“I am amazed that you are turning away so soon from God who, in his love and mercy, invited you to share the eternal life he gives through Christ; you are already following a different ‘way to heaven,’ which really doesn’t go to heaven at all. For there is no other way than the one we showed you; you are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7 TLB).
The New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are commonly referred to as “The Gospels.” Within those books we find the good news of Jesus’ life and ministry and four detailed accounts of the sacrifice He made on our behalf. But even though there are four gospels within the pages of the Bible, there are many more “gospels” that exist outside it. The difference is that none of those extra-biblical gospels are truly good news no matter what they promise to deliver.
You see, there are a multitude of counterfeit “gospels” that are spiritual and non-spiritual in nature. For instance, some religious-sounding gospels promote the belief that we can find acceptance with God if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds. Others teach that we must adopt certain spiritual disciplines that will enable us to find genuine peace and harmony in this life and beyond.
There are other “gospels” that profess to offer a secular path to genuine fulfillment and contentment. Those “roads to happiness” may include the accumulation of financial wealth and material possessions, career advancement, and/or business success. Although financial wealth, career advancement, business success, and material possessions are often good and desirable things in themselves, there is a difference between honoring God for such blessings and building our lives around the quest to secure them.
Then there are those who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of athletic honors, recreational drug use, sexual relationships, academic achievements, social popularity, or any number of other interests that purport to offer happiness and fulfillment. Yet even if were to attain everything these extra-biblical “gospels” supposedly offer, we will never find lasting contentment in them for we must leave them all behind when we pass from this life.
True, genuine, and lasting fulfillment can only be found in a relationship with humanity’s Creator- and the road to establishing that relationship is found exclusively in Christ (see 1 Timothy 2:5). Anything else is a distorted gospel no matter how well it may come packaged.