Focusing Too Much On His Grace

Bill Muehlenberg:

On the one hand, anything we do for Christ and the kingdom is all because of his grace, and all we can do is say what we find in Luke 17:10: “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’.” On the other hand, we also will hear these incredible words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt 25:21). Source:Facebook

 

Exactly. If we focus so much on ‘His Grace’ the ‘things of this world do NOT grow strangely dim’ but ‘He’ becomes strangely dim, along with the reality of hell, sin, judgement, commitment, discipline, perseverance, dying to self………….

When we forget that we are also ‘unworthy servants’ the things of self and the world grow brighter & brighter, somehow less offensive to God & the Kingdom.

To go the other extreme and focus only on how unworthy we are is also foolishness and ‘these are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.’ Col 3:23

This is simply a matter of true Biblical perspective.
Even though most will fight to protect us all from this exaggerated ‘grace paradigm’.

 

 

 

“Oh But We Must Keep Things In Balance And Only Speak The Truth In Love”

As I have written elsewhere, Jesus was constantly using less than flattering language. He was time and time again using very strong, very harsh, very coarse, and very critical language. He simply did not hold back here. I recently did a count and found at least 65 occasions in the four gospels alone where Jesus let ‘em have it, dishing out very strong words of rebuke, of judgment, of chastisement.        Bill Muehlenberg

Source:Facebook

Yet there is a host of good-hearted Christians around to ‘correct’ to ‘bring into tbalance’ any slightly corrective word spoken:

Jac-xxxxxxx: However, you have to hold this in balance with the times he was gentle, and as Paul says to Timothy, appeal to older men as your father, younger men as brothers, old women as mothers and younger woman as sisters. I’m definitely not saying that we shouldn’t speak the truth in fear of offending people, but rather in the most loving way possible, whether it be rebuking or a gentle correction
Perhaps for the majority definitely not, but for those who dare be bold, they must be careful not to swing all the way to the other side.                                  Source:Facebook

 

Sorry Jac-xxxxxxx, but I must interject here.

Jesus was strong, harsh and blunt because the truth was so very important.
What you are saying is an attempt to bring a so-called ‘balance’ but from a point of view that is lacking in understanding of Scripture and is conforming to the Christian political correct bias.

What you say sounds all very nice in this age, as long as one does not inspect Scripture closely.

If you study the words of Jesus with a fresh set of eyes without the assumption that He was so ‘loving’ as the Church now teaches, you will find the ‘true’ Jesus, to be hard, even harsh, contrary, demanding, unyielding, insulting, etc….. Talking more about hell than any other subject.

Why? Because he knew that he carried the ‘truth of God’ the ONLY antidote for sin, death & hell, and it MUST NOT be compromised.
An unbiased reading of Scripture shows that Jesus offended people rather than made them feel so ‘loved’ and ‘accepted’.
He had little time for sugary niceness because he understood how terrible hell was.

So why in a time when the catch-cry is “BRING IT ON” are we so gutless that we cannot just stand for truth as Jesus and the apostles did, even unto death rather than falling over ourselves to ‘correct’ and ‘bring some balance’ to that very truth we are all supposed to be stating. So in one breath we say “BRING IT ON’ and in the next “Oh, you must be careful brother, you might offend someone, everything must be done in a spirit of love and acceptance.” Huh?
‘They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.”‘ Jer 8:11

But we won’t read our Bible without the rose-tinted glasses and find out lest we get free “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand….” It happened in Isaiah’s time, in Jesus’ time and in our time today.

No, let’s say things as they are – Church leaders and the Church in general, is gutless, and God expects so much more from us.

Jesus rarely taught of the love God has for people (don’t quote John 3:16, that was in a private conversation, hidden away at night) yet again and again he warns, challenges, offends to save even one, from eternal torment.
But for us, it’s the other way round – we play down the warnings, but again and again tell people God loves them and we want to protect them from Biblical warnings. We in all our wisdom protect people from the truth that saves. We misread the Bible and think we know better.

One of the most popular tools and phrases of Satan the demons forces today is “Oh but we must do it in love.”
And it works – it will stop most people in their tracks. What a boon for the enemy, they have most of us working for them when someone dares to speak the clear truth, just as the people in Jesus’ day did the very same thing.

Yes, God loves us, but not in the weak insipid way we have been conditioned to think.
Yes, God loves his Church, but he is sickened by much of it.

