6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: This the second of 66 sermons on transformation. This sermon deals with two popular false gospels that have been preached for the last 50 years.

Introduction: There are now over 100 million in the US who say they have prayed some form of the “sinner’s prayer” and are “born again.” With this many “born again” Christians, it would appear the American evangelical churches have been successful in their evangelistic efforts. However, there are some very disturbing statistics from Barna Research, Inc. that tell a very different view of what is happening in the US. Their surveys show that only 1 in10 of those who have prayed a “sinner’s prayer” to receive Christ as savior show any substantial change in behavior or commitments. I believe that it has been the preaching of false gospels that have been a major contributing cause of this problem. Today i want to expose two of the most popular false gospels being preached today.

Scriptures: (Galatians 1:6-9. Colossians 1:5-6)

I. The “Life Enhancement” Gospel

A. Some describe this as the “consumer” gospel.

1. Salvation in presented like it is a product to acquire

2. All the advantages are presented to convince the consumer to acquire the product, such as forgiveness of sins, a more abundant life, wonderful peace and joy, and guaranteed passage to heaven when you die.

3. The price: it is free with no shipping and handling charges, the best deal you will ever get.

B. How do you acquire this salvation?

1. Just pray a “sinner’s prayer” to receive Jesus into one’s life and receive the free gift of eternal life.

2. To make it easier we just ask them to repeat a prayer.

C. What is wrong with this gospel?

1. Salvation/Jesus is not something you just add to your life, it should be something that radically transforms your life.

2. There is no mention of repentance or turning away from sin to God

3. There is no mention of surrendering one’s life to the lordship of Christ. It appeals to selfish motives; you get what you want but still keep control of your own life.

4. These people are not truly “born again” with the Holy Spirit indwelling them

II. The “Prosperity” Gospel

A. This is the “supersized” Enhancement gospel on steroids

1. Rather than acquiring a product it promises prosperity to those who acquire knowledge

2. It is the Christianization of the American dream

3. It promises exaggerated benefits, great wealth, no sickness, no problems etc.

4. With the right knowledge and faith, one can gain control over God. God will serve you; God becomes your “genie.”

B. How do you acquire the benefits of this gospel?

1. Through faith in faith

2. Through learning the right knowledge of how to get God to do what you want, by confessing the right things and quoting the right scriptures.

C. What is wrong with this gospel?

1. More emphasis is put on a person’s faith than the grace of God.

2. It is a gospel of works; one’s success depends on leaning the correct knowledge of how to use one’s faith.

3. No mention of repentance

4. Rather than surrender to Christ’s control, one controls God

5. There is too much emphasis on material things rather than on spiritual growth in godly character.

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