WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Multitudes have been misled or given a false assurance of a salvation they never had by ministers preaching the wrong gospel, author and speaker Voddie Baucham said April 14 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
These ministers strip the Gospel of sin and repentance, depicting instead a “warm, fuzzy” Jesus that is foreign to Scripture, said Bauchman, an adjunct professor at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and a D.Min. graduate of Southeastern.
Baucham, who preached from 1 Corinthians 15 at the Wake Forest, N.C., campus, said false representations of the Gospel seek to manipulate people, often with humor, rather than call them to repentance and faith in Christ.
“You can make a good living if you know how to manipulate crowds,” Baucham said. But such “ministry” has left countless individuals “sealed in unbelief.”
God has chosen the “foolishness” of the preaching of the Gospel to save sinners, Baucham noted, and He blesses its proclamation when it is done in a way that is faithful to the truth of the biblical text.
Another way in which the Gospel is distorted is when Jesus Christ is not fully proclaimed as the Son of God, Baucham said. Those who concede that Jesus was a good teacher or a moral man but deny Him as the divine Son of God who died for sinners must be reminded of Jesus’ claims of His own divinity.
“If we don’t understand who Jesus is, we don’t understand the Gospel,” Baucham said. “We allow them to believe in this warm, fuzzy Jesus who is not the Christ of the Scriptures. Jesus is not just a warm, fuzzy guy who wants to be your friend.”
This type of preaching frequently fails to mention sin, Baucham said. Instead, society is blamed for man’s failure.
“We don’t just make bad choices,” Baucham countered. “We weren’t just raised by the wrong parents in the wrong neighborhood.
“It’s sin — we’re sinners.”
Preachers also must be sure to uphold the doctrine of a believer’s eternal security in Christ and God’s gracious keeping of His children, Baucham said. At the same time, he cautioned, “If you believed the wrong gospel, you weren’t saved in the first place.”
The authentic Gospel will bear lasting fruit in the lives of those God has saved, he said, encouraging the chapel audience to preach, teach and live the Gospel.
“God saves sinners. God keeps sinners. If you believe that, act like it,” Baucham said.