THE GIMMICK GOSPEL
by W.F. BELL
“WORLD’S LARGEST CHURCH” – “WORLD’S FASTEST GROWING CHURCH” -“AMERICA’S FASTEST GROWING SUNDAY SCHOOL” – “FASTEST GROWING CHURCH IN THE STATE.”
These are frequently heard and frequently seen slogans in these modern days. Isn’t it silly to brag about numbers (either large or small)? Where in God’s Word does it tell us to gimmick people into attending church services or Sunday School…? The answers to these questions are obvious to all Bible readers. The modern “gimmick gospel” is a FAKERY, FAULTY in its desired results, and FOOLISH in the light of Scripture.
What a perversion of the one true gospel is the modern “gimmick gospel.” Give-aways, gadgets, and games are weekly emphasized, to keep the crowds coming! It’s “Balloon Sunday” one week, “Ice cream Sunday” another week, and “Clown Sunday” the next week. On and on the “gimmick gospel” goes, going so far as to have “karate preachers” performing their stunts, and “cut-off-your-tie” days. Some churches have a carnival like atmosphere about them. Where such a fleshly show is carried on, the Lord Jesus Christ is not being honored and it is easily proved. Where are all those Sunday morning throngs on Sunday night? Where are they on prayer meeting night? Has there ever been one new church building built yet, that was built to house the Sunday night and Wednesday night crowds? Where are the genuine results and the truly changed lives brought about by the “gimmick gospel?” The answer is simple: there are none. There cannot be anyone truly changed by the tactics and techniques of men, that is, changed from sinners into loyal subjects of King Jesus. Only God can change and truly convert poor sinners! How little this is believed in our day.
After getting thousands to attend Sunday School, what is taught to them after getting them there? This is the crucial question. We are not against churches bussing children and adults to Sunday School and church services, if they give them the pure gospel after getting them to come, and didn’t have to gimmick them to get them there.
We urge you to weigh carefully these solemn words: “Every plant which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). Do we believe this? Men can get “decisions” and men can
persuade folks to “come forward,” but does that mean that God the Holy Spirit has done a real work in their hearts? Some think so, but not this writer. We “fear and tremble” when we think of being called of
God to preach and teach His Word! We take it seriously and care nothing if our name is never recorded in the religious journals of our day. We never want to preach a faulty gospel, but always proclaim that true gospel that honors CHRIST and exalts the sovereignty of God in salvation.
If the “gimmick gospel” is the answer to all of America’s ills and problems today, why is there more deadness and unconcern for God and His glory than ever before? The medicine is not working and it is
not working because it is faulty!
We cannot ever believe that Jesus Christ once engaged in anything foolish. Neither can we imagine the apostles of our Lord doing the things that are being done today in the name of Christianity. We cannot bring ourselves to see in the Scriptures that Almighty God is engaged in a crash program to “hurry up and get people saved before it’s too late. God is on His throne. What need has He to worry and fret? What need has God to rush and hurry up?
“For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass’s colt” (Job 11:12). What a humbling word is this! We are vain and yet we would be wise! We are depraved and yet we want to help out “little Jesus.” Who is this Jesus? Is He “the beggar?” We declare to you that modern preachers and modern churches are proving themselves to be fools indeed, when instead of doing things Biblically, they take on the world’s ways and habits of doing things. The world sells their merchandise and sells their sports, but the true gospel is not for sale; it never has been and never will be. The gospel of grace is not a bargain or something we merely try to get people to accept, but rather a glorious message of good news, the good news of CHRIST and what He has already done for poor, perishing sinners.
Are you a sinner? Have you been laid low by God’s convicting power? Are you guilty and undeserving? If so, there is good news for you: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Let us rid this country of the “gimmick gospel,” for it is fakery, faulty, and foolish. And in the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon: “We can do without modern learning, but we cannot do without the ancient gospel. We can do without oratory and eloquence, but we cannot do without Christ crucified. Lord, revive Thy work by giving us the old-fashioned gospel back again in our pulpits.”
Computers for Christ – Chicago