The Gospel, or Something Like it?
Last week we reviewed what Paul addressed as the events necessary prior to the return of Christ as He gathered His Bride to be presented to God the Father. This is found in his second letter to the church at Thessalonica and dealt with the coming apostasy, which he states at that time had already begun. This week we examine another section of scripture that is related, yet directed to another group of Christians who were living in the region of Galatia.
Paul was amazed (Galatians 1:6) that those he had taught were so quickly deserting Christ for what they saw as a different Gospel. Paul tells us this was being instigated by those wishing to distort the message. He went on to say if anyone brought a message contrary to what he and those who traveled with him had taught, they were to be accursed. In this statement he includes any man, angel from heaven, or even himself! Do you hear what he said? He acknowledged the possibility even he could return with a message contrary to what he initially taught and if he did, they were to ignore it! We do need to remember though that Paul wasn’t interested in what pleased men but rather that which was pleasing to God (vs.10). That is the question we must ask ourselves today. Are we interested in what it is God would have us to do as indicated in His word or are we more inclined to listen to what men have decided to teach and to practice?
The thing about forgeries is that they are fabricated to look as much like the original that it is nearly impossible to detect the flaws that give them away. The only way to be certain is to be intimately knowledgeable of the ‘real thing’. No one has the right to deliver a message that is different than the one offered by the men who were commissioned by Christ to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” (Matt 28:19-20)
How would you stand under the scrutiny of Paul and the message he delivered, a message that he received not from men but from Christ, Himself (Galatians 1:12)? Would he be amazed at our desertion or would he be encouraged by our faithfulness that comes from hearing the word of Christ? (Romans 10:17)
Copyright © 2011, Nolan P. Rutter