RECOGNIZE THE COUNTERFEIT BY BECOMING FAMILIAR WITH THE GENUINE
Scammers often try to sell people counterfeit jewelry. Counterfeiters attempt to pass bogus money as the real thing. Sadly, the people who do not take time to check for authenticity lose something. With currency and jewelry a person loses money. Satan is busy trying to sell a counterfeit gospel. Those who buy Satan’s ‘product’, a counterfeit gospel, lose much more. Besides losing peace of mind, the person loses eternal life with Christ. The best, perhaps the only, way to spot a counterfeit is by comparing it to the authentic.
Paul warns us to check for authenticity and stick with Christ’s gospel.
I am amazed that so quickly you are deserting from the One having called you in the grace of Christ to another gospel, which is not another, except there are some who are troubling you and are desiring to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel out of heaven should preach a gospel to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed! As we have said before, even now I say again: If anyone is preaching a gospel to you contrary to what you received, let him be accursed! Galatians 1:6-9
Since the only way to spot a counterfeit is by comparing it to the authentic, we look at the authentic first.
Mark 1:1 (Tells us the gospel is the gospel of Jesus Christ.)1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God…14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Jesus preached the gospel of the Kingdom. Here is what Christ told Nicodemus and then the disciples who wanted to know about these things…
Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again… 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. … So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10“ “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen … 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. 18 Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 And this is the verdict: The Light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come into the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever practices the truth comes into the Light, so that it may be seen clearly that what he has done has been accomplished in God.” John 3:3-21
Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.…John 14:6
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:5
Now I make known to you, brothers, the gospel that I proclaimed to you, which also you received, in which you also stand, by which you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I proclaimed to you; otherwise you have believed in vain. For I delivered to you in the foremost what also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Thereafter He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, the greater part of whom remain until now, although some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last of all, He appeared also to me, as to one of untimely birth. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:1-2, 8-9)
Unlocking the Bible is a site that has already clearly defined what to look for to identify the counterfeit.
A counterfeit gospel will deal with symptoms of our fallen nature, but not the real cause, which is sin. A counterfeit gospel is often moralistic, teaching that a loving God would not send a person to hell. The counterfeit will either add to or leave off a part of the true gospel, but just as gold, diamonds, currency, and other valuable items that are counterfeit are cheap and worthless a counterfeit gospel will be cheap and worthless! The true gospel was costly. Christ paid for our sins by giving His life’s blood. A counterfeit will offer another way, insulting the Spirit of grace first mentioned by Zechariah the prophet.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. Zechariah 12:10
REMEMBER THE WAY
We can be sure we get the real thing! Go to Jesus…He is the Way. Jesus said in Revelation…
I counsel you to buy of ME gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. Revelation 3:18
And Isaiah had previously prophesied…
“Come, all of you who thirst, come to the waters; and you without money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk, without money and without cost! Isaiah 55:1
This water is available only in Christ.
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14
He that believeth on me (Christ Jesus) as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38
See Unlocking the Bible.