Many people today who think they are winning souls to Christ are not really preaching the gospel and thus are not winning anyone to Christ. These false preachers and false teachers have changed the message from one of warning sinners to flee from the wrath and judgment of God to one of enticing sinners to receive something.
Is enticing someone really all that bad?
In each case where we see enticement in the Bible, it is always a bad thing:
1 Corinthians 2:4-5 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of manâ€™s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Colossians 2:4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
As Colossians 2:4 tells us, enticing words beguile us. Look at some of the instances in the Bible of people being beguiled and you will see that you won’t want to be beguiled:
The devil beguiled Eve
Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Preaching another Jesus or another gospel is the same thing the devil did to Eve, and that corrupts us from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Laban beguiled Jacob
Genesis 29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?
The Midianites beguiled the Israelites
Numbers 25:18 For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peorâ€™s sake.
What are the things some are using to entice sinners today?
Many times, sinners are told to come to Christ for happiness, for peace, for prosperity, for good marriages, for good homes, for God’s blesssings. So what’s wrong with giving that message to sinners? First and foremost, it is not what the Lord Jesus Christ did nor what the apostles and disciples did. They brought conviction to the sinner by exposing sin and showing the sinner’s need for deliverance from God’s judgment and wrath. Second, anyone who lives godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. The world hates the Christian because the world hates Christ. If you invite someone to come to Christ for happiness and peace, what will that person think when persecution comes? However, if you tell the person to come to Christ to escape condemnation for sin, when persecution comes, the person will be able to withstand it because he knows that one day he will be delivered from it all. As a Christian, I do have happiness and peace today, but that is because I came to Christ for the right reasons.
You don’t see a difference?
Some may think I am splitting hairs and don’t see any difference – as long as people are coming to Christ. The difference is subtle – but that is how the devil works:
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Satan enticed Eve with the truth – eating the fruit would allow them to know good and evil – but he did not appeal to her sense of obedience to God; he appealed to her lusts and her desires. She desired to be like God; sinners desire happiness and peace. Using that as a means to draw people to Christ is not right. If we draw them with happiness and peace, one day they may not be so happy and then they will try something else to make them happy. We must sow the seed on good ground – ground that has been plowed through the reproof of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
Acts 13:10 …O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
Are you perverting the right ways of the Lord through a happiness gospel or a propserity gospel? Thou child of the devil! Preach that it is appointed unto men once to die, and then the judgment. Preach that Christ died for their sins – that he paid the penalty for their transgressions, that he was buried and rose from the dead. Preach that if they are not found in him, they will be cast into the lake of fire.