Summary: Edited sermon borrowed from several sources. Paul's concern about the Galatians departing from the one true Gospel ought to be a concern for Christians in America today. This nation was once respectful of the Gospel. Today the Gospel is being distorted

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Galatians 1:1-12 “It’s time to do something about a serious problem here in America” (Note: This is a sermon borrowed from several sources with editing on my part—not an original creation on my part—hope you will take this edition in the spirit it is offered—and I thank those whose work is incorporated into this sermon)

One night a few years ago at the Lodge, the Chef suddenly ran down the stairs and pounded on my office door. Byron, can you help me. We’re in trouble. We’re out of quarters and customers are waiting. Could you jump in the car and get some. Here’s $40. So, I jumped into the car, sped out of the parking lot and headed to the nearest convenience store, but the cashier said she didn’t have enough quarters on hand to give out that many. In fact she didn’t even have one roll of quarters to spare. I went on to the next convenience store and was told the same thing. The bank was closed but the grocery store remained open until 7 p.m. so I decided to try there. They had pity on me and gave me two rolls of quarters—not what I had set out to get but better than nothing. Twenty minutes after the Chef had sent out his panic call I arrived back at the Lodge. Where are the quarters? The chef asked. I proudly presented him with the two rolls of quarters that I had managed to obtain. His face sank. "I meant chicken quarters."

Well, no, this isn’t exactly what happened. Being an honest preacher I must confess that I have embellished the story a bit, but something like this sort of happened, and it does make a good story that illustrates a very important point. Misunderstandings of this nature prove we need to check and recheck the message to be sure that we understand correctly. In this case, the chef’s message was misunderstood. But for many people the misunderstanding is far more serious. We may think we know the message of the Bible, but in today’s Epistle lesson, Galations 1:1-12, Paul asks us to check our understanding against what was actually said.

One of the most frequently used phrases in Christian circles is "the gospel." Amazingly few adults know what this term means. It could either refer to its literal translation, "good news;" or to the perspective that salvation is available only through the sacrificial death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ and a person’s acceptance of Christ as their savior. According to Barna Research Online, less than four out of ten adults know this, and 34% have other, inaccurate perceptions of the meaning of the term. When surveyed, three out of ten adults did not even offer a guess.

This puts the Apostle Paul’s statements in perspective. Let’s read them once again:

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

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