The preacher smiled at the packed stadium. “Brothers and sisters,” he said, and the crowd burst into applause. “God is delighted with every one of you! He wants you to believe in yourselves and your own awesomeness. Jesus died for all of us so that we can believe in ourselves. Pray this prayer after me, and God will bless you. If you voice your dreams and visualize them happening, God will make them come true!”
The ecstatic crowd was on its feet. What a religion! God would give them what they wanted if they accepted Jesus, repeated a prayer, and visualized success? This was better than a rabbit’s foot.
We were warned about teachers like this in 2 Timothy 4:3, but despite the warning, they are gaining popularity. They are part of a pseudo-religion which claims to be Christian but bears little resemblance to the discipleship Jesus requires (Luke 14:26-33). This is nothing but New Age self-worship, decorated with Bible verse pieces to make it sound Christian. These teachers are wildly popular, because they focus on making all hearers feel good about themselves, rather than calling people to repentance and service as scripture does. They present Almighty God as a cosmic Genie who exists to do our bidding—and Jesus is the key to His treasure chest.
This me-centered “gospel” has no roots, so when hardships come, it crumbles. The victims of this message think God has let them down, when in fact their faith was in the wrong god all along (2 Cor. 11:4). Unless our faith is rooted in the "whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), it cannot withstand the schemes of the devil or the temptations of the world.
Evaluate the message of the teachers you enjoy. Do any of them fit the description of 2 Timothy 4:3?