Showing posts with label mercy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mercy. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Judgment and Wrath: Is God presently sending disasters and plagues and destruction upon earth to punish mankind's sins?


For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 5:9 MEV

We live in a fallen and fractured creation. When Adam bowed the knee to the enemy's deception, committing high treason against God, he turned over creation to the knowledge of cursing and calamity. That is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or blessing and calamity. Man has chosen to operate out of this tree and the enemy is more than happy to accommodate him.

 Jesus is the tree of life. We in Christ should desire to operate from this tree, not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life brings fullness of joy, Righteousness, and peace. Feed on this tree and not on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life is resurrection power, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil only supplies fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, and condemnation. 

 When addressing this issue of judgment and wrath and the Goodness and Love of God it is essential to understand what tree you're feeding on. The tree of life offers hope and a solution, the Lord Jesus Christ. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil only reveals problems and gives one the knowledge of the good and the bad. It only sees the wickedness and evil of man and how far they have fallen. It causes one to go on "crusades" to "right wrongs and injustices."    

 The truth is the only hope for true justice is found in receiving eternal life in Christ Jesus. To partake of the tree of life, to partake of Jesus and the Love and life and hope only He can supply. Christian leaders, ministers, and believers feeding primarily on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil can only see the evil conditions upon the earth. They see the sin and wickedness of man. They see the rampant immorality and the hearts sold out to satan and fleshly pleasures. 

 As a result, they look for "good." That is the opposite of evil. That is judgment and wrath upon the perpetrators of darkness, depravity, deviance, and degradation. They rejoice at the destruction of wickedness. 

 Now understand, that evil is still evil and God doesn't delight in wickedness. He is against sin. He is against depravity and immorality. Not because He is a joyless grump who doesn't like people having "fun". Sin and wickedness aren't fun. He is against these things because He knows the heavy toll they take and the heavy burden they bring. Sin is not really fun because it corrupts, robs, it steals, and it keeps people in depressing darkness. 

 Our Father hates sin so much that He actually did something about it. He sent His Son to die as the substitutionary sacrifice for sin and the sins of all mankind. God has dealt with the sin problem once and for all. Jesus became the Lamb of God. He bore all the judgment, the penalty, the punishment, and wrath in His body on that tree. The amazingly Good News is that the Work is Finished and God has fully accepted this work once and for all time.

 With this foundation laid, let's ask the question, is God presently, sending wrathful judgment upon earth to punish the rebellious, the wicked, the depraved, the disobedient? Is God sending disasters to punish man's sins? Is God executing harsh judgment on mankind? The answer is clear in the Word;

  And their sins and their Lawless deeds I will no longer remember. Now where there is forgiveness of these things, an offering for sin is no longer required. Hebrews 10:17-18 NASB

 The clear and uncompromised answer is no, God is not sending disasters on mankind to punish them. If God sends any plague or pestilence on earth to punish sins then that means God is not pleased with the sacrifice of Christ. For God to send tsunamis, tragedy and turbulent times on man as a result of their present sins then that is a statement that Jesus' work was incomplete, insufficient and inadequate in paying the complete price for all mankind's sin and wrongdoing. 

 We know from the Word, the victorious and triumphant resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His present moving among the Body of Christ in signs wonders and manifestations that Jesus is Lord. That He has won. That He perfectly procured our salvation and paid the price in full.

 Look, in a fallen and fractured creation, sadly catastrophes, cataclysm and calamity occur. Famine, floods, and fire can ravage lands and destroy homes and businesses. Don't become despaired or depressed at this realization. Jesus has not forgotten us. He can intervene, He can help restore, and He comforts in loss. Now He didn't ordain or cause the destruction but He can turn it for our good.

 In summation, God is a Good Father. He is satisfied with Jesus' once for all sacrifice. He is not sending doom and despair on man for their sins. He is also not speaking forth from the mouth of self proclaimed prophets that He is sending disasters because of sins in a particular country. 

 God is pleased with Jesus and He is pleased with you His Church. God is also reconciled the world through Christ. In other words, He isn't mad at them. He wants them to know the price has been paid and wants them to freely receive new life, a new nature, and eternity with Him. Let's share the Good News with a lost and dying world. 

Image by from Pixabay 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

How Faith Works: Faith Receives


Now the just shall live by faith... Hebrews 10:38a MEV

 We've been in a series examining how Faith works. An important distinction must be made as we conclude this study. We are exploring Faith and how it works in light of the Grace of God and His Finished Work. Faith and Grace go hand in hand in order to walk in the complete victory Christ procured for whosoever will believe. 

