Ever wonder why non-believers complain about hypocrites being in the church and using that as an excuse to not respond to the Gospel?
As I thought about this recently, I have a little insight. Although we all understand that no one can come to God by his or her own will, but the person can only come if God is drawing him or her to Himself, God can still create a searching heart in someone. He will do this in order for the person to search Him out and put his or her trust in the Savior.
I think people really are looking for reality. At least, some are. But what happens when a non-believer meets a professing Christian living in sin? The professing Christian is demonstrating a false Gospel.
Take, for example, a professing Christian who has loose morals. Let's say that he or she proudly talks about how God is all-loving and all-forgiving. The person may even make references to Christ or give God credit for doing a miracle in their life or answering prayer. But what if the person is still living in sin, and not concerned about dealing with his or her own sin?
Living in sin, while professing to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior is an oxymoron. Jesus did not die to allow us to stay in sin. He died so that we could be free from sin. We don't have to sleep around anymore. We don't have to try to manipulate others to get what we want. We don't have to take things that don't belong to us. God will help us with our anger problem. But if people profess Christ while continuing in sin, without even blinking an eye at their sin, something is seriously wrong.
That is a false Gospel. There is no reality in it. It basically says that Jesus is not powerful enough to help people out of their sin and all the ramifications that their sin brings to their lives. Who would want that kind of a Savior? A Savior who is truly God does not leave people in their sins, and at the same time give them a free pass to heaven. It is a powerless Gospel. It is a false Gospel. It misleads people because it misrepresents salvation and the Savior.
The Bible says that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The true Gospel is the only one that provides remedy for our sins. If we try to tell people about a Savior from sin, while we are still operating in our fleshly desires, people will not see God for who He is. They will see an idol who may or may not be able to take care of them. This idol may or may not be able to remedy their sin problem and this false god will not provide true forgiveness for sins. A new heart and the power of the Holy Spirit are not given to people who believe this erroneous Gospel.
When Jesus died on the Cross, that death was powerful enough to not only cleanse us from sin, but also it is powerful enough to set us free from living lives in sin. Jesus broke the power of sin.
So, if you see anyone who is out there telling about an all-forgiving, all-loving God that is ok with our sin, you are seeing a person who has a false Gospel. It is possible that the person is in ignorance and needs correct teaching and discipleship. Also, some have reacted against legalism and want others to make sure that they are not promoting a Gospel of works, therefore going to the other end of the spectrum, which is lawlessness.
Whatever the reason is, if we don't come to Jesus in repentance and faith, we will end up being a false convert and deceived into thinking that we are on our way to heaven when in reality, we aren't. The best way to combat this is to make sure we deal with our own sin first, then present the Gospel to others so they will know how they can be forgiven and set free from the power of sin. We want to communicate the power of God to a lost a dying world. We want to communicate a powerful Savior to a lost and dying world. We want to communicate a powerful Gospel to this world which is in utter darkness and needs to be set free.