For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted; you may well put up with it! (2 Corinthians 11:4)
Paul’s godly jealousy (2 Corinthians 11:2) was offended that some of the Corinthian believers were being seduced by a false understanding of what Christian ministry and being an apostle were all about.
Many of the Corinthian Christians didn’t admire Paul’s apostolic credentials because they thought in a worldly way, not having the mind of Jesus. They didn’t like Paul’s apparent weakness and unimpressive appearance. Their minds were being corrupted from the simplicity of faith that was found in Jesus Christ.
It was important that the Corinthian Christians understand and trust Paul’s apostolic credentials because Paul knew they were attracted to the false apostles who preached another Jesus.
The troublemakers among the Corinthian Christians who stirred up contention against Paul didn’t only attack Paul; they also attacked the true Jesus by preaching another Jesus. Who was this “other Jesus?” Because of the way the Corinthian Christians despised Paul’s image of weakness and unimpressive appearance, the false Jesus promoted among them was probably one who knew no weakness, persecution, humiliation, suffering, or death. This “super Jesus” was another Jesus, not the real Jesus, and another Jesus isn’t real and cannot save.
The Jesus different from what Paul and other faithful apostles had preached was from a different spirit andpresented a different gospel. This was the dangerous, even spiritually deadly error that Paul had warned the Christians in Galatia against (Galatians 1:8-9). In that Galatians 1 passage, Paul explained that those who preached a different gospel should be accursed by God.
Paul described these “different gospel” preachers as he who comes. This set them in contrast to God’s true apostles. An apostle is “one who is sent.” These troublemakers were the opposite of apostles. One could say of them, he who comes. Of an apostle, one would say “one who is sent” by God. These false apostles had simply come; they were not really sent by God.
The problem wasn’t so much that these false teachers had come among the Christians in Corinth. The more significant problem was that the Corinthian Christians put up with them when they should have rejected them and cast them out. These false teachers were a bad influence that were accepted among the Corinthian believers.
The church has the same problem today. It is not surprising that there are false teachers in the church today; the problem is that the church puts up with them and embraces them. Christians of this generation will have to answer to Jesus for their lack of discernment when it comes to the false teachers and leaders accepted and promoted by the church.
Don’t put up with those who preach in a different spirit than Jesus, presenting a different gospel than the New Testament presents.