Paul wrote, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
He lived in a time when factions in the church abounded on the left and right, and they fought bitterly. Paul responded to the conflict by saying, “I have nothing to do with this. I am here for one purpose: to live and preach Christ crucified and risen. As a servant of the Lord, I refuse to get entangled in such things.”
Paul was then compelled to write to his young associate Timothy with the following warning: “The Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead” (1 Timothy 4:1-2, NLT). Paul’s warning here is clear: Men will appear preaching another gospel.
Right now, a false Christ is being preached even in some evangelical churches. Theirs is a Christ who calls for no repentance. It is a Christ who embraces immorality and same-sex marriage. It is a Christ of acceptance of false religions, all supposedly in the name of tolerance and love.
Today the church we see is often not as it should be. What is our response to this travesty? We see the real Jesus – the unchangeable Christ – standing victorious over it all! All other human-invented gospels will not offer one ounce of comfort in the hour of need.
As Paul instructed, we can’t let these kinds of issues distract us. We are not to be “corrupted from the simplicity [devotion] that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). All around us the world is breaking down, but we see Jesus! We must trust that he is standing with us in our pain, our suffering, our crises, all things.