 In studying how Faith works we've seen that Faith sees. Faith when continually fed the Word produces an image inwardly of all the promises of God. This Faith image not only inwardly illustrates the promise it also brings about an image of us actually possessing and walking in those promises of God. 

 We've seen that Faith believes. Faith believes what God has declared true concerning us. Faith believes because God said it and because His Goodness proves He is Faithful to His Word. 

 We've seen that Faith speaks. Faith agrees with God. Faith speaks out what the Grace of God and Finished Work have made available. Faith speaks out and agrees with what God has spoken. God said we are Righteous when we believed. Faith agrees and speaks declaring I am the Righteousness of God in Christ. God said the believer is forgiven of all their sins forever. Faith agrees and speaks forth saying I am forgiven. God said by Jesus' stripes we are healed. Faith agrees and declares boldly I am healed. God said we are blessed and provided for. Faith agrees and speaks out saying I am blessed.

 Today, we want to conclude by looking at the last aspect of how Faith works. Faith receives. Faith is not passive or nonparticipative. Faith reaches out and lays hold on what Christ made available.

 Not to bring shame or make light of someone but simply ask an average person what it means to receive. Many will conclude receiving simply means having a positive expectation of something good coming their way. That sounds nice but as we saw last week this is only hope in operation. This isn't how Faith functions. 

 Faith isn't passive or unresponsive. Faith is active and assertive. Faith lays hold of the purchased promises and provision the Finished Work of Grace and Redemption purchased for us. Faith receives it as its own. Faith lays claim to what Grace provided and refuses to be denied.

 What does it mean to receive? To receive means one can't be passive or uncommitted. To receive means to lay hold of, to take, to seize, to make your own. Going deeper, to receive means to take possession of, to claim for one's self. To receive also means of that which is taken, none is let go, it means to not refuse what's been offered. 

 Name it and Claim it?

This phrase was created by detractors of Faith and propagators of unbelief and a powerless Christian experience as some sort of pejorative. It's used to describe anyone who believes Faith can change circumstances. That Faith can create a better life in the here and now and not just in the afterlife.

 Thus said Jehovah, The Holy One of Israel, and his Former: Ask Me of the things coming concerning My sons, Yea, concerning the work of My hands, ye command Me.' Isaiah 45:11 YLT

 God invites us to partake and freely receive from His kingdom. God welcomes us to take our place at the King's table. To freely partake of the King's feast and pull up a chair next to the King at His banqueting table. 

 Name it and claim it? The truth is God "named it" through His Finished Work. He already "named it" by His Grace and His Word agrees with and confirms it. We who walk by Faith are simply claiming what His Grace has already purchased, procured, and provided.

 God purchased our Righteousness. We lay claim to that Righteousness by receiving it. God purchased our forgiveness and freedom from guilt, shame, and condemnation. We lay claim to that by receiving it freely. We don't reject it whenever we miss it or blow it. We receive it as ours now and forever. God provided for our every need. We lay claim to this by fully receiving it and not being moved by contradictory circumstances. God's Grace named it and we who believed claim it!

 In summation, Faith works. Faith sees. Faith believes. Faith speaks. Faith receives. Take God at His Word. Believe Him and trust Him. He is a Good Father who loves us unconditionally. Lay claim freely to all that's yours because of Him. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Still another mistaken idea: You will reap what you sow

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV

In our last study, we examined our view of God. Asking the question if we have a positive expectation of mercy and goodness or a fearful expectation of God's anger and wrath and judgment. If we have a fearful expectation then we have to ask why that is?

 The negative traditions of man corrupt our view of God. Religion skews our image of our Good Father, into that of the harsh taskmaster. The despot on the throne poised to strike the moment, the exact instant we foul up or miss it. At the precise moment of sin, judgment falls and we suffer the due punishment for our actions. 

 Of course, this image conjured up by traditional religious-minded men is false. Does this even come close to describing Jesus? Of course not. These traditions of men rooted in our thinking are why we have a fearful expectation of judgment and wrath.

 We have already begun allaying these wrong thoughts in our previous study. Today, we need to see the last two religious concepts that bring fear and torment. The first is this idea of generational curses. 

 There is an entire study disproving this myth here. This mistaken idea uprooted brings us peace and a positive expectation of good. Recall, Jesus took the sour wine on the cross. He took the sour grapes if you will so there are no more generational curses.

