The devil is a master manipulator and imitator.
One of his most effective tactics is to imitate, offering a counterfeit version that is close enough to be believable, but far away enough to be damaging.
And he has done this with the gospel.
I believe much of what we hear today that is offered as gospel preaching actually is a false gospel.
That is why Scripture tells us as believers to rightly divide the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15.
The Apostle Paul warned against straying from the gospel when he wrote:
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6–8.
A false gospel would tell you that all you have to do is believe, but not that you need to repent.
A false gospel would tell you there is a heaven, but would not warn you of a hell.
A false gospel would talk only about Calvary cross, but would not teach about carrying of the cross.
That is not the true gospel.
Think of repentance and believing as two wings of an airplane.
It needs both.
Or think of repentance and belief as two sides of a coin.
They are connected.
Repentance is letting go of something.
Believing is grabbing hold of something.
We need to keep both our understanding and our presentation of the gospel true to God’s Word.