Complaining about the Way:
Is the Gospel too Hard?
NCW 69: August 2000 - January 2001
Q. I believe in almost everything you teach but some of your teachings are just too hard for me to live. I can't manage them, and I know my family would never accept them. So I must break contact. I wish you all well.
A. Our Lord never said that the fullness of His Gospel would be easy and warned us to expect opposition from our families and from the culture we live in. The New Covenant Church of God has never been a church to compromise any aspect of the Gospel which will be fully instituted when Christ returns. We have always known, and accepted, that many in the last days would say about meaty doctrine: "This is a hard teaching, who can accept it?" (Jn.6:61, NIV).
We are anxiously waiting for the return of Christ who "must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets" (Acts 3:21, NIV). What we are doing in NCCG is a part of that restoration process and that which many investigators have problems with, though only affecting a small part of the Body of Christ (most especially the leadership), must be in place along with everything else. It is, as the Olive Branch says clearly, something that Christians coming from Protestant and other traditions must learn to adjust to even if it does not necessarily concern them personally.
The Christian Gospel has become so diluted over the centuries that there are almost none who wish to take up their crosses and follow in the Way of the Master any more. The truth of the matter is that they don't want a full salvation because they don't want anything that costs them something.
We have learned to be as blunt as Yah'shua (Jesus) was about such things: "He who does not love me will not obey my teaching" (Jn.14:24). And that's a fact. Most people like to be selective about what they believe, a way of being encouraged by our consumer society with all its different choices. They suppose that the churches are like the market place and that they have the right to choose what suits them the best. They aren't. The Gospel is not a consumer item at all - not even remotely. We don't have the right to pick and choose even though Yahweh in His mercy allows us to be conceited and arrogant in our approach to Him in the hope that we will eventually repent fully. But the supermarket system of church choice will eventually end, and sooner than most will like.
We must be completely blunt here: the Gospel isn't a product, it's a way of life that demands everything of you. It means that you must accept the whole package or go and buy a cheap imitation. Sadly, this does not conform to the mental illusion people have of "meek and mild Jesus" who accepts everything and everyone unconditionally. Recently the Crown Prince Haakon of Norway made a similar statement, saying how he admired "Jesus" because He was so tolerant of everyone, their lifestyles, etc.. This was at a time when there was a furore in the newspapers about his living in fornication with a divorcee which was considered inappropriate for one who would eventually be king and head of the Church of Norway. The public was divided, the liberals applauding him, the conservatives calling him a disgrace. Haakon took the side of the liberals, probably because it suited his immoral lifestyle, and created a "Jesus" in his own image.
But this is not the Yah'shua (Jesus) of scripture. Not remotely. Love is not unconditional acceptance of sinful lifestyles. Love is obeying the Master's teachings. And here's one which one day the liberals will probably cut out of their Bibles, or fudge the translation: "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me" (Mt.10:37-38, NIV). I see no liberal gospel in these words.
The Gospel of Yah'shua haMashiach (Jesus Christ) is full of potential stumbling-blocks for those who do not love Him enough to place Him and His teachings before everything and everyone else. We have now entered the era of the complete restoration of the Gospel once taught by the apostles to the first Christians, and apostate Christianity is trembling. It's been a gradual process, taking many generations, starting with Martin Luther preaching about salvation by grace, the Baptists reminding us that we need to be baptised by immersion and not sprinkling, the Puritans reminding us that we need to lead holy lives free of pagan trappings, the Pentecostals reminding us that we need all the spiritual gifts like prophecy (whilst sadly taking on board a whole bunch of false gifts at the same time), Seventh Day Adventists reminding us about the true Sabbath, Messianic Jews reminding us that the law of Yahweh has not come to an "end" but that Christ is its completion, patriarchal Christians reminding us that biblical "marriage" is not just monogamy but polygamy too (for those called into it), Restorationists reminding us of the need for apostles, tithing and modern revelation, and so on.
Yahweh has been extraordinarily kind to us, restoring these truths piecemeal so that we could have time to digest them. The trouble is that these Gospel truths remain scattered throughout different denominations. The New Covenant Church of God has gathered them together into one place to give the hottest Gospel curry that has been in existence since the New Testament Church, and people are burning their tongues and running away as fast as they can!! But they cannot run for ever. The truth will not go away and people simply do not have the right to "pick and choose". I don't know how many people have fled from this Church with their tails between their legs because of something that was "too hard" for them, but doesn't that reveal a lack of faith? Doesn't Yahweh promise to equip us to live His Gospel through His Son? Is anything to hard for God? The cowardice in people usually reveals that they relying on their own strength more than the Lord's, by which means it is in any case impossible to live a full Christian life.
The day of running is soon over. People must either choose the whole packet or go the way of the devil. They must love the truth better than their own lives, families, careers, or to whatever they may owe their allegiance.
This page was created on 19 January 2001
Last updated on 19 January 2001
Copyright © 1987-2008 NCCG - All Rights Reserved