The main idea behind this Natural Man series is that Christians must convey the gospel message in clarity.
Because, from every quarter, the world seeks to obscure the truth of God’s word.
This is about clarity in our words. Clarity in our doctrine. Clarity in our associations. Clarity in our works.
We are not just working in a simple, neutral environment when we proclaim the message of Christ. We are not declaring the gospel within an easy, friendly world. We are in a savage battle against forces that war in both open and very subtle ways.
With Satan’s most popular strategy being, to seduce the world by mixing truth and error.
I am not interested in trying to determine where everyone stands. And then presume to categorize those that are saved and those that are not! That is not my job.
It is not my place to try to separate the sheep from the goats or the wheat from the tares, as the scriptures warn. That is the Lord’s place and authority.
This is simply about taking care in our message that we do not confuse those around us about what the gospel is. And about what it is not.
Yet sadly, the church itself is often complicit in obscuring the lines between that which is of God and that which is of the world. By allowing secondary purposes to be placed above the clarity of the gospel. Being willing to make compromises and cut corners in the word to accomplish some good, secondary purpose.
The Affect of New Evangelicalism
One of the ways we have seen this lack of clarity play out is through the affects of the New Evangelical movement that began back in the 1940s. (Which we will discuss at greater length in future posts.)
This movement has sown much compromise in the modern-day biblical church. Some of the affects of this movement on our churches have been:
- The push to keep an open mind about what the gospel is. To not nail anything down. And to minimalize the need for doctrinal positions on truth.
- The push to gather as many different religious people together as possible, in Christ’s name; with very little concern about what those people really believe.
- The focus more on the works of religious people. Works that might be used as a common ground for cooperation. For the purpose of bonding together and, thereby, breaking down the barriers between spiritual beliefs.
The Charismatic movement, the Vineyard movement and the Promise-Keepers movement are just a few of the groups that have employed these methods to rub away the lines of difference between those that are believers and those that are not. All of them posturing as a means to accomplish some greater, common good.
What we are talking about is the attempt to obscure the difference between the Natural Man and the Spiritual Man. Or the lost man and the saved man.
Because, the Natural Man, hates the gospel. He cannot receive it and he does not comprehend it. And he is unwilling to forsake his own works and embrace the full sufficiency of Christ for salvation.
Yet, most Christians today seem oblivious to this foundational difference between the man in whom Christ dwells and the man that is spiritually dead. There is an eternity of difference between these two.
A False Agreement
There can be NO agreement or cooperation between the two. The scriptures forbid it.
- “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)
- “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Corinthians 6:14)
- “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (II Corinthians 6:17)
The refusal to set a clear difference between the sacred and profane has affected all of Evangelicalism; resulting in the works of the Natural Man being praised and accepted as evidence of the New Birth — without the clear profession of belief in the truth.
The result is a growing number of people within the church who are not born again. But who have learned how to live outwardly acceptable lives that the average church goer can accept. While rejecting the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone.
If this is not corrected, the church will be torn apart by those who creep in “unaware” to assume leadership roles. (Jude 1:4). By false brethren who maintain an outward testimony but who are spiritually dead.
By those who will seduce the churches away from the word of God to another gospel.