Summary of Series 4

Everything we believe in as Christians, every value we hold dear, every standard we uphold and every doctrine we subscribe to, must be determined by and fit into the framework of the Gospel message. If we take away that premise, we have nothing to hang our hat on and the good news of Christianity disappears like a puff of smoke in the mist.  So what is the Gospel message in a nutshell?  Many Christians would say it is that Jesus died and rose again so our relationship with the Father could be restored. Whilst that certainly is a vital part of it, and the only way back, I believe it is more accurately stated as: 

God created everything because He wants to spend eternity with that part of His creation that has a heart for Him.

Ever since He created the universe, He has been courting His creation to find out which of us truly want to spend eternity in His presence.  He is not after people who think it is a better option than the alternative.  And He is not looking for religious nuts. He doesn’t crave the false adulation of hypocrites.  And He can well do without those who secretly would like to take His place, those motivated by a personal agenda, or those so selfish they would try to modify Him to fit their expectations. He is just looking for those who simply and genuinely love Him and want to be with Him.


There is a plethora of attempts to discredit the Gospel happening today. Wherever we go, and whatever church we attend, it is either overt or covert but it goes on nevertheless.  It is either becoming so blatant that the average Christian cannot believe there could be an unhealthy motivation behind it, and therefore it must be OK. Or else it is so subtle, extensive exposure slowly brainwashes us to not only go along with it, but to accept it as valid.  Mostly, the attempts go under the guise of being well-intentioned, and hence have the appearance of good.

The most obvious ones are the prosperity doctrine and the doctrines focussing on self achievement. These take our eyes off Jesus and make self the centre of our Christian walk.  These strategies are market-driven, trying to give the unbelieving public a product they want; trying to ‘tickle their ears’ (2 Timothy 4:3) by telling them what they like to hear; modifying the Gospel to make it attractive to the unsaved.

In the same motivation, there has been a huge swing to make church servicesentertaining.  I’m not advocating that church services should be boring, but the trend is again evidence of the modern approach to the Gospel – make it what the people want to hear. The Bible says Christ is “a stumbling block and a rock of offence” (1 Peter 2:8) to those who don’t believe! By taking away the offence, we are watering down the message. People are flocking to the front of the church ‘to party with Jesus’. Few of them have any idea of their own depravity or need to repent, nor of the extent of God’s wrath on those who don’t.


“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

Next come all the compromises we make to have the Bible fit what scientists tell us. There is the theory of evolution, the big bang, the millions of years of existence.  These undermine the Gospel message, by taking away the very reason for creation, the reason we need salvation and the reason Jesus died and rose again. 

There are daily attempts in the secular arena to justify the separation of faith from science (suggesting faith is a personal thing, distinct from reality), as if the laws of physics invented themselves. The world would like us to put our faith into the twilight zone, as if spirituality can bring comfort, even if you don’t genuinely believe.

Then there are the multitude of attempts to take away the divinity of Christ, to prove that He was only a man and not the Son of God, that it was not God Himself Who died on a cross for us, thereby reducing our Christian faith to the same level of significance as all the other religions. 

Then there is the new age trend to invite the other religions into our midst, to show how 'tolerant' we are towards their way of thinking. Yes, we must be accepting of people from other cultures and religions, but not to the point of compromising the Gospel.  The final product of this 'tolerance' can only be a totally compromised Gospel message of the brotherhood of Man. The practical application can already be seen in the way any attempt to recognise Jesus in our daily cultural lives is regarded as an infringement of minority rights, yet the reverse (eg. objection to introduction of Allah into our culture) is seen as discrimination. The celebration of Christmas is already suffering. And the paperwork on extremist preaching of violence and ‘justified’ rape of our women is put in the ‘too hard’ basket, just beneath the dossier on democratic human rights and freedom of speech.  Politicians are secretly hoping it will just go away.  I dread the thought of an eventual church where all religions are accepted as a way into heaven and the 'Jesus' angle has become a matter of personal preference.  Personal 'faith' in this church environment will be a crutch for those so weak, they really need it.  It will have very little relevance to the real world. Is it any wonder God ordered the Israelites to utterly destroy these influences when they went in to occupy the Promised Land?  

