“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”
(Galatians 1:8-9 ESV)
Here, in the United States, we live in a very diverse society. Although most of us have a Christian heritage, many other religions and belief systems are held to and practiced. People hold widely varying views and worship a multitude of gods.
And we are called by society to accept those who believe differently than we do. We are called by society to acknowledge their beliefs and practices as equal to our own. We are called to acknowledge their scriptures to be just as holy as our own. We are called to acknowledge that our faith is no more true than that of others.
We’re told, today, that we’re to live our truth and let other people live their truth. We’re told that we’re to do what works for us and that we’re to allow others to do the same. We’re told that we’re to respect the beliefs and practices of others, even when they contradict our own.
In an age of tolerance, in an age of pluralism, and in an age of relative truth, the words of Paul sound harsh. They sound judgmental and unloving. They sound arrogant and condemning.
He is clear that there is only one gospel. He is clear that there is only one means of salvation. And, for this reason, if we follow the philosophy of the world, we stand condemned. For this reason, if we follow the philosophy of the world, we’re siting passively by as people are led into hell.
We are not to receive any other gospel. We are not to accept any other gospel. And we are not to proclaim any other gospel.
Anyone who brings another gospel is accursed. Even if it’s an angel who brings to us another gospel, he is accursed. And if we bring another gospel, we ourselves are accursed.
We are to believe and proclaim only one gospel. We are to believe and proclaim only the gospel brought to us in God’s Word. It is the only truth and the only source of salvation.
To do so is not unloving. In fact, it’s the ultimate expression of love. It’s the ultimate expression of love because it’s through this gospel alone that we’re saved.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say. This isn’t a license for us to be a jerk as we hold to our faith and proclaim it. We must love our neighbor as we share with him the message that will save his soul.