I do not mean to offend at all, but this is so serious and most of us feel compelled to ‘bring a balance’ to protect our biased idea of God’s love, and to comfort people in their blindness rather than alert them to the great danger. They mean well, but they do not understand – they know longer truly know who Jesus Christ or the Father are. It’s like there is ‘another Jesus’ in our midst.
We live more Buddhist than Christian – peace at all costs lest we upset someone and the people be displeased with us and the loss of karma.

A friend told me that a number of times that he does not think that quoting Scripture and challenging people on Facebook ‘is useful/helpful.’

All I can say to that is, that he (and most) do not understand the true KIngdom imperatives, or know the God they serve.’

Dare I say it and I must say it, to myself and to all “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

Hello Neil
I agree that on the public front the Church is pretty gutless, not seeking to throw its weight around on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, pornography etc. I think that part of the reason is that there is a fair bit of disagreement within the Church. There shouldn’t be if we were all to stick to biblical principles –but we don’t. The Church is being white-anted, attacked from the inside by secular thinking, the spirit of the age. What can we do about it? I think that the Church as we know it will change, and a New Jerusalem, a holy Jerusalem (Rev 21.10) a new Zion will emerge. Holiness will be its hallmark, and God will use it to savour the world. This however is God’s work, not ours. Our aim is to be holy ( separated unto God), and ‘to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your (our) God’ – Mic 6.8.

This doesn’t mean we sit down and do nothing. We must humbly be obedient to our God, and He will guide us into how to savour the world in justice and mercy (love). I don’t think it is profitable to aggressively tell other Christians that they are not aggressive enough. What will it gain? You will probably antagonise them  and lose their friendship, and will not convince them. I think just speak to them gently and leave the rest up to God. If they are ‘set apart to God’ ie holy, and want to do His will, He will lead them. If not, He will find others who will want to, and He will use them to carry out His plans.

God bless
Mr R.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Mr R,

You said:

              ‘…. I don’t think it is profitable to aggressively tell other Christians that the are not aggressive enough. What will it gain? You will probably antagonise them  and lose their friendship, and will not convince them. I think just speak to them gently and leave the rest up to God. If they are ‘set apart to God’ ie holy, and want to do His will, He will lead them. If not, He will find others who will want to, and He will use them to carry out His plans.’

 

Perspective:

I do not advocate being aggressive or pushing others to be aggressive.
But I strongly advocate speaking the truth as Jesus did, despite the consequences you mention, just as Jesus also, was unconcerned for the minimal consequences compared with the horror’s of hell.

Surely you can see from Scripture that these are the very things that Jesus did :-

- aggressive
- antagonise them
- lose friendships
- not convince

Let me add to this list:-
- insult
- demanding
- harsh
- blunt
- contrary
- etc…

Jesus is rarely seen ‘speaking gently and leaving the rest up to God, if ever.’
Surely this is a cop out on what we were told to do.

What will be gained?
People will be challenged, shaken out of complacency to actually
think and be motivated to search out and follow God more

This is why we are told to ‘warn each other as long as it is still called today.’  Heb 3:13.

I am not advocating something that is not Biblical, but on the other hand, you are.

To go softly, softly was not God’s way in the Old Testament nor Jesus’ way in the New Testament, it is rather the political correctness way that has done untold damage to the Church. This ‘ever gently’ approach is a modern conditioning that we are unaware of.

This ‘ever gently’ approach even denies logical human nature – we do not grow by ‘nice & gentle’ but by challenge and discipline, hence Prov. says ‘a slave will not learn by only words but needs physical discipline.’

When hell awaits many in the Church because of a loss of revelation and are caught up in the ways of the world, I must not go gently, gently, I must challenge so as to save even one, because the Bible shows that is a far better way.  That, is a better expression of my love for God and others.

Do we really believe that Jesus is now softly, softly on error and sin, but later he will have a change of heart and throw billions of people into hell to suffer torment endlessly.

No sorry Mr R. I cannot agree with you at all on this one.
It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that your perspective is still set on some idealistic idea of love espoused by the world and Church, but not the Bible.

God will reveal His mind and ways to each of us as we pray and search Him out, and I pray that He teach me more accurately who He really is.

