Quick disclaimer: This is not a blog about cheese, nor is there a religion that specifically worships cheese, let alone just the swiss variety. So, that being said, I believe it’s necessary to discuss the swiss cheese gospel. But, what is the swiss cheese gospel, and why should we avoid it? Well, to start, think of a block of swiss cheese. It is just like any other block of cheese except for one thing; there are sections missing. It’s not a complete block because of the empty holes that fill the block, and if you were to slice the block thin, you would be able to see right through it. See where I’m going with this? Essentially, the swiss cheese gospel is any message that does not contain the complete gospel of Christ. It may contain portions of the gospel, may sound like the gospel, it may make some truth claims that sound like they came from the gospel, but if there is a part of the message that leaves out any portion of the gospel, then, as the bible says, it’s not the gospel! Now, before we go any further I just want to clarify that when I refer to the gospel I’m talking about the message of forgiveness for sin through the atoning work of Jesus Christ!
Now, why the warning to avoid it? Well, the message of avoiding an incomplete gospel is given as a warning throughout the bible. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4. “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.” Galatians 1:8. “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.” 2 Peter 3:17.
This was a serious issue that plagued the church from the beginning, because it had far reaching and eternal implications. At the start of the church, new believers were shaped by the gospel, but they did not have the foundation of knowledge to know the difference between sound and unsound teaching. They were easily led astray by pseudo-gospel messages that better suited their personal or societal beliefs. So, the apostles were fervent in warning the early churches to hold fast to the gospel of Christ and Him crucified.
However, this problem wasn’t just meant for the early church. The same warnings apply to us today. We are just as susceptible to the message of false teachers as the early church. That is why we are called to be alert, to keep watch, to test the messages, to not be carried away, and to never preach a gospel contrary to the gospel of Christ! Christians are called to balance the messages against the gospel, test the messages of society against the gospel, and encourage other believers to follow the full gospel of Christ. But, how do we recognize false teaching and false preachers?
Well, Jesus put it plainly in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits.” So, these false preachers will be made apparent by the fruit of their lifestyle and preaching. However, recognizing spiritual fruits is easier said then done.
Therefore, let us, as believers, become so delighted in and so obsessed with the gospel of Christ, that we are able to weigh it against the messages of our preachers, politicians, teachers, and the messages we get from society, and to be able to recognize spiritual fruit in others. Let us weigh every message of truth against the light of the gospel of Christ, so that we can become unshaken and unwavering in our faith, and support the faith of our brothers and sisters in Christ – to run the race set before us to achieve the prize of eternal salvation with Christ. This is my hope, prayer, and encouragement to all my Christian brothers and sisters, as we continue to strive forward in our daily walk with Christ!
Christians are called to balance the messages against the gospel, test the messages of society against the gospel, and encourage other believers to follow the full gospel of Christ.