1. At different times in the history of western civilization the focus of humanity was based on different things.
(a) The Greeks was philosophy;
(b) for the Roman was peace through power,
(c) for the middle ages was the church
(d) the Renaissance put man in the center of the universe,
(e) in our days we can say that science and materialism is at the heart of man existence.
2. Can the gospel of Jesus Christ be effective in our days? Does it have any value? DO we need another gospel?
3. While for many the gospel has to be modified to meet the needs of modern society, for others the value of the gospel lies in the eternal and never changing supremacy of Christ.
I. The gospel of success
1. This popular form of gospel is preached in order to fit Christianity in a materialistic society
2. The message of this gospel is based on the principle that God wants to bless you therefore you can only expect good things from him if you follow him.
3. The problem with this gospel is that it ignores the fact that in Christian life there is sorrow, there is suffering, there is death.
4. The key of the gospel of Jesus is not the avoidance of life events, but the possibility to overcome them.
5. "Take up your cross" means sufferings, but "more than conquerors" assures victory
II. The gospel deal
1. The gospel deal implies that we can sit down and do business transactions with God.
2. The basis of this is that if you give something to God, he will pay you back.
3. We see this in the many offers of prayer,
4. Churches whose focus is in giving to the church, the more you give the more you will be blessed.
5. To make a deal we need to be in equal term with God, and we are not, he is the creator and we are his creatures. Isa 55: 8,9
6. In order to make a deal I have to have something to offer, but there is nothing we can offer to buy peace with God and eternal life. Eph 2:8 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God"
III. The "light" Gospel
1. As there is light cheese, light butter, light drinks, some are offering a light version of the Gospel.
2. This Gospel proclaims that if it feels good, and as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, no matter what the Bible says, just do it.
3. This gospel doesn’t demand much, just an offering regularly, and one hour or hour and a half a week and you are OK.
4. The demands of God can be adjusted to your convenience.
5. But our experiencing God is not meant to make us feel good, quite on the contrary, you cannot experience God and feel good about yourself. Isa. 6: 1-5
6. What God gave were the ten commandments, not the ten suggestions.
IV. The non-commitment Gospel
1. This version of the Gospel says that you can be a Christian and just look from the outside, with no commitment required.
2. We avoid commitments, and if we can enjoy some of the good things that Christianity has to offer, but without commitment, the better it is.