If there was another way into heaven, Jesus would have died for nothing!

Then we have a distinct trend to take away the gender God has revealed for Himself.  God is MALE.  Ministers of the church are starting to compromise the Bible by changing the original text, so this gender message will be suppressed. It is God the Son, not God the daughter, Who died for us, whether we like it or not. It is God the Father, not Mother, Who told his Son what to do and what to say.   The ultimate heretical outcome of this way of thinking is the eternal bride demanding equality with the groom, and therefore asserting a legal claim to be worshipped. A million copies of 'The Da Vinci Code' sold in Australia, will very likely generate a million readers destined to hell.

Everywhere we go there are attempts to undermine the authority of the Bible. Many are indirect, like the SETI program, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Billions of dollars are thrown at this initiative, and most people don't recognise what is behind this project.  The proof of microbial life elsewhere in the Universe would seem to most people to be adequate proof that, under the right conditions, life can arise spontaneously from lifeless chemicals (abiogenesis). Many believe aliens are already among us, helped along in their convictions by the special effects of the entertainment industry.  Proof of life on other planets wouldn't shake my faith, but I can see how it would prevent many others from ever considering divine creation as a possible explanation for our existence, and therefore original sin as an explanation for our need for salvation.

Dozens of theological documentary TV programs bring into question the validity of the Bible by trying to find natural explanations for the plagues in Egypt or the miracles of Christ.  Whilst healthy questioning is a good thing, the main agenda is to sow doubt.  The more sophisticated try to bring into question the genuine nature of the resurrection or the way the books of the Bible were chosen, duplicated or interpreted. They forget that our God is omnipotent, and always in charge of His message to us.

There is the toned-down attitude towards Biblical standards of behaviour, compromising to adapt to new public expectations.  The church now accepts as ‘normal’ many of the things that were once unqualified no-nos: adultery, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, etc, etc. I’m not saying these are unforgivable sins, but generally churches are totally at a loss for knowing what to do about it, so they either force the offenders to leave, or else welcome them with open arms. Their indecision on the right course of action is evidence they have lost touch with the Holy Spirit.

And then there is that personal bug-bear – the way the church has been turned into a huge money-making corporation. The Gospel has been turned into a product to sell. The product has been adapted to be ‘relevant’ to the marketplace.  All the same principles of sound business practice are applied to running a ‘successful’ church.  We analyse the market, choose our preferred target group, work out what message will bring them through the door and what will make them stay.  Finally we determine what technique is most effective in getting them to part with their money.  Performance indicators focus on the number of people in attendance and the total collection. We have ‘improved’ God’s eternal message, because we didn’t like His original one. Jesus said it in no uncertain terms: “You cannot serve both God and Money!” Now we are stuck with a church that is fuelled by money and collapses when the money runs out.

If Christians don't get off their collective butts now to stop the rot, I shudder to think how far this damage and destruction will go. And the road back from slavery in this spiritual Babylon will be ever so hard. 


So what is the aim of our time here on earth?  Jesus said: “Be perfect, the way your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)  Is that the goal – to reach a state of perfection? The answer is ‘yes’, but probably not in the way most of us think of perfection. Christ’s definition of perfection lies outside of the little box of human expectation and comprehension.

Is the aim to become totally sinless, so that we can become shining examples of righteousness to the rest of the community?  I don’t think so.  I think we must become so conscious of our own depravity and unworthiness that the thought of judging others never enters our mind.  It is only then that Jesus’ blood can totally cover us, so that the Father only sees His perfection. As a result our hearts will be changed and we will want to do the right thing.

Is the aim to become so good, that God can love us without cringing at the sight of us?  I don’t think so. First of all, He loved us so much while we were yet sinners, that He sacrificed His own Son on a cross. He is hardly going to back-pedal now. What He really wants is total and uncompromised honesty between Him and us; an unqualified humility leading to recognition and confession of our utter corruption.  No more pretences or hypocrisy. And then repentance. It is only then that our relationship with Him can work and begin to bear fruit in terms of love and honour and righteousness.   

