Watered Down Gospel?


Is today’s Gospel watered down?

Follow Me

David Platt’s video, “Follow Me” start with a story of a man who was trying to escape going to hell.  This man one day says the “sinner’s prayer” and is told he does not have to worry about hell any longer.  David Platt then question the significance of this statement, Is this what it means to follow Jesus?

A Palatable Gospel

The video then goes on to discuss the type of commitment that Jesus wants from us.  Is it as easy and simple as saying a short prayer or does following Jesus require a lot more than that?  Have we water down the gospel to make it more palatable?

Follow me – David Platt



What do you think?

Use the comment section below to let us know what do you think about this subject and/or this video.  We would love to hear your opinion.  Thanks!

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  1. Cynthia Stricklan says

    Watered down? Most definitely!! Paganized. Corrupted. Almost unrecognizable. The bloody stump of the precious faith that was delivered to the saints. Organized Christianity today is the embodiment of the great whore. We do not keep the commandments or the feasts of the LORD. We are anomia; without the law, which YHVH called abomination. We keep the ways of the pagans and claim to be worshipping the one true creator God. If we really wanted to worship him we would obey that which he commanded us to do.

    • Anonymous says

      A watered down Gospel. Say Good works and many panic Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: “Works” & “Grace” 2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: Follow our saviour Into good works not to earn But to be as Christ would have us to be. Some Say to the effect That “Works should as it were not be on our minds or to go over board to do. No one can earn their salvation so to look to works as important is wrong and say they not necessary. “Works are Under the Law!!!” … “Just Pray:And mumble a few words for salvation???” “Created in Christ unto good works” Should be part of those verses. Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. =======We quote saying “not of works Lest any shall boast” ….that is not earned but lived What does the New Test say about “ good works”? Proper good works are an extension and nature of Gods Love and Humility. And Love Should never be dormant. Jesus washed the disciples feet!! Jesus said: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Joh 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. We are to be doers of the word and not hearers only. What was the penalty? Was there one? “No Fruit !”And how does this measure with 1Cor 3:12-15, and What of ” …shall live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” “To be a Doer of the word And not a hearer only” Of the Word …Love never Fails———- ==but slack has failed Before any action is taken. What does Holiness have to do with Works and How is it required?? Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. Psa. 127:1 Be ye holy even as your heavenly Father is Holy. 1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to goodworks: “1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love… ” Good Works are a matter of the Heart says a neighbor and I agree with him. One’s State of being is more important than What one does. But what we do manifests what we are …”Ye shall Know them by their fruit.” Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Mat 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Other verses on good Works Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: Tit 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

    • Starr says

      Cynthia, it’s interesting that on a site that seeks to undo stereotypes, you are promoting a broad, sweeping stereotype yourself. Not all churches are alike. Teachings vary depending on the pastor. Yes, some are fluff and no substance. Others are right on scriptural. The majority of Christians in this country attend church (organized Christianity). Does that make us all practitioners of paganism? Are you saying that the only way to be a true Christian is to keep the law, to basically become Jewish in order to be Christian? That is not what Jesus said. That is not what Paul taught. The law was a teacher, to show man’s need for God. Jesus fulfilled the law. Through Him, and the indwelling of the Holy Sprit, the law is written on our hearts. We are transformed, day by day, to become more Christ-like. We don’t keep the law because we have to. We keep the law because it becomes our nature to do so. And we’re not perfect. We fall sometimes. And we feel remorse. So we get up, ask God for forgiveness, and get on with our lives. And what are we commanded to do? To love God and to love people. Nowhere is the church commanded to keep the Jewish feasts or follow dietary laws or perform certain rituals. When we celebrate the resurrection on Easter or the birth of Jesus on Christmas, we are not embracing paganism, regardless of possible pagan roots of those two holidays. It is Jesus who is the focus of those celebrations. It is to Him that are hearts are turned. That is what is important about those holidays, not any pagan origins. Why make an issue over non-issues?

  2. Starr says

    It’s a complicated subject. Because on the one hand, yes, it is that simple. The thief on the cross had no chance do to anything except believe in Jesus, and yet Jesus told him He would see him in paradise. A death bed conversion can be just as valid as one made years before death, even though that dying person never has a chance to get to know God through the Scriptures, never has a chance to witness for Christ, never has a chance to bear fruit. But it is definitely more than just mouthing words. It’s not a magic formula that one recites. Of course, it has to be heartfelt. And God knows our hearts. But what of the person who says the prayer and then goes back to their usual sinful life? I’ve actually heard someone say, “I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior. I’m saved and I can do what I want.” This same person only moments earlier was discussing how drug dealing was a good way to make money. This same person has fathered children indiscriminately with many women, all while living with the woman he calls his girlfriend, and sees nothing wrong with that. This man has a lovely mother who is a committed Christian, but I have honest doubts about the sincerity of her son’s conversion. God doesn’t want any to perish but for all to come to repentance. So the opposite of perish is repent. That is, without true repentance, one isn’t saved. Words said insincerely are meaningless. A true believer WILL follow Jesus, though we don’t all run the race at the same pace. And some people stumble more than others. But there will be a change over time. If there isn’t, that person should question their faith. Belief is more than just mental assent. Satan and his demons believe in Jesus. Faith implies commitment, obedience. It’s active, not passive. A true believer WILL bear fruit, maybe just a little, but there will be growth. But we aren’t all called to the same roles. We’re not all preachers, teachers, pastors and evangelists. Some of us are more behind-the-scenes servants. But even so, there will be “good works” of some kind. Good works are a byproduct of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They come naturally from God at work in us. Again, if there isn’t any evidence of godly change in a person over time after “praying the prayer,” that person needs to really engage in some introspection and self-examination, because something isn’t right and their eternal soul may be in jeopardy. Bearing fruit is objective proof of a subjective event. If we see positive, Christ-like changes occurring in us, if we see the spirit increasingly dominating the flesh, then it’s a pretty good indication that we meant what we said. But I do agree there is a watered down gospel being preached today, by some, but not all. If repentance is necessary for a true conversion, then it’s doing people great harm to leave that part out of the message. And I believe that discipleship is important, not leaving the newborh to struggle on their own, but to help them go from milk to meat and learn to walk steadily.

  3. alan says

    Thanks for sharing the video by David Platt; his book “Radical: Recovering your Faith from the American Dream” is worth reading. As Starr mentions above, the answer depends on who’s preaching. Is there a watered down gospel being preached today? Sure, and a false one too. Sometimes it’s not even intentionally watered down, it’s just limited by preachers who rely on their own understanding. The good news is that there is also the true gospel being preached today, the one gospel blessed and empowered by the Spirit that brings new life. As seen in Cynthia’s comment, that today’s preaching is entirely a false gospel can be a stereotype as well. Stereotypes are always reactionary and can miss out on what is present and true. Another way to look at the question is to see what comes of the gospel that is being preached, and what is the fruit of it in the people who hear it. While the church here in America gets a lot of grief from Christians as well as from others, and there are things to rightfully be concerned about, I’m hard pressed to say, like Harold Camping did, that God has abandoned the church and one should leave them.

  4. Wade Trombatore says

    I apologize not knowing or seeing how to use this Blog I am not the most keen on computers. I sent the anonymous Blog second from the top. While copying and pasting the article above I missed entirely where to put name and address. Also the indentation was terribly messed up. But slowly I am growing in use with the computer. ============== There are other things that grow in the right soil. Necessarily The life of Christ in us. Many say how glad they are in Christ,. But how little is Christ in them? If Jesus Christ is in us then He should manifest in us We are to grow from glory to Glory, grace to Grace,strength to Strength and we are to grow in Faith. All this is in The Word Yet Much of the Church is happy just to get there foot in the Door. When (Christ) sows seed { through us} it is in His Word. Do we think to prepare the soil? One way is by Miracles God is willing to do through us when we take action on our faith. Often this Prepares the way . So is discipling younger generations May we all here Grow and be ready We definitely don’t want to be part of the luke warm and that comes with watering down his Word. “Christ in us the Hope of glory” God bless

  5. Tina Elizondo says

    The sinners prayer to receive Christ are only words if one does not sincerely accept Him in their heart. Spiritual growth also comes with following Christ. Reading the Bible, understanding it. and applying it to their lives is also necessary along with prayer, and working for His Kingdom. One grows as much as they put their selves into it. Words are only words if they are not put to work

