Pastor Dr. T. Valson Abraham Founder/President India Gospel Outreach President India Bible College and Seminary
A man looks at a sore on his neck that does not heal. He worries – is it cancer? The thought frightens and horrifies him.
He asks advice from others regarding a good doctor. Someone tells him, “Oh, it doesn’t really make any difference which doctor you go to. Just find a doctor you feel most comfortable with, someone who best suits who you are.”
The man hates the idea of surgery, but he does have a problem that doesn’t go away. He wants a doctor, but he decides what he most desperately wants is a doctor who will tell him what he wants to hear.
The medical practitioner he contacts is a very pleasant man with an impressive looking diploma hanging in his office where everyone can see it. He smiles, has a pleasant, appealing manner, and he assures the man that no, he does not have cancer. He advises him to take a simple remedy, cover the sore with a bandage so he doesn’t see it, and refrain from worry. Elated, the man goes home and says to himself, “My worries are over!”
Unfortunately, six months later, the man dies of an aggressive cancer that has spread from his neck to the rest of his body. The doctor who gave him the “good news” is an unqualified fake who says he practices medicine, but who specializes in telling patients what they want to hear. The diploma that hangs in his office is as fake as the so-called doctor.
If the man had gone to a real doctor, he would have heard unpleasant news. He would have faced painful surgery, but he would also have gone on to live a normal and useful life.
When we read such a story, we recognize the total carelessness and foolishness of the man-his stubborn unwillingness to put up with unpleasant news in the short run at the expense of his long term health. Sad to say, this happens more often than we like to think.
In spiritual matters, this same kind of carelessness and foolishness also happens again and again when we seek out teachers and false messiahs who tell us only what we like to hear.
In the Bible, Jesus is portrayed as the Great Physician. In some ways, Jesus tells us unpleasant things that make us uncomfortable. We all experience problems in life, and we see many problems in the world around us, but we don’t like to hear we are all sinners before a holy God, and we are headed to hell. We don’t like to be told to repent and commit our lives to God through Jesus Christ. We don’t like to be told that we have a spiritual cancer that is killing us and that only Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, will remove it.
To many ears, the Good News of Jesus Christ is bad news. Like surgery, Jesus’ death and crucifixion for our sins seems too bloody, ugly and unnecessary. We may not find satisfaction with our lives, but the spiritual surgery that Jesus requires seems too messy, too radical and scary. We don’t like to think about it. To make us feel better, we may even jeer at those who trust in Jesus as their Great Physician.
We know we need help, but we seek our help in people who claim to be prophets, who claim to be even Jesus Himself, who tell us what we want to hear rather than what we need to hear.
Jesus Himself warns us about the dangers of following after charlatans-teachers who exalt themselves over the clear teaching of the Bible. He warns us about those who promote a different gospel from the one He taught-a so-called “gospel” that leaves out sin, the cross and repentance, judgment and hell. He warns us about people who preach God’s love but not His holiness, his forgiveness but not His hatred of sin and the penalty for sin.
Much of what the false christ says may be true and right, but even if he deviates just a little bit, avoid him as if he were the devil himself!
Any self-proclaimed “christ” who fails to preach the gospel as taught by Jesus Christ is an imposter with a spirit of lawlessness that will show up in some form in his own life such as sexual perversion, abusive behavior, misuse of money or other kinds of moral failures.