Summary: A sermon that warns of the dangers of "another" gospel.
"THE OSTEEN EFFFECT"
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Introduction: Throughout 2,000 years of church history there have been many examples of those who would pervert the Gospel of Christ and they have deceived many. We have seen some extreme examples of this in our own lifetime. Here are some of the most well known:
- Jim Jones and "The People's Temple". His entire congregation followed him to South America and over 900 of them (including many children) drank cyanide laced Kool-Aid in a mass suicide.
- In 1997 Marshal Applewhite, the leader of the "Heaven's Gate" cult convinced 38 people to commit suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Hale--Bopp comet.
- In the early 90's David Koresh (who claimed to be Jesus) and his cult the "Branch Davidians" moved into a compound in Waco Texas. Koresh became the polygamous husband of all the females and there were many reports of sexual abuse and statutory rape in the compound. In a 1993 raid by the ATF & FBI... 76 Branch Davidians died in a fire that was set by the cult itself.
A group does not have to be as extreme as these that we have mentioned to be a considered a cult. There are several groups today who are just as deceived as those we have already mentioned.
- The church of Scientology
- Jehovah's Witnesses
- The Latter Day Saints
- The Nation of Islam
- Astrology ...and many others
These groups already possess massive numbers of followers and are growing rapidly. It is amazing that people would turn away from the true Gospel and follow these false teachings, but it happens daily. Many of those who would join a cult are those who have general knowledge of the bible, and many of them have even made a profession of faith.
> One vivid example is "Mormonism" or "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"
- 80% of converts to Mormonism are professing Christians
- 40% of converts to Mormonism are Baptist
Those are staggering statistics and they should concern us greatly. And the TRUE followers of Christ must do a better job with discipleship and equipping believers to identify and combat false teaching. But the problem of false teaching is not solely found in what we would refer to as a "cult". Many churches that began with Jesus Christ and the Word of God as their foundation have been infiltrated and deceived by false teachers."
Kevin L. Jones
This brings me to what I believe is even more dangerous to the true faith. It is the large mega-church ministries led by larger than life personalities, a personality cult if you want to refer to it that way. It is my personally held belief that the largest church in America today is one of these personality cults. That explains my title for today's message, "The Osteen Effect." I'll say more as we get into the message but first let's examine the text and see that Paul refers to: