Staying Clear of Spiritual Fentanyl

Jim Cymbala

I just saw this statistic that 37 percent of all the pastors in America polled say that if you live a good life, you’ll go to heaven.

Now, if we look at Galatians, we read, “Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is required to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:2-4, NIV). If you go with the law and try to earn it, you are severed from Christ. Christ is not an addendum to your efforts to be accepted by God by the works of the law.

Paul also wrote, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. ‘A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.’” (Galatians 5:7-9). A little bad teaching will work its way through the body of Christ and have a leavening effect of spoiling everything. By the way, that’s true in our own lives too. If you permit anything of the enemy, the world, the flesh to come into your life, it’ll lead you down a dark road you don’t want to go on.

Adding anything to Christ demeans the cross and cuts you off from Christ. It can’t be Christ plus anything. Paul went on to say, “The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty” (Galatians 5:10). I want you to notice how serious this is. Someone who brings false doctrine into a church, that’s like dealing spiritual fentanyl. That affects a lot of people.

We live in a day of “I’m okay; you’re okay. Let’s not argue. Just try your best. The good Lord loves everyone.” Totally bogus. Remember, you add anything to Jesus, and you’ve cut yourself off from the source of salvation. Stay close to the Lord. Doctrine is important. What you believe is going to control how you live and your eternity.

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.

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