    • Scott B says

      In response to Ms. Elizondo’s remarks: “if one does not sincerely accept Him in their heart.” and “One grows as much as they put their selves into it.” If this were truly the case then many scriptures are in contradiction and must now be removed from our bibles. Joh 3:27, John 6:44, 1Co 1:4, Eph. 1:11, Eph 2:8-9, Eph 4:7 , 2Pe 2:9-10, Rom. 2:4, Ecc. 3:11 and these are just a few. This premise of self salvation by one’s own acceptance of God’s gift simply doesn’t wash and this notion is not supported in the scriptures. Just my .02 cents worth. Scott

      • Tina Elizondo says

        Reply to Scott….”Self salvation” is simply praying the prayer and then moving on. God stirs our heart but to grow as a christian takes some doing on our part. I know of folks who prayed the prayer a few years ago, and continued living as in the past. Every now and then they will mention God but did they truly accept HIm? Only He knows their heart but there is no change in their lives, speech, nor church attendance. No need to remove these scriptures because you do not agree as this is not the point in giving our opinions.

  6. Scott B says

    Ms. Elizondo, Someone has to be the bearer of bad news, and I hate to be the one to tell you this but, saying a simple 10-15 second prayer and then moving on, as you have suggested, is nothing more than sheer fantasy and most importantly, my OPINION is never offered but scriptural facts always are. There is no doubt that if one is inspired to step forward and claim that Christ is the son of God and our beloved Saviour, then it is safe to state that such a person HAS BEEN CALLED (Mat 22:14) and out of the called only a very few are chosen. The chosen ones are under a greater scrutiny from Christ and the demands from our Lord far exceeds a mere 10-15 second prayer followed shortly by methods of self salvation that is alien in the scriptures. Once again, this is not an opinion of mine it is based on what is, and what is not found in scripture. What you have suggested is the very watered down version of the scriptures that this post was referring to in the first place. Show me a chapter and verse that states were carnal minded men are now responsible for their very own salvation after being called by the Lord? I will be more than happy to retract any statements that I have made that are not scriptural if you can produce this verse with a second witness. You also made this comment: “God stirs our heart but to grow as a christian takes some doing on our part” Ms. Elizondo, if you desire to partake in discussions of mature themes then as a friendly suggestion it would be extremely wise to share scripture when making such profound statements. Christ warns against “adding to” or “taking away from” this Word (Rev. 22:18-19). When teaching God’s Word we are to rightly divide (or cut) His Word (II Tim. 2:15-18). We are to ” … distinguish the things that differ” (Phil. 1:10). We are to have a pattern of sound words (II Tim. 1:13-14). In addition to these we are to shun the traditions of men (Col. 2:8) and the wisdom of this world (I Cor. 1:20 & 3:19). It is a rare that anyone actually does these things. No where and I mean no where in scriptures does God state that man is responsible for his own salvation, as though God requires assistance in obtaining His goal with His perfect plan for humanity. Have you ever read (Daniel 4:35) Ms Elizondo? Let’s read it together shall we? Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants [that’s everyone] of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He [That would be God] doeth [works] according to His [No one else’s] WILL in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none [no one] can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? OK, so what does God go on to say to the prophets about His own will in regards of mankind’s salvation? (Ecc. 3:11) “He [God] has made everything FITTING in its season; However, He has put OBSCURITY IN THEIR [mankind’s] HEART so that the man may NOT FIND OUT HIS [GOD’S] WORK, that which God [not mankind] does from the beginning to the end.” From the beginning to the end. Hmm…that sounds like a P-L-A-N Ms. Elizondo that God has in store for mankind and it doesn’t appear that God is requesting any type of assistance from man. Let’s just pause for a moment and stop using all these silly scriptures that God has provided for us as guidance and let’s just take a look at a little biblical history here. I mean it’s a rare occurrence to even see scriptures being used nowadays when a biblical topic of importance is being discussed so I’ll just follow suit for the moment. The Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, when and where did his self salvation begin? When Christ suddenly stirred Saul’s heart? Did Saul take it upon himself in giving up everything he ever knew (wealth and social status amongst his peers), and all his beliefs then became Paul whose own spiritual awareness increased to an immeasurable level? Did Saul perform all of this by his very own efforts? Do you see the wisdom here? It didn’t happen. Once Saul was exposed to Christ’s presence and will, it was all over for Saul the Pharisee and he became Paul the Apostle, and Paul’s spiritual revelations began to increase beyond measure to such a point