we see professing Christians, liberal scholars and theologians removing the bad news from the gospel equation altogether. By doing so, they mistakenly assume that they are doing their listeners a favor. After all, who in their right mind wants to be the bearer of bad news? (Nobody likes that!) And so, they kick against the goads, rationalize and tell themselves:
“Let’s just skip that part… (what the Bible calls “the curse”)… and get right to the blessing, the ‘Jesus loves me, this I know’- message. We certainly don’t want to frighten anyone’s inner child or cause any spiritual discomfort. After all, we want to be popular, and besides, causing folks to be uncomfortable just wouldn’t be nice.”
And so, the “No news is good news” gospel message is broadcast far and wide, and everybody feels just fine, exactly the way God intended. The way things ought to be. The feel-good, "just be nice" message of wishful thinking and good intentions soothingly resonates all around….like a lullaby, a scented candle, a box of chocolates or a bubble bath.
The emerging false gospel of “Let- Us-Tell-You-What-You-Want-To-Hear” ( first introduced in the Garden of Eden1) is alive and very much in vogue today within much of affluent Christendom.
Toothless, truthless and ultimately, ruthless...Ear-Tickling 1012. We have been warned:
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
Lure ‘em In With Sweet Concoctions
There’s no need for confrontation…
Stroke ‘em, soothe ‘em, make ‘em smile!
That’s the way to grow a church now,
Don’t offend the inner child!
Help ‘em see they’re not so bad now5,
Help ‘em know sin’s no big deal.
Help ‘em see that shame’s not healthy…,
And their guilt’s not really real.
Help ‘em see God’s only Mercy…
(Disregard the “Holy” stuff9)
Hammer home that good intentions
Are what makes ‘em “good enough”!
Pump ‘em up with words like “Glory!”
Help ‘em see The Way is wide10!
Teach ‘em Self-improvement lessons…
And that Jesus may have lied.
Such is mankind in denial…
Sin’s unreason on display….
Lord, have mercy please upon us!
Teach us why You came, we pray!
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
—1 Corinthians 2:14