I watched a very famous preacher being interviewed awhile ago on television. When the topic of sin came up, the preacher said, “I never talk about sin. I never use the word sin, because people already know they are sinners. I am not here to beat people down. I just want to lift them up.”
However, I don’t think that most people know they are sinners. And our job is not just to lift people up; it is to point them to Christ. So we have to use the word sin.
There is a counterfeit gospel. The apostle Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). Just because someone uses the term gospel doesn’t mean he or she is referring to the genuine gospel. Even if someone claims they are preaching the gospel, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the real gospel.
For the gospel to be genuine, certain things must be in place. And one of those things is the acknowledgement that everyone has sinned. As 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
The only solution for our sin being removed is the cross. If the cross is not proclaimed, then it is not the gospel. Any proper presentation of the gospel includes the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the believers at Corinth, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
Whenever there is the genuine, there also will be the counterfeit. And the devil has his fake version of just about everything—even the gospel.
Taken from “A Counterfeit Gospel” by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).