Warmly,
Neil

 

PS.  Just a few Biblical examples apart from the harshest things Jesus said to the Pharisees, because most like to declare that Jesus was only strong with them.
And not just Jesus saying these things but others as well:

Harshness is at times necessary in the Kingdom of God, even if it is now considered to be ‘not of love’ and not something God would have any part in these days.

Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

Mark 9:18 …I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?

Telling a strangers immoral secrets:

John 4:18 Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” Source:Biblehub

Emmaus Road

Luke 24:25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?”

John 2:15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. (This was not the religious leaders he drove out.)

Matthew 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“ ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Source:Biblehub

(Simply meaning that the message would upset people but you must do it.)

John 8:3-11. The women caught in adultery, he not only told her to ‘go, sin no more’ but he would not tell that poor hurt, humiliated lady, to ‘go sin and no more’ that’s totally insensitive. No, instead he would be giving her a big hug, telling her she is so special, and in front of everyone. And then he would be severely condemning those evil Jewish men for the gross and public humiliation they brought upon her.

Matthew 15:25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

Mark 8:33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. Source:Biblehub

Not just Jesus:

Paul

Galatians 5:12 I just wish that those troublemakers who want to mutilate you by circumcision would mutilate themselves.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

Philippians 3:2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.

1Cor 3:17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

Acts 13:10 Then he said, “You son of the devil, full of every sort of deceit and fraud, and enemy of all that is good!

1COr 5:5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1Cor 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Maranatha.

1Tim 1:20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples of this. I turned them over to Satan so they would learn not to blaspheme God.

Tit 1: 12 One of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, “The people of Crete are all liars; they are cruel animals and lazy gluttons.”

1 Tim 5:6 But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.

2Pet 2: 22 They make these proverbs come true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A
washed pig returns to the mud.” Source:Biblehub

John

1 John 3:10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

2John 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; Source:Biblehub

James
James 2:20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Source:Biblehub

We really need to understand how vital the truth is to God, but because we have an over emphasis on ‘gentle Jesus meek and mild’ we have lost sight of it.

 

 

When Is 0 Greater Than 45?

0-45

Some time ago, in the light of all this mamby-pamby love being espoused by good-hearted Christians, I read through the book of Acts to see if there was even a single instance of the apostles teaching about the ‘love’ of God.

Have a guess what?

Truth was paramount for Jesus, He would step on peoples feelings in order that they might know the Truth.

The Church now believes that ‘love’ is more important than Truth.
On judgement day, have a guess who is going to be very shocked?

Q. When is 0 (zero) greater than 45?

A. When the modern Church tradition illogically , subjectively and falsely claims it is.

In 45 instances of the preaching of the gospel
to non believers or the church, there is not
one clear reference to ‘God’s great love for
you and me’ showing that kind of an emphasis.
Though implied, it is NOT the focus.

That’s right, mere statistics disprove our great claim
that ‘God loves us so much and has a great plan for
your life’ is proven wrong, so you don’t have to be
a great scholar to prove it to yourself.

What they did preach was the Jesus was the Messiah
and He was God, and died for our sin. We therefore
must repent for forgiveness and receive new life = about God.

No emphasis at all about ‘God’s great love for us
and has wonderful pan for your life’ = for me.

 

Unconditional Love?

To question the concept of the ‘Unconditional Love of God’ would seem heretical in this Modern Church era, because it has been so widely accepted as completely Biblical. How can we as Christians (especially pastors who are trained) read the many conditions of God’s acceptance & love set down clearly in the Bible, day by day, yet declare that His love is without any conditions? Look at this clearly stated condition – where is this in anyway unconditional?

unconditional love?

John 15:10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

Psalm 5:5 “Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil.”

John 16:27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

1 John 3:24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him.

John 14:21 The one who loves me will be loved by my Father

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God

John 15:14  You are my friends if you do what I command.

Matthew 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Psalm 11:5 “The LORD examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence.”

Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. Source: http://biblehub.com/

It seems to me that we were naive when we were told that’s God’s love was unconditional, and because we loved God and thought that this concept was the ultimate, then we wanted to assign it to God. But they & we were wrong. This concept, now doctrine, has done untold damage to the Church – God now cared much less about our sin and but so greatly about relationship. We became demanding, compromising about our own sin and apathetic, denying even the command to expose sin – we self-righteously declared that it was judging and ‘not like Christ.’ I am sure that there is a facet of God’s love that can be called in a sense ‘unconditional’ but most certainly not the universal way we use it.

