Listen To What They Say
Updated: Jan 19
The synopsis of the Gospel (the Good News) is written succinctly by the Apostle Paul:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures...
1 Corinthians 13: 3+4 [ESV]
Any preacher who mounts a pulpit/podium and focuses their "sermon"/talk on financial stability, emotional wellbeing, finding the right spouse, achieving your hopes, dreams, and vision etc. is not preaching Christ crucified.
Beloved, Christ died for our sins. That's the beginning and the end of the Good News. That we have been reconciled to God and no longer have to live apart from Him as enemies of God, but have instead been adopted into His family through the finished work and righteous of Christ. That's it. That's the Gospel.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4: 10
Christ did not die for your financial breakthrough, for your happiness, or for your divine healing. He did not die for you to have a successful business, to be happily married, or to be influential. These are lies peddled by "pastors" who have books, courses, and conference tickets to sell to you and who are focused on the glories of this world. Does Jesus care about your wellbeing? He does. But that is not why He died for you.
A Startling Similarity
There appears to be a similarity between the devil's focus and the focus of false teachers.
In the wilderness in Matthew 4:8+9 [ESV]:
Again, the devil took [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Jesus, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
A lot of the time, false teachers focus on material increase and wellbeing. They do not preach to the believer Christ crucified. Instead they "preach" about:
financial increase and break through
achieving your dreams, visions, and purpose
reaching your full potential
how to be happy
becoming a millionaire (a prophetess actually runs an annual conference titled Millions, which according to the website is "a powerful 2.5-day training and equipping conference for entrepreneurs and prophetic voices in the marketplace.")
doing things that will "move" God to bless you etc.
Listen carefully to what these people are saying; listen to what preoccupies their conversations/talks/sermons. They, like the devil, are focused on "the kingdoms of the world and their glory." Some of them brag about owning properties all over the world; others brag about what it has taken them to "get where they are" spiritually, by which they mean fasting, prayer, sowing seeds, making sacrifices etc. (a gospel of works and not of grace).
Any one whose focus is not on Christ crucified is preaching a false gospel:
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.