Let grace, mercy, and peace be with us in truth and love from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, Son of the Father! I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father. But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other. Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed. There are a lot of smooth-talking charlatans loose in the world who refuse to believe that Jesus Christ was truly human, a flesh-and-blood human being. Give them their true title: Deceiver! Antichrist! And be very careful around them so you don’t lose out on what we’ve worked so diligently in together; I want you to get every reward you have coming to you. Anyone who gets so progressive in his thinking that he walks out on the teaching of Christ, walks out on God. But whoever stays with the teaching, stays faithful to both the Father and the Son.
2 John 3-9 Message
It is a joy to write to you this day. I want to explore the gospel of grace with you. I want to take you on a journey of self discovery of what you actually believe. Upon the conclusion of this series my desire is that you would analyze your own heart and mind and locate your own beliefs and why you believe them. You know Ive heard a particular phrase stated many times throughout my lifetime. It is a simple phrase. It says this, if we stand for nothing then we will fall for anything. Let me make my intentions clear to you in writing today.
Here is this same passage in another translation
Friends, I have been trying to write you about our common salvation. But these days my heart is troubled, and I am compelled to write to you and encourage you to continue struggling for the faith that was entrusted to the saints once and for all. Vile men have slithered in among us. Depraved souls who stand condemned have made a mockery of the grace given to us, using it as a pretext for a life of excess, lived without any thought of God. These poor fools have denied Jesus the Anointed, our one Lord and Master.
We are told here to contend for the truth. If we want to experience greater peace and joy from the revelation of God's immeasurable love and grace we must stay within the truth of God's Word. The Word states many times we are to rejoice in the truth. So it is obvious then we cannot rejoice in error.
But Evangelist John doesn't pointing out error to others mean you're not walking in love? Isn't this stirring division?
I respect this concern. I actually honor this concern. My intent is not to spread division. Let me speak my heart. This scripture articulates my heart and intent.
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 1 Cor 13:6 AMP
or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! 1 Cor 13:6 Voice
So my heart is this, to rejoice in truth. Truth you see is Love's delight. If I sent you a voicemail, and then you took the recording and altered it or distorted it, would that be loving on your part? Would it be unloving on my part to point out you distorted my original message? Can you see why it is not actually loving to change or alter the message of grace or the gospel of Jesus Christ? It is from a heart of love for the truth that I bring forth this message. I want to ensure we have a pure gospel going out not a distorted one.
Are you in a grace revolution or in a rebellion?
This is a very important distinction. A wonderful brother in the Lord has taught this topic in depth in his book :
"After the Revolution - What must follow a Gospel Revolution."
Pastor Ryan Rufus. We must reevaluate our hearts and motives and intents. Are we pursuing pure grace or are we in rebellion against the Body of Christ and any "traditional" interpretation of the Word of God? Are we constantly seeking some "new thing"? Are we looking for "truth" and will only "see" it if it contradicts the orthodox view of Scripture?
In expounding on this particular truth I believe that I and others like me have a distinct advantage, if you will. You see I have a strong Word of Faith background. In this great move of God many wonderful truths were revealed to the Body of Christ. However, even in the midst of truth being revealed much error and excess also came forth. Many were continually looking to change the Scriptural understandings we had been taught. This is good in some areas such as healing or provision. This doesn't mean though we have to alter the Bible to make our particular doctrine or "revelation" fit.
You see we don't speak to the Bible. The Bible, God's Word, speaks to us. God declares His truth to us. We don't conceive a thought, or idea or new "revelation" or philosophy and then proceed to search the Word looking to reinforce or back up our claims.
So to begin only you can search your own heart. Are you in a rebellion or a revolution. A revolution seeks to make things better. A rebellion wishes to tear down and destroy. Are you so offended or hurt by legalism or controlling leadership that now you wish to eliminate the local church or Biblical leadership? Is this rebellion or revolution?
I want to go on record as saying I love the Body of Christ. We are not at odds with anyone. Remember the true enemy is the devil and his spirits of error and religion. You see when you are in the grace revolution you are withstanding, from a place of victory, the spirit of religion. You are contending, with faith in God and walking in love as your "weapons" against that religious spirit. When you are in rebellion you are actually aligning yourself unknowingly with the spirit of error.
So when I mention these teachings or philosophies that are grace rebellion, I am not against the people within but rather the spirit of error. Lets begin to look closely at these ideas.
First I want to examine Universalism. I am going attribute the full definition to Universalism. There is no real Christian Universalism. To me that view is really Inclusionism or Ultimate Reconciliation.
Universalism in it purest form is the idea that all roads leads to God and thus salvation.
There is not much to debate here. Those who know Jesus already know He has made it clear He is the only way.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
There is no other way to Heaven. There is no other way to everlasting life. It is only through Jesus Christ and His finished work can we have new life. Some may say aren't you being closed minded when you say Jesus is the only way? Well, in reality you're not being open minded when you are saying He isn't. In reality you're being susceptible minded. Having a Susceptible mindset is a state of being where you've allowed your mind to be easily accessed by the spirit of error. I truly believe that grace rebellion has it's roots is in this state.
God is loving and gracious. He respects freewill though. He has given us the assignment of spreading the good news. This includes spreading the good news to those in other "faith's" or religions. I know when we minister truth with love and in demonstration of the Power of God the truth of God's love and grace shines to the darkened hearts of the lost. The glorious light of God open's eyes and they respond in faith receiving new life and new creation within. Beautifully adopted into God's Family.
I will continue on my next post with the views on Inclusion and Ultimate Reconciliation. For further study check out Brother Paul Ellis teaching on these topics. I pray that you be blessed and encouraged as you read this. I pray that even if what is said in future posts goes contrary to your present view you won't be offended. I pray you examine your views in light of clear Scripture.
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