Sinful hearts know they are sinful. Sinners can’t appreciate the full depth of their depravity, nor can they understand the magnitude of God’s holiness. But every unrepentant man’s conscience cries out when he rebels against the Law of God written in his heart.
While our brazen culture refuses to acknowledge God or the authority of His Word, the pleading cry of the prophet Micah rings out through all of human history:
With what shall I come to the Lord and bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (Micah 6:6-7)
The unrepentant world has concocted countless false religious systems to stifle the cries of its conscience. But that plethora of deceptive false gospels—especially those that blasphemously resemble the truth of God’s Word—are why God’s people must be so careful to accurately and faithful represent the gospel of His Son.
That’s the case John MacArthur makes in his sermon “Getting the Gospel Right.” Tracing the glaring deficiencies of false religion through Scripture and church history, John makes a compelling case for biblical fidelity and theological precision.
The sermon centers on Paul’s words in Galatians 1:6-9.
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
Throughout his message, John MacArthur traces the dire condemnation that awaits anyone who corrupts or distorts the true gospel.
This was on the apostle’s mind in the eleventh chapter of 2 Corinthians, verse 2: “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” “I am afraid,” he says in 11:3, “that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.”
What an indictment! Somebody comes with a different Jesus, a different Holy Spirit, and a different gospel, and you bear it beautifully, you welcome them. This is frightening. Whatever form of corrupted gospel—the gospel of works, the prosperity gospel, gospel of natural theology, the gospel of wider mercy, the new perspective on Paul, whatever you want to call it—another gospel is not to be borne beautifully. Accursed is to be pronounced on another gospel.
Under the constant onslaught of doctrinal compromise, false religion, and demonic lies, God’s people must hold fast to His truth. “Getting the Gospel Right” is a powerful reminder of what is at stake, and all that can go wrong when the church falters in its biblical fidelity.