that God gave Paul a splinter in the flesh because Paul was progressing higher in spiritual understanding and this was not of his own doing and neither was his splinter in the flesh his own doings. In other words God kept Paul in check at all times. Paul didn’t achieve this level of spiritual awareness all by his lonesome self; it was God working in the back ground inspiring him. Why not make use of scripture and bring to light another fact that man is not capable of this self salvation doctrine let alone able to identifying who God and His Son is, and what God and His Son does, and there is no finer example than Simon Peter, and this event took place shortly after Christ fed the five thousand with bread and fish found in Mat.16:13-17. Christ asked the disciple’s v.13 “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? No answers were given by the disciples except one which was Simon Peter and what astounding reply did Christ give in response to Peter’s answer? “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh [mankind] and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, BUT MY FATHER which is in heaven”. Peter was totally reliant on the Spirit of God to open up his understanding and didn’t even know it, and perceive that Christ was truly the Son of God, and Peter alone was the ONLY disciple to have this insight given to him at that time WHEREAS the other disciples had no clue, and this fact was made obvious by the answers the disciples offered to Christ, which was none, even after witnessing the feeding of the 5,000 and the many miracles of healing that the disciples were exposed too. Later on in Christ’s ministry, even though God has given Peter this understanding, Peter then denies our Saviour in Mat.26:74. If we are to adhere to your premise in self salvation then Peter’s own responsibility for his own salvation has now failed him and in v.75 Peter wept bitterly. Why? Because Peter could not bring it upon himself to have the tremendous intestinal fortitude to stand by his Lord in troubled times, not forgetting to mention that the remaining disciples fled from Christ’s side as well! Mat 26:31. And you still believe that people have this special gift of self salvation. Really? This is a fine example of watered down scriptures. Even Christ claims He could do absolutely nothing without God’s intervention: (Joh 5:19 Joh 5:30) and yet you claim that it is up to carnal minded men for their own salvation after being called? Paul warns us that not one is seeking or understanding God (Rom 3:11) and all have gone out of the way v.12, and this teaching was proclaimed well after Christ was raised from the dead and returned to his former glories. Why is that? Let’s just assume for a millisecond that you might be right with this unscriptural theory of “if one does not sincerely accept Him in their heart”, do you realize the magnitude of trials and tribulations that one must endure in order to be one of the saved/chosen/elect? Do you love your enemies (Luke 6:27) or engaged in fiery trials (Pe 4:12 Acts 14:22) and if not then the kingdom of heaven is beyond one’s reach (Luke 9:62) and can one honestly say that they have overcome the world’s pull of the flesh (Rev 3:21) and endure the hatred of men when sharing the truths of the gospel (Mat 10:22) and seven times we are told to overcome and that entrance into the Kingdom is promised by doing so in (Rev. Chapter 2 & 3) and have you forsaken all of your loved ones and relatives in the pursuit of this salvation in Christ (Luke 14:26)? Once again Ms. Elizondo, these are not my opinions, these are scriptures given to us by God for our admonition and then you turn around and suggest that these are my opinions? I did not write these scriptures Ms. Elizondo and yet it’s OK for you make the statement of “Self salvation” is simply praying the prayer and then moving on”? There is nothing simple about this Ms. Elizondo! There is no way man is going to be able save himself acting on his own behalf. No way! This premise of salvation that I assume you learned from the modern day church pulpits is so watered down it could extinguish a 10,000 acre forest fire and then some. And is all of this is based on one single scripture found in (Acts 2:21)? And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. And what does Christ teach us about a single scripture? (2Pe 1:20) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. But that is exactly what has happened with the scriptures in the modern institutionalized churches. One last comment you have made and I quote No need to remove these scriptures because you do not agree as this is not the point in giving our opinions. No Ms. Elizondo you are the one that is full of unscriptural opinions and you didn’t even bother to look up any reference scripture offered to you, or you wouldn’t have replied at all, so let me help you out with that slight oversight. You say:” if one does not sincerely accept Him in their heart” Man does not have this ability TO ACCEPT (Joh 3:27) John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except IT BE GIVEN him from heaven. And again: (John 6:44) No man [how many men? NONE!]can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day., (1Co 1:4) I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which IS GIVEN YOU by Jesus Christ. Now did that verse state if we just so happen to decided to accept it from Christ?