There is a fallacy being propagated in the Church like a sweet liquor in the fruit punch making everyone intoxicated. The tainted punch being served is the teaching of Christ’s sweet love. I have encountered so many Christians that have modified the gospel to satisfy the taste of the world, and we all know the world loves sugar. Just as the world sweetens almost all foods to increase sales and consumption, many ministers have sweetened the gospel of Christ to make it more pleasing to people. Consequently, just as the sugar in foods is causing major health issues, so is the sweetening of the gospel of Christ weakening the Church today.
The popularity of sugar cane in the world caused millions to be enslaved and brought into hard bondage on plantations. The perverting of the gospel of Christ to appeal to the taste of the carnal and worldly has had the same effect. Here is what I mean by sweetening the Gospel of Christ. Many leaders in the church promote and reinforce the idea that if we shared the truth like Christ and lived like Christ that the world would be more accepting of Christianity, and churches would be running over with converts, and your neighbors would all be saved. This proposed gospel of Christ is served with a modified recipe; spiritual love has been replaced with emotional feel-good love, and the preservatives of judgment and truth have been removed and discarded as toxins.
Christ wasn’t going around pushing a wooden cart serving cold and sweet carbonated beverages for free. He bore a cross and was a fountain pouring out living water which was sweet to the soul, life to the spirit, but bitter to the flesh. The majority of people couldn’t swallow what He was serving so He was persecuted, run out of towns, and eventually crucified. He forewarned all those who would love and live as He did to expect the same treatment.
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” (John 15:18-21 NKJV)
There are many people who identify as Christians but are preaching another Christ than what is in holy scripture. They are either doing it ignorantly or selfishly for their own gain. Nowhere does Christ teach that those who love as He did will be popular and well received by the world. This perversion is from Satan, and it is anti-Christ. I call it anti-Christ because it turns people against Christ and attempts to undermine the mission of Christ to free man from the tyranny of death and sin. Christ said that the people reject Him because they do not know the Father who sent Him. People do not know Christ or the Father as they should because their carnal minds alienate them from the spiritual essence of GOD. Instead of just receiving the Word in faith, they filter it through their intellect and emotions. They end up with a carnal version of Christ, suited to their own taste with no resurrection power.
The love of Christ was filled with the preservatives of truth and judgment. Truth is the knowledge of GOD as revealed through His Word and Spirit producing light and life. Judgment is the clarification made between good and evil, life and death, the real and the false, that results from exposure to the light of truth. Only the love of Christ produces life, righteousness, and justice, because it is robust with truth and judgement. People, due to deception, speak of judgement as condemnation not understanding that judgement facilitates the possibility for both justification and condemnation by liberating people with the power to choose. Here is what the Lord said about judgment through the prophet Isaiah,
“8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.
11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;
13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.” (Isaiah 59:8-15 KJV)
If you choose to embrace that which is real, and choose to follow that which is good, you in effect are choosing life. If you hold on to that which is false, and choose to continue in evil, you are in effect choosing condemnation unto death. Judgement only exposes your choices, so you can choose better. Here is what Christ said about the effect of His life on those who encountered Him,
“22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” (John 15:22-26 NKJV)
It is true that Christ did a lot of sweet things, like providing meals to the hungry multitudes, forgiving people of their sins, giving those who hated Him chance after chance to repent, and pouring blessings on people when they deserved to be cursed. However, Christ also balanced all that sweetness with the bitter reality that no one could follow Him unless they were willing to take up the cross and suffer for the sake of righteousness just as He did, the bitter reality that if they tried to avoid the hate and persecution that comes with following Him by denying Him that He would also deny them before the judgment seat of the Father, the bitter reality that if anyone showed another (including family members) more fidelity and love than He should be shown by them, then they were not worthy of Him, the bitter reality that straight is the way and narrow is the gate which leads to eternal life and few there be that find it.
Following Christ is beyond our capability in our own strength, but all things are possible with GOD. To be with GOD means trusting in the Lord with all your heart and leaning not unto your own understanding. To be with GOD means taking up your cross and denying yourself the things that take you away from Him no matter how discomforting it is to the flesh. GOD has provided us the Holy Spirit as a comforter to nurse us through the transformation process, but we have to be determined to go through it, no matter what.
“26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” 27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.” 28 Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” 29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:26-30 NKJV)