A Few More Conditional Passages:

Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God……                                                        Source: http://biblehub.com/

That’s another condition.

2 John 1:10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement.                                                                                            Source: http://biblehub.com/

Another condition.

Gal 5:19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity ….; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; ….. and the like.        I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Cannot get more conditional than that.                          Source: http://biblehub.com/

Col 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.                                                       Source: http://biblehub.com/

Pretty clear….

Jude 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.                                                                             Source: http://biblehub.com/

Posting ‘conditional’ passages from a variety of books of the Bible.

Acts 5:1 But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”

5 As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died.                                                            Source: http://biblehub.com/

Shows that God’s love is not just conditional, but judgement for breaking the conditions.

Matt 23:33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
Source: http://biblehub.com/

Where on earth is the ‘unconditional love’ here?

Noah’s Flood – unconditional love????
Jesus driving out the traders in the Temple – unconditional love????

The story of God’s love for Israel through the OT, as never ‘unconditional’ and again & again, we saw the severe consequences of His conditional love.

Yet, we have such hard hearts just as Jesus accused the Pharisees, that we will not even consider these things – we might lose some comfort.

“Oh Lord, forgive me for presuming on Your love by demanding it be unconditional. That you that You love us so much that You allow us to be called Your children. Help me to humble myself, to lose my life for your love and Kingdom.”

After reading these Scriptures, I had someone ask me “What is God’s love conditional on?”

To which I replied “Obedience for a start.
Think carefully about the Scripture I quoted without the demands of this modern ‘sacred theology that must be believed’
This is just another reason why we as Christians need to focus on obedience not God’s love; on holiness, not God’s love; on conquering sin, not God’s love.
We already know that God loves us and sent His Son to die for us, so now, our responsibility and reasonable response, needs to be obedience, etc… When we continually return the conversation back to ‘God’s love for us’ we lose sight and true resolve of those essentials.

It is in pandemic proportions in the Church now. God loves His Church, He loves His people, but He is sickened by it’s ‘inward looking’.”

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More Verses that deny the ‘Unconditional Love of God’ theology and will help us get back on track as humble, obedient children of God:

Matt 6:15 But IF you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matt 24:12 “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “BUT the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

Heb 10:36 You need to persevere so that WHEN you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Matt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Source: http://biblehub.com/

Another ‘condition for salvation’ :

Mat 3:10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.   

Matt 10:32-33 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

Source: http://biblehub.com/

 

 

 

Is Jesus Religious Like The Teachers Of The Law He Condemned?

If Jesus really is just ‘nice and kind’ as most churches now suppose (just try and correct someone and you will see) then He has become ‘religious’ just like the teachers of the Law he condemned.
It is no longer about the absolute, unchangeable Truth & Righteousness of God, who is Holy, hates sin, finds it utterly vile and sacrificed his life to conquer it.

Do we really believe that Jesus has dumbed down the eternal truths that emanate from his very being, into a sentimental feelgood religious experience for all?

Do we really believe that Jesus is now softly, softly on error and sin, but later he will have a change of heart and throw billions of people into hell to suffer torment endlessly.

Apart from God never changing, how could God possibly go softly, softly now, but then judge extremely harshly later?
That would make God a grossly unfair, uncaring and a deceitful god.

No, he is consistent – never changes and he hates sin, he instructed us to warn each other daily, lest any become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

That’s why the disciples were afraid to give the wrong answer when Jesus asked a question.

This is so, so serious, but we think we have some right to dumb it down, because the Humanists & Liberals told us we had to be ‘nice’ because after all, our God is a God of love.

They do not even understand the word, and neither do we.
We let ungodly, unprincipled men interpret the Bible for us, how foolish are we?
But we are under this strange illusion, that we are really quite spiritual and enlightened about the Bible and all things spiritual.

When Jesus made a whip and got physical – driving them out of the temple, where was the love in that? Where was the ‘nice’ in that? Where was the grace in that?
It’s there but we do not understand it because we do not understand God or love.

No longer inform seekers that Christianity is ‘not about being religious, but about a relationship with God.’ Tell them the truth – Christianity has changed and now it is ‘relationship religiosity’. That is closer to the truth.

Oh and don’t call it Christianity either, it’s not, it’s just another Christian Cult, not unlike the JW’s or Mormons.
Maybe call it the ‘Christian Relationship Religious Cult.’

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you….."

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