 Finally, let's uproot this idea of reaping what we sow. You may be thinking, how is this a mistaken idea when it clearly states in the Word that we will reap what we sow? It is a mistaken idea because, as with many truths, man has distorted it and added to it and created a burdensome belief that brings bondage and not freedom.

 This passage must be seen and understood in its full context. What Paul is teaching is the support of ministry that has fed someone the Word of truth. The seed Paul refers to here is financial. 

Those who are taught the Word of God should help their teachers by paying them. Galatians 6:6 TLB

 Though the truth of giving money to support the work of God has been widely misused and abused and taken to extremes doesn't negate the foundational truth. The work of ministering the Gospel does require funding. In essence, that is all Paul is speaking of.

 That may be so, but why does Paul say he who sows to the flesh will reap corruption? That's not speaking of money or supporting ministry. Glad you asked, I also used to think this. The problem is we are taking the thought out of its context and setting.

 Paul was speaking of supporting ministry. He didn't stop and preach a whole new thought. He was saying if you don't support the ministry you are sowing your own works and performance and will reap corruption, the corrupting influence of man-made religion. 

 Think of it, if there are no ministers teaching the truth, then all you rely on is your own views, and that is how tradition is created. If we support the ministry we are sowing into the kingdom. We are reaping growth. To be clear, Paul isn't teaching if you give money you will get even more money. The harvest reaped is more lives transformed, and God's blessing on you to grant you the favor to be able to keep supporting God's work. 

 I said all that because what tradition has taught is that this passage is sharing with us what happens whenever we mess up or sin. That we will reap the negative consequences of our negative actions. In essence, do good get good, do bad and get bad.

 That mindset produces a fearful expectation of judgment and not a loving expectation of His mercy and goodness. We are under the New Covenant, not the Law. We who believed are now Righteous and redeemed. 

 The New Covenant doesn't teach a "Christian" form of karma. We aren't doing good simply so good things will come our way. We aren't avoiding wrongdoing just so we won't receive bad things coming our way. Because of Christ within us, we do good because we desire to be a blessing because Christ has loved us and blessed us already. We shun the bad simply because Christ is within us and leads us into all truth. We avoid the bad because He shows us its wrong. 

 This idea of reaping what we sow brings us to a place of expectancy of judgment and condemnation. This concept negates God's Love. It ignores His great mercy. It diminishes His Grace. In the Finished Work Christ reaped everything we've ever sowed negatively. He became a curse for us to redeem us from the curse.

 In summation, we who believe should have a positive expecation of goodness and mercy. Certainly, there are consequences in this life for choices. However, that is not reaping what you sow. That is not God punishing us for our sins, Jesus already paid for all our sins.

 Kicking over sacred cows, bringing religious thoughts captive to Christ, casting down the strongholds of man mad tradition in our thinking will cause us to have a positive expectation of mercy. Understanding God's blessings aren't a reward for good works, knowing we are forgiven of all our sins and isn't counting them against us, rejecting the concepts of generational curses, and the contrary view of Christian "karma" reaping what we sowed, will shatter the wrong images of God and bring with it the expectation of goodness from God not cursing or calamity. God is Good and loving and merciful.  

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Theology of sickness and disease

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38 MEV

Dear Friend, I pray that in every way you may prosper and be in good health,  just as your soul is prospering. 3 John 2 Mounce Reverse Interlinear New Testament 

 Ever heard the word theology? This word can bring with it the connotation of boring book knowledge that only dull "egg-headed" scholarly types get enthusiastic about. The word can also bring with it the idea of deep spiritual knowledge that only a few can actually grasp.  Believe it or not, just as in the natural realm we hold to certain opinions or ideologies in our Christian life we all hold to some form of theology.

 Theology isn't about some deep study that goes over everyone's head. Theology is merely the study of God. At the same time though, theology can also be a viewpoint about God we hold fast to. What is your theology?

 When it comes to theology, often the Church as a whole tends to build a theology around what can't happen or what didn't happen. Pertaining to Faith, is your theology centered on how Faith can't move mountains today? Is your theology about how Faith only works for the saving of our souls and forgiveness of sins but never anything else? 

 When it comes to healing what is your theology? Is it that God used to heal before the Scriptures were fully recorded but now that we have the Bible we don't need healing? Is it that God can heal but of course we could never believe God will heal? Or is it that we ceremonially offer prayers for the sick but in actuality never really expect them to actually receive that physical healing?

