The first problem with the false modern gospel is a watered-down definition of “sin”
Sin is not an “honest mistake”
It is an honest choice from a sinful heart to do what you know is wrong.
Would a good judge describe the crimes of a vicious murderer as “honest mistakes”? While it sounds ridiculous to call murder and rape “honest mistakes” , God sees hatred to be as wicked as murder (1 John 3:15), and lust as deceitful as adultery (Matt 5:28). In God’s world, those who lie are liars. If we have stolen, we are thieves. If we have broken God’s Law in any way (in word, thought, or deed) we are Lawbreakers.
God defines sin in His Word: “Sin is transgression of the Law” (1 John 3:4). We are on the hook for our sins, and God doesn’t view us as innocent misguided victims of our “honest mistakes.” In God’s holy eyes, our hearts are “desperately wicked and deceitful” (Jer. 17:9) and we are “by nature, children of wrath.”
Ignorance of God’s Law is no excuse, because He has written it upon our hearts (see Romans 2:15). We have a conscience. We know right from wrong. When we lie, it isn’t an honest mistake. Stealing and lusting, hating and blaspheming, idolizing, coveting, and dishonoring our parents are not honest mistakes either. Scripture says that we have actually angered God by violating His Law, and made ourselves “enemies of God,” and therefore, are “by nature, children of wrath,” “storing up wrath for ourselves that will be revealed on the Day of Wrath” (see Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:1-3 and Romans 2:4-5)
We are not doing sinners any favors when we minimize the seriousness of their sin. George Whitefield, a famous preacher once said, “First, then, before you can speak peace to your hearts, you must be made to see, made to feel, made to weep over, made to bewail, your actual transgressions against the Law of God.” It is only when a person sees his sin as wicked and understands the seriousness of offending his Creator, that he can find a place of true repentance and surrender to the Savior.
Within the last 100 years, a new gospel has crept into our churches. It has been designed to not offend you. It has been carefully crafted not to be too “in your face.” It gently suggests that you open your heart to Jesus if your current lifestyle isn’t working for you, and try God “when the time is right for you.”
This “seeker centered” and “no offense” approach is no gospel at all; it is “another gospel.” If we continue to define sin as “honest mistakes,” we will continue to fill our churches with “backsliders” and false converts who fail to repent because they don’t see the seriousness of their sin. We will give them a cruel false hope, and make them comfortable aboard the “Jesus loves you” pleasure cruiser, singing songs to the Captain, while they blindly speed toward the iceberg of Eternal Justice.
The Captain has already lowered the life boats of salvation, but they are mostly empty. God help us to stop the music, and sound the air-horns. We must tell the passengers about the iceberg and direct them to the emergency exits of repentance. Time is slipping away, and those who die in their sins will perish. If we are faithful servants to the Captain of our Salvation, we will obey his Commands and preach the pure gospel, the only gospel that can save souls.