The Oversimplified Gospel
by Pastor Steve Brown
Master of Divinity, Asbury Seminary
Another sad problem that happens in this oversimplified Gospel is the quick sale approach. For some reason the instant salvation idea has been pushed by these false teachers. People think everyone who hears the Gospel should immediately accept Christ and if they don’t they are damned. It must be the influence of the push button technology age of the world on the Church. People are not given time to assimilate, learn and understand the Gospel before they are ready to be saved. The Holy Spirit is not given time to work on people’s hearts through prayer and the ministry of the word of God.
For someone to get saved it is a complex thing, because the Gospel has great, divine truths and people are complicated creations. There is also great opposition against the Gospel to top it off, both by others, Satan, and our own evil natures. An apple does not ripen instantly over night after the blossom is seeded. A baby is not born the next day after conception. How is it we think a soul should instantly be converted after he hears the Gospel a couple of times.
Jesus refers to winning souls as a farmer grows a harvest of grain or a fisherman seeks to find fish with his net. Both take time and patience. Neither are instant results. The farmer doesn’t get a harvest the next day after he plants the seed. The fisherman doesn’t get fish the first time he puts the net down.
Many people who have not been awakened by the Holy Spirit are being persuaded to just mentally accept the doctrinal truths of the Gospel when there is no deep conviction of sin being wrought by the Spirit in their hearts. The person appeases the evangelistic salesperson who peddles an over simplified Gospel by saying the sinners prayer. The sinner, who has never been awakened by God and is dead to God, is then told he is saved; to just believe it even though he has just gone through the motion to get rid of the salesman. The sinner is told he need not experience any feeling or have any spiritual experience with God to be saved. Thus he is taught a dead faith and given a false hope. If he believes it, he has experienced a false conversion.
A fellow in one of my churches told me what happened to him. A person came into their home and shared the four spiritual laws with them. Then he coerced them to pray. And after they did, he then told them they were saved. After I came to his church as their new pastor, he told me he only prayed to get rid of the person. He realized as I preached the Gospel in depth, that he never really got saved. God awakened him through my strong, in depth preaching and he began to seek God. He even requested to be baptized again, realizing he was not really saved after that oversimplified presentation in his home.