 Many well-meaning and sincere believers hold fast to a theology of unbelief. Unbelief rooted in negative experiences and years and years of indoctrination from the religious traditions of men. Unbelief that goes through the motions of prayer and faith but never actually expects any tangible change or miraculous intervention from the hand of God. Unbelief that is birthed from not knowing intimately the Goodness of a loving Father who longs to bless, provide, protect and pour out His healing power. 

 Many sincere Christians hold fast to a theology of sickness and disease rather than a theology of healing and wholeness. Through wrong teaching and wrong believing, many actually believe God is the author of affliction, infirmity, distress, disease, and death. Some actually affirm God sends sickness and disease to show us He loves us.

 Is God the author of sickness and disease? Does God dole out disease to His children to instruct them? To better them? To improve their character? To make His own some type of "testimony" to inspire others who are also going through their own turmoil to just keep smiling through their burdensome affliction? Is this the image of God Jesus demonstrated to all of humanity when He walked the sandy seashore of Galilee?

 Jesus is the express image of God our Father. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. Jesus never once placed disease on a single person He encountered. He never sent forth famine or pestilence or plague. Jesus never once made anyone sick, on the contrary He healed all who came to Him. Jesus went about doing good healing all. Jesus is the author of life and health, not disease and death, God is a Good God!

 What a cruel image religious tradition has conjured up. They preach the concept that the God who created the entire universe somehow takes pleasure in the affliction of humanity. That God shows His love and compassion for us by giving our loved ones cancer, multiple sclerosis, or alzheimers. This tradition of men is a lie and contrary to who God revealed Himself to be in Christ. God is a Good God, He isn't the destroyer of lives but the giver of life. 

When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. Luke 9:54-56 MEV

Jesus here affirms He comes to save men's lives not destroy them. Our theology is Jesus. As His Church we should passionately reject the notion or idea that God wills disease and death. What was Jesus' attitude about sickness and disease? He healed all who came to Him. Sickness and disease do not come from God, they are contrary to His perfect will.

in righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Isaiah 54:14-15 KJV

 This passage declares the Righteous will be far from oppression. It states fear and terror and oppression shall gather against you but God declared not by me. The opening text for our study is Acts 10:38. That passage declared Jesus went about healing all who were oppressed. According to Acts sickness and disease is a form of oppression. Isaiah declared oppression gathers but not by God. This is Biblical evidence God isn't the author of sickness and disease. Who is the oppressor? The enemy. Who is the healer? Jesus. 

 We as the Church need to have a Jesus theology about infirmity, illness, infection, malady, and malfunction. We shouldn't expect or tolerate or God forbid celebrate sickness and disease. We need to resist it and stand together and pray against it. I am not saying condemn or belittle those suffering affliction. I am not saying attack their dignity. Our hearts go out to all who are suffering. We stand with them. I am only saying we don't proclaim their suffering is the plan and purpose and work of God our Good Father. 

 God is our Good Father. He isn't our bad father. He isn't the godfather who takes and breaks. He is our Good Father who mends and heals. God is our Good Daddy who restores and covers us with His precious Love and mercy. 

 God isn't the author of your tragedy. God is the answer to your tragedy. God isn't the source of your trouble. God is the turnaround for your trouble. He's the one turning it around for your good. 

 In summation, we need to have a theology of life and healing and not a theology of suffering sickness and disease. We are not shaming or disapproving of those who have suffered or are still suffering from sickness and disease. We aren't maligning the dignity of anyone who has experienced sickness or disease. We are just affirming the Goodness of God. We are renewing our thinking about how Good our God is. We are reaffirming the truth that God is never the author or sender of any sickness or disease. 

 How can we trust God if He is the one afflicting us? God is our Good Daddy. Let's holdfast to a theology of healing and not of crippling illness and infirmity. Let's holdfast to who God has clearly revealed Himself to be in His Word and the redemptive work of Jesus. 


Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Receiving Righteousness: what about our failures?

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 NASB

We have begun a new series studying Righteousness. We have seen what Righteousness is, right standing with God. We have seen who the Righteous are, those who have trusted in Christ alone. Now we are examining the importance of actually receiving of the gift of Righteousness.

 We have seen the great importance and benefit of receiving of the gift of Righteousness. For instance, receiving a brand new car is great, but profits you little if you never actually drive it. So it is with Righteousness. 

