THE ECLIPSE OF THE GOSPEL

My purpose in this book is to present the gospel as it stands in Scripture. When we tamper with the word of God, its effectiveness is destroyed. God has promised that his word will accomplish its purpose, but no such promises attach to mutilated versions of it. This means that the ‘gospel’ message proclaimed by so many preachers today is bound to fail. They dilute the message in the hope of making it more relevant but succeed only in making it more irrelevant. A diluted gospel produces diluted converts. 

The authority to add to the gospel or to take from it is not granted to human beings. The calling of every preacher is to 'say it like it is'. It has become common practice in many churches to tone down three essential components of the gospel, or to get rid of them altogether. Without them, the message loses its purpose, its urgency and its character. They are: 

1. The Sovereignty of God (Ephesians 1: 11) 

2. The Holiness of God (Exodus 3: 1-6; Hebrews 12: 29) 

3. The Judgment of God (2 Corinthians 5: 10) 

Failure to teach God’s sovereignty – his absolute control of events and his determination to achieve his purposes – gives the false impression that human beings are masters of their own destiny. Failure to teach the holiness of God – his absolute purity – gives the false impression that human sin does not matter very much. Failure to proclaim the judgment of God inevitably trivialises the love of God and renders the gospel message meaningless. 

Proof, if proof were needed, of the bankruptcy of the message widely proclaimed today is seen in the quality of the converts it produces. Instead of producing a sturdy crop of God-fearing men and women with a passionate love for the Bible and a deep dedication to the church, it tends to yield weaklings whose half-hearted commitment to the word and the church is both an embarrassment and a burden.

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Review by Rev Steve Donald


Review by Wim van Noordt
 


 

Hutton-le-hole, Yorkshire

                    
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Oban, Scotland

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