Is the aim to become so accomplished in a particular field of expertise that people will ‘ooh and ah’ in admiration?  Should we become so successful in business that our wealth will buy influence?   I don’t think so. I think we need to find a place inside ourselves where we can touch God and where the reality of that experience finally makes us willing to take up our own cross. It is only then that the Holy Spirit can be released in us; and the world can be changed, not by the power of money, but by the power of the Spirit.

Is the aim to become so lovable that God will want to spend eternity with us? I don’t think so. I think He wants us to become so aware of His presence, so interested in His astounding qualities, so impressed with His CV, that we will fall head over heels in love with Him. So that we will want to spend eternity with Him!

The shocking truth is that since we became His Temple, we have occupied His throne. Our spirit has been sitting where The Holy Spirit should.  We have become a god before Him, by making our agendas more important than His! The aim is to get off that throne and allow Him to reign.


Lucifer’s attempt to usurp God’s throne got him chucked out.  Do we honestly think God will now take in multitudes who all think themselves more important than He is?


Let’s finally face the truth about the Gospel message: 


“Christ crucified is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23). 

The message is not one that appeals to the unbelieving public. The Gospel says God became man and died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sin. He then came back to life and now has the nerve to ask us to make a similar sacrifice!  The Gospel message is about denying self and taking up our cross. It is about self-sacrifice and laying down our life for the sake of others. This is not something the man in the street wants to hear, or even the man in the church. In fact, to many it is offensive, and to most it sounds stupid.  Everywhere in the modern churches we see a trend to try to make the Gospel appealing. Any such attempt waters down the message and leads to ‘decisions for Christ’ without repentance, which is not true conversion at all.

Jesus Himself told us: 

“Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)

There is no salvation without repentance. 

Jesus is waiting for His bride to get ready for His return.  At the moment, emotionally, I believe she is almost at the point of the ‘run-away bride’, ready to desert the groom at the altar.  Her level of commitment is only to an adapted gospel, and to an imagined life partner. Her trust is in worldly things, things she is familiar with. She hasn’t even picked out her wedding dress, in fact she’s still hasn’t decided which engagement ring she wants. She’s not sure what effect the marriage will have on her personal freedoms. And she is in it, mostly for what she can get out of it.


All of us must never let go of the essential central pillar of our Christian walk: God is sovereign in everything. The Bible is His message to His creation, cover to cover. We are saved by grace, and not by anything other than His grace. We contribute nothing and we are by nature incapable of earning a place in His kingdom.  No multitude of good deeds will qualify us for salvation. Even our faith, the ability to believe, is planted inside us by Him and eventually perfected by Him.  He chose us before He laid the foundation of this world and predestined us to be part of His eternal bride. Even the critical choice we make to follow Him is ultimately empowered by Him, granting us, by His grace, the wherewithal to make that decision.  Christ will build His Church, and nothing we do or don’t do will prevent it from happening.  Difficult as it is for the human intellect to come to terms with these concepts, they are absolute and immutable Truth.

But I feel I have said enough for the time being.  At least I have made a jolly good try at expressing what is in my heart. I have reviewed all my essays to date and consolidated them into a book in Acrobat Reader format (1.2 Mb). I have also taken steps to produce a professionally printed version.  To down load a copy of the digital free version,


To acquire a copy of the printed version (Australia only, because of prohibitive postal costs) contact me by Email.

Yes, I have been highly critical of the Church as it is today. And when you are critical, the judgments you inevitably pass render you liable to be judged by those same standards.  I hope I survive the test.  My main motivation, I sincerely believe, has been a conviction that Jesus deserves better than we have been willing to give Him (and I stress the ‘we’ includes me).  But I remain open to further divine discipline, in case I have deluded myself once more. In this magnificent divine plan, the greatest equaliser is the recognition of your own shortcomings.


  May the Lord bless us, by granting all of us the privilege of spending eternity with Him.  
May He overlook our feigned righteousness and our pathetic attempts at true honesty.
May He give us a revelation of where we fit into His plan and His eternity.
May He humble us to the point where we forgive and accept others. 
May He forgive  us  our many weaknesses and  transgressions.
May He soften our hearts so our love for Him can blossom.
May He enable us to take up our cross and find the Way.
May he open our eyes to see our own lack of merit.
May He give us all a vision for tomorrow.
And may He deal with our selfishness. 
For Jesus’ sake and in His name