….no it didn’t but what exactly was given, v.5 That in every thing ye ARE ENRICHED BY HIM, IN ALL UTTERENCE, and in ALL KNOWLEDGE…….Then I presented Eph. 1:11 Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated [this is called a P-L-A-N and man’s input wasn’t included in it’s original design] according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will…….This is God’s P-L-A-N Ms. Elizondo, not’s mans ability to accept something from God or his Son, or something we work out ourselves., (Eph 2:8-9) For by grace are ye saved through faith; AND NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift [Not choice, but gift] of God……Did this verse portray that man has been given the opportunity to accept or deny gifts from God?, or is there mention that man is now engaged in self salvation and has the ability to generate the gift of faith through grace by one’s own doing? No! v.9 continuing…. Not of works, lest any man should boast………………….. 2Pe 2:9-10 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations……Do men know how to deliver themselves out of temptations? No, they do not!…, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished….Why? (V.10) But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, SELFWILLED, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities….. This selfwilled mentality means exactly what you are suggesting Ms. Elizondo by stating that man has this ability to accept or decline gifts from God or His salvation, and this statement alone suggests that carnal minded men’s now share the same authority over men as God does, therefore rendering God’s sovereignty over all of mankind useless and thwarting God’s foreknowledge of humanity’s future, but that’s your opinion not mine and in (Rom. 2:4) Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Who does the leading in the repentance department here Ms. Elizondo? Why I believe God states that he does, not man (Ecc. 3:11) He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world [that pretty much covers everyone] in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. And what exactly did God maketh from beginning to the end that man has no idea of? (Isa 46:10-11) Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I HAVE SPOKEN IT, I WILL ALSO BRING IT TO PASS; I HAVE PROPOSED ITI WIL ALSO DO IT. Why God made up his very own plan in regards to mankind and no one will stay his hand! see (Dan 4:35), and just to help increase your faith Ms. Elizondo I’ll present another Scripture that God has inspired in the prophets to record indicating that anything that God has ever uttered, or desired, or willed, will come to pass (Isaiah 14:24) “The LORD of hosts hath sworn [Heb: ‘shaba’–‘swear (as by repeating a declaration) with an oath’] saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand”. What the heck, one more witness:….. (Eze 24:14) I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD At one time I use to be hoodwinked by the pulpits into the same premise as you Ms. Elizondo and the most favorite scripture that was verbally beaten into my brain by modern christendom to ensure that one would comply with this teaching was (Php 2:12) Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION with FEAR and TREMBLING. I was mislead about this fear and trembling and it was years later that God opened up an understanding in why this fear and trembling would occur, and after reading (v.13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. This now became clear. No hard feelings Ms. Elizondo, I am sure you may very well be a very charming person and there is no doubt in my mind that you desire to achieve a higher realm of spiritual enlightenment but this premise of a 10-15 second prayer and self salvation activity that shortly follows will always be a stumbling block in your spiritual journey and to state that a simple prayer with bare minimum requirements along with some form of effort by man is nothing more than a christian based watered down hoax that is totally devoid in the gospels and that is why I suggested to you to edit your own bible of those scriptures provided since this premise you support contradicts with all of these scriptures presented to you and I will leave you with just one last thought. Christ referred to his flock as little (Luke 12:32) and Christ goes on to say that in the last day (Mat 7:22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Is Jesus referring to the Russians, Chinese, Jews, Buddhist, Confucians, the 175 million world wide atheist, the pagans, heathens, or the millions who have never heard of God and His Son, or the un-believers? No! Christ is talking about the ones who have BEEN CALLED and you accuse me that is this my own personal opinion? NO! It’s the opinion of the creator that everyone gives lip service too, but the brunt of this post will be directed at the messenger even though all of these scriptures are found in your very own bibles! Lastly when someone questions your faith, we have been instructed to (1Pe 3:15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear …… I pray that God will open up your understanding of His will, grace, sovereignty and plan for all of humanity.

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