Monday, December 05, 2005

4 Square Gospel?

I have been thinking about this for sometime. In the Pentecostal movement there is a teaching about the Four Square Gospel. This is the term that encapsulates the maxim - Jesus saves, Jesus Heals, Jesus fills with HS and Jesus is coming again. This misunderstands the Gospel. There are no four elements of the Gospel, there is only one simple fact - the Gospel is the declaration that Jesus died and rose again for the sins of sinners. That is the Gospel.

When one lumps with this message - healing and being filled with the HS and Jesus coming again, then the Gospel has been re-casts and no more Gospel. Do I not believe that Jesus heals, I do. Do I not believe he fills with the HS? I do. However, this is not the good news that the preacher should preach about. These benefits (in my thinking) flow from the Gospel - the forgiveness of the sinner's sins, but they are not part of the Gospel. What about Jesus coming again? Well for the believing sinner (the Christian) this is good news but this is bad news for the unbelieving sinner, this is terrible news. For when He comes, He will judge the whole world, so bad news for the world.

In some Pentecostal denominations, they even call themselves Full Gospel. Some have the motto pridefully shown in a car sticker - All the Gospel. That is to say, the preach all of the Gospel, as if there is more than one Gospel. This is not right because when one equates healing with the Gospel and the believer is not healed, disillusionment happens rather than hope. It hurts believers rather than keep them steadfast in faith. It puts them in condemnation.

There are also those that refer to the Bible as 'the Gospel' Again, a misunderstanding, because the Bible contains two kinds of messages - the Law and the Gospel. This could turn what is the Gospel as Law and what is Law- Gospel.

I'd say, there is no better gift that we can get from God than to have our sins forgiven. This He did when He nailed our sins in Jesus' body at the Cross of Calvary. When a Christian walks in heaven with Christ, he will always see the nail pierced hand, the scars on his back and the scar on his side. Each time he sees those, he will be reminded that the greatest thing Jesus did for us is to take our sins and God's wrath that was meant for us. The Christian will exclaim with great ecstasy - thank You, thank You, thank You, I am so glad You died for me.

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