[TBC: The "Social Gospel" has long been a diversion from the truth and power of God that truly addresses the real needs of humanity. The following excerpt is "The Shameful Social Gospel," from the September 2008 issue of the newsletter.]
The history of the social gospel is, in nearly every case, a sincere attempt by Christians to do those things that they believe will honor God and benefit humanity. In every case, however, the practical working out of "benefiting humanity" has compromised biblical faith and dishonored God. Why is that? God's Word gives no commission to the church to fix the problems of the world. Those who attempt to do so are starting out under a false premise, "...a way which seemeth right unto a man," not God's way.
So where can it go from there? "The end thereof are the ways of death," i.e., destruction (Proverbs 14:12). Furthermore, the problems of the world are all symptoms. The root cause is sin.
What percentage of the "people of faith," who comprise all religions and make up five-sixths of the world's population, understand and accept the gospel -- the only cure for sin? Or how many of the 2.3 billion "Christians" in the world believe the biblical gospel? The numbers tumble down exponentially. "Yes, but...they are a massive volunteer force and distribution outlet of resources for slaying the giants of world suffering!" What does it profit the billions of "people of faith" who may alleviate some of the world's symptoms yet lose their very souls?
The social gospel is a deadly disease for "people of faith." It reinforces the belief that salvation can be attained by doing good works, putting aside differences for the common good, treating others the way we want to be treated, acting morally, ethically, and sacrificially -- and that doing so will endear humans to God. No. These are self-deceptive strivings that spurn God's salvation, deny His perfect standard, and reject His perfect justice. Salvation is "not of works, lest any man should boast." In fact, it is "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Jesus declared Himself to be condemned humanity's only hope for reconciliation with God: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). There is no other way, because God's perfect justice demanded that the penalty for sin for every human ("for all have sinned" -- Romans 3:23) be paid. Only the perfect, sinless God-Man could and did pay that infinite penalty in full by His death upon the Cross. Only faith in Him reconciles a person with God.
The shameful social gospel today not only promotes "another gospel," it helps prepare a kingdom contrary to the teachings of Scripture. "For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20). He will return from heaven (John 14:3) to "rapture," or catch, those who believe in Him (His bride) up into the clouds and take them to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:17). The kingdom that remains on the earth will be the kingdom of the Antichrist.
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