Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Jesus Can't Help You: the Real Lie of Religious Tradition.

13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13 NKJV

  In our last study, we saw that God's provision isn't a lottery system rooted in performance and rewarded to believers upon merit. We also brought balance. God is our healer, God is our provider. He is a good Father. Yet we see so much suffering in this World.

 We must acknowledge that is a fractured creation. It is a fallen World. In a fallen World, we are susceptible to poor decision making. Money managing errors, poor choices in our eating, and adopting unhealthy habits. Why is this? Because a broken world also corrupts our thinking. We also see evil arise in a fallen World.

 Men who are corrupted inwardly and outwardly cause suffering and torment to those around them. Nations whose God isn't the Lord serve false gods and systems of thought. These carry consequences of despair and desolation. In all this, what are we to expect as believers? What about God's kids?

 While we aren't preaching fantasy that all our days will be flowery beds of ease without any interference, we still need to realize Jesus is still the Lord. He is the Victor. God is on the throne. He is triumphant. 
...And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:32b,33 NKJV

I love Jesus' words here. Note He said the Father is with Him. He then says be of good cheer I overcame the World. Yeah, there are tribulations but that isn't the focus. Jesus said in Him there is peace. What this means for us is, no matter what the situation or circumstances, we are never alone. He is always with us.

 This week I came across a moving story of a veteran who suffered from PTSD. The PTSD issues were overtaking his life. He finally got saved. Sadly, the symptoms were still there. The torment was relentless. Sadly, he had gotten saved in a church that didn't teach much but that Jesus can save you. On advice from his wife, he met with the pastor. 

 After the meeting, he came home. His wife asked how'd it go? He said the pastor said, "Jesus can't help you." He then kissed his wife and went to another room and took his own life. This shook me inside and out.

 Then it dawned on me. This is truly the real message of religious tradition. No matter what the subject, the answer is the same. Cut away the deep theological terminology, the denominational lingo, ritualistic religiosity and the experiential claims, and the answer is the same. Jesus can't help you. 

Jesus can't help you!

 Religious tradition acknowledges that if you accept the Lord, you're born again. You're saved, that's the limits of what God can do. After that, there isn't too much God can do for you.

 Forgiveness of sins. Religion will agree God forgives. However, this is only your past sins. What if you want your future sins forgiven? Jesus can't help you. For your future sins to be forgiven is an impossibility. You must confess and repent or turn away from sin for you to be forgiven. Because you can't do that until you first sin, there can be no future sins forgiven. If your future sins were already forgiven, then that would give us a license to sin. 

 Jesus says otherwise. In the Finished Work, He forgave us once for all time. When you believe in the Lord and accept what He did you're forgiven for each and every sin you have ever committed, the ones you are committing and even the ones you haven't committed yet. 
13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. Colossians 2:13 NLT

Eternal Security. Religious tradition will say there is security for the believer in Christ, but you can lose your salvation. You want to be unconditionally eternally secure? Jesus can't help you. You must perfect the work He began in you. You want to ensure you're going to make it to Heaven? Jesus can't help you, but you can help yourself by not becoming entangled in too much sin. You must never turn back or backslide. If you endure, stay sin free and forgive everyone then perhaps you will make it.

 Jesus says otherwise. In Christ, we are eternally secure. Our salvation is anchored in Christ work, not our performance or endurance. We are sealed until the day of redemption, not until the day we sin too much or walk away. We are hidden in Him. What He began in us, He will complete it. Once we're saved we are eternally saved and secure.
28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. John 10:28-29 NKJV

Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Tradition says there is a Holy Spirit. That is about as far as they will go. Want to walk in power from on High? Want to demonstrate His power to a hurting World? Sorry, Jesus can't help you. Those gifts and empowerment we read about in Acts were for only a select few and not for today.

 Jesus says otherwise. If you want power for this life you just need to ask! Jesus is the Baptizer in the Spirit. His Spirit bestows these gifts as the need arises. Just be an open vessel, filled or baptized in His Spirit and be expectant of Him to use you and He will. Sometimes it's a kind uplifting word. Sometimes it's a friendly smile. Sometimes its the boldness to go pray for someone right there on the spot. His Gifts flow in situations like this when compassion and seeing His name renowned is your motive.
13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him. Luke 11:13 NLT

 Healing. God is a healer. Religion can't deny that. Though I sometimes think they wish they could rip those pages out. Tradition says healing is hit and miss. He sometimes does and doesn't. Because we see so many not healed it won't happen for you. Need healing Jesus can't help you. Healing can't be in the Finished Work, you're on your own. Better find a good doctor. 

 Have inner turmoil? Have depression? Fighting Addiction? This is just your cross to bear. Tradition would say we can perhaps recommend a good psychologist. Jesus sure can't help you.

 Jesus says otherwise.
He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NLT

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

 He is good. He is our healer. He paid for our wholeness in the Finished Work. Healing is in His perfect plan and will for our lives. Why then are some not healed? Tradition seems right when they say it's hit and miss with healing. So they err on the side of healing will not occur. 

 What they don't get is it isn't God choosing not to heal. God healed us in the Finished Work. It is done. The issue is we live in a fallen world. We have an enemy, though he has been defeated is an outlaw spirit who resists God and the Church. 

 Think of this. We were saved and forgiven but we still sin, why? Because we aren't saved yet from the presence of sin. Same as sickness, disease, and heartache. We Trust in the Finished Work. We exercise faith in what is done. Many many times the healing comes. Other times, we see this fallen World at work along with an enemy opposing us. The truth is in Christ there is no loss for the child of God. Even if the disease strikes hard and fast and gets a head start on our faith and before the Finished Work can fully manifest in our lives, we still win because we are ushered into Heaven to be with Jesus and we have a brand new body! What a deal we got! Jesus did it!

Financial provision. Got a need? Well, Jesus wants you poor and humble. Got a bill due? Sorry, Jesus can't help you. Surely the Cross doesn't make a way for help and provision in this life. You're on your own. Better call the Bank.

 Jesus says otherwise.
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NKJV

God is a good Father. He doesn't desire to see us unable to pay our bills, to have unreliable transportation and to starve to death. Yet we do see some in poverty and in famine. Why is this? Again this is a fallen World and evil men exploit others. This is why we want and pray for His supply in our lives. If we are blessed we should do all we can to help. 

 There are relief programs that are designed to help the needy. How then do we see supply? God gives us the wisdom to help us better manage our goods. He gives us His favor. Favor opens doors. Listen, no matter what this favor extends to all believers on this planet. He is no respecter of persons. He can and does show kindness to all His kids, not just those in the West. We just have to open our eyes and see His hands moving.

Religion Lies! Jesus IS our present help!

 The good news is we do have a help and hope in Jesus! He is our present help in all our times of need! Tradition doesn't know or understand how to receive from their Father. They excel in unbelief because sadly, many have never had a true encounter with the risen Christ. He is majestic, triumphant and victorious! When the Champion lives within we can't help but overcome.

 In summation, lay aside the lies of tradition. Jesus is there for us no matter what. He is in us and upon us by His Spirit. He is our peace and comfort in the midst of the worst the enemy and this fallen World may bring. He is our healer and provider. He will never leave or abandon us. Contrary to religion Jesus can help you! 

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