The Great Deception
This week I have spoken with my friend Sonny about a book entitled The Graham Formula. The author, Patrick McIntyre, looks at the techniques of several American evangelists over the last one hundred years. The results of those techniques are startling at best and sinful at worst.
I know that about 80% of Americans are self proclaimed Christians. Yet to look at their lives, the way the conduct themselves, it would be impossible to know that. Christ is just not evident. So are these people really followers of Jesus Christ? According to many pastors, they must belong to Jesus because they repeated the sinners prayer. At least that is what a few of the great American evangelists proclaim. Does salvation come from saying a prayer? What does the bible say about this?
My reading this morning is Proverbs 30. “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” These words cut and reminded me of the book that Sonny and I discussed. Why would a person looking to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ tell a person that they have been saved from their sinful condition when only that person and God know if that statement is really true? Why wouldn’t the evangelist teach the proselyte the signs of a true conversion and let that person decide for himself if he has met the requirements for salvation?
There are only two reasons that I can think of for this, one is sinful pride, the other is ignorance of God’s word. He wanted so much to be a successful evangelist that he lowered God’s standards of righteousness to just saying one prayer. The damage is done! Correction and healing is only through the word of God. As we try to overcome this situation, remember the words of Proverbs 30:8, “Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion.”
Study scripture so that you will not be decieved!
- Marks of the Messenger, Chapter Three – Losing the Gospel by Assuming the Gospel (lmbc.typepad.com)
- Preach the Word (getreal.typepad.com)
- The Sinner’s Prayer? (scentofwaterministries.typepad.com)