The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Not For Sale
Men who understand business in this world often do not understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In reality, they do not understand salvation, even though they may appear to be zealous for the kingdom of God. A zeal without knowledge is always dangerous.
The world of business is a matter of manufacturing a product or service with the intent of selling that item to others. The promise made in the complementary marketing campaign is always, “This will change your life!” Accustomed to the ways of the worldly marketplace, the economy is exuberant for bringing techniques learned from business corporations into the church. We assume that those who promote an errant message, using errant methods are well meaning. Most people do not wish to deceive others, but if they themselves are deceived, they do not really have an option…except to change their message and methods!
The problem is exacerbated if these business men and women are not confronted. The errors multiply like weeds. Our objective here is to show that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a product or service to be offered to a potential consumer.
The Gospel is news…good news. Arguably, news is not a product or service (although some have intentions to try to make money from it). News is information, filled with facts, which are either true or false. These facts are about people, places, times, and events. This is true for Gospel news.
As men of God herald this Good News, revealed from God in heaven, they do wish for people everywhere to hear their report. The reason for this desire is because God’s plan to save His people from their sins manifests when the Word of God preached is heard (Mt 1:21; Rom 10:14–17). This hearing has two very different outcomes in those who hear the news about Jesus Christ, our God and Savior (Jn 3:36; 1 Jn 5:12). One hears and believes; while one hears and his heart is hardened by what he hears. Why the difference?
The hearing believer has been given the Holy Spirit, who has given the gift of faith to that select person. The hearing unbeliever has not been given the Holy Spirit, and for this reason he does not have faith to believe the message preached.
Businessmen see this process very differently (there are exceptions). They dream of a god who loves everyone, everywhere, and at all times. They imagine the death of Jesus Christ is a service provided by God for anyone, anywhere to buy into. Our businessman may be informed enough that there is no cost to the buyer (Is 55:1), but he is sure the service is merely provisional. In other words, Jesus Christ did not actually save anyone, but he did a great work and made it available for sale to anyone who decides she needs the provisional service. In this scenario, God is hoping and praying that someone will see their need for Jesus and make a wise decision to let Him be her Savior.
This is a false gospel, known as: the Arminian heresy. It is the dominant teaching in American evangelicalism. It is so saturated in American Christianity that only a remnant of church goers even question this gospel for sale.
Because so many are deceived, all we can do is ask our friends to reconsider what they are “offering.” The god who loves everyone is not the God of the Bible (Ps 5:5; 11:5; Rom 9). The Christ who died for everyone, but whose death atoned for no one, is not the Christ of the Bible (Titus 3:5; 1 Pet 2:24). The spirit who is selling the gospel to everyone in the world, but not reaching everyone intended is not the Holy Spirit of the Bible (Acts 1:8; Rom 8:16).
In conclusion, it is true that God desires all of His beloved people to be saved (2 Pet 3:9). This is why the Father chose His elect people before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4–5). This is why the Son came into the world to sacrificially die in the place of His bride, the church, whom He loved from eternity (Eph 5:25). This is why the Holy Spirit was sent from the Father and the Son to gather God’s elect from the four corners of the earth in their appointed generation (Mt 24:31). He has shone His light in His peoples’ hearts (2 Cor 4:6). God’s love never fails (1 Cor 13:8), for who can separate God’s elect from God’s love in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:35–39)?
This is the news we preach. It is so very different than the business men of the world, who attempt to offer to sell a gospel that is no gospel at all. Sadly, a cheap substitute for the glorious Gospel of our sovereign God has forced its way into the church; and this offering of a cheap gospel has made the temple of God, a den of robbers. If someone is offering to sell you true manna from heaven, you may want to check the nutrition facts before you buy it.
Spokane Valley, Washington
August 19, 2021