 We have seen how Righteousness received positively affects our relationships. We will continue looking at the various aspects of the Christian life that are more successful when we receive of this great gift. Today, though it seemed good to pause and address a question that many have concerning Grace and Righteousness. 

 Maybe this is new to you, this concept of Grace and Righteousness. Maybe you have heard of Righteousness but only in a religious traditional setting. Or maybe you heard of Grace but it wasn't taught well and left you with more questions than answers.

 We are the Righteousness of God in Christ. We have received the gift of perfect and complete right standing with God. We have received the gift that enables us to come before God always welcomed, always approved, and always accepted. We have received the gift that allows us to stand before God without any sense of guilt, shame, condemnation, insecurity, or inferiority. 

 Righteousness and all it encompasses is a gift. It is not a work we achieved. It is not a result of measuring up based on our good deeds outweighing our bad. It is not acquired by our performance or behavior or conduct. There are no levels of Righteousness. Either you're Righteous or you're not. Righteousness is a gift we receive not anything achieved.

 Knowing who you are, Righteous, how it is received, it is a gift and can't ever be earned, will completely answer the big question. Am I still Righteous even when I sin or fail? What about sin? What about when we fail? 

 Let me state this loud and clear. Your sin, your failures, your unrighteous deeds cannot ever undo your Righteousness in Christ. Your behavior, your conduct, your actions never made you Righteous, therefore, your behavior, conduct, or actions can never make you unrighteous.

 This is the plain truth of the Gospel. We could never achieve right standing with God by any action or work on our part. Why then do we think after we have received Righteousness we can somehow undo it now by our actions or behavior? 

 Answered plainly. Are we still Righteous when we sin or fail? The answer is yes. Righteousness is a gift. God isn't in the business of giving gifts and then taking them back. Righteousness is an irrevocable gift. 

For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:28 MEV

 Some may claim I am promoting a "license to sin." I get somewhat tired of that phrase. What even is a license to sin? All sin has consequences. Now I am not speaking of God punishing us or the do good and get good or do bad and get bad Law mentality. 

 All sin has some form of consequence. For something to be a license it would mean there is no harm, no-fault, no consequence to that action. A commercial driver's license or a pilot's license means one has demonstrated the necessary skills and know how to operate those vehicles or aircraft without any adverse reaction. 

 All sin has consequences, so to claim anyone can preach in such a way giving someone else the "license" to sin is absurd. Sin is birthed from unrenewed desire, often coupled with the temptation of the enemy. In some instances, sin is birthed by believing the lie that there is something better outside of Christ.

 Sin's consequences can be greatly measured or only seen and experienced by the offender. The one stealing may find themselves in a jail cell. The adulterer potentially loses their family through divorce, but certainly loses respect and trust in those around them. Still, most consequences seen from sin are the lack of confidence before God, and corrupting thoughts it produces.

Because there are always consequences for sin, the concept of a license to sin then is absurd. When speaking of sin, most Christians really are only speaking of certain kinds of sin. Only certain kinds of behavior.

 Holiness is basically defined then by one who isn't committing adultery, having sex outside of marriage, watching pornography, isn't drinking alcohol, isn't using tobacco, doesn't watch R-rated movies, and never listens to secular music, and doesn't use profanity. These are basically the biggies. These are the real obvious sins.

 Truth is, I have seen believers who meet these criteria. Yet they are unkind to others. They are impatient in public. They are envious of others. They gossip. They hold grudges. These are sinful deeds as well, just the ones not preached about much.

 When we look at God's definition of sin and not man's we all realize we need a Savior. We all realize we need someone who could mediate between us and God. We realize we don't always have it all together. 

 It's humbling, and that's where Grace comes in. We acknowledge we can't overcome in our own strength or willpower. We need a perfect gift that keeps us in right standing even when we fail. That gift has been given, it is the gift of Righteousness. 
 In the great exchange, we received this great gift. Because of the triumphant work of the Cross, no believer needs to bear their sins and guilt and shame. Think of it, if all the guilt of our sins was on Christ it has no place on us. He was condemn in our place, therefore we never need feel condemned. He took our shame, therefore shame is has no place on us or in our thinking. Christ took all the punishment for our sins, so therefore we need never fear reprisal or retribution coming to us for our sins.

 In summation, we are the Righteousness of God in Christ. It is who we are right now. Jesus won a complete victory. He arose triumphant defeating death, hell, the grave and the enemy. We who believe are forever forgiven, forever saved, and forever Righteous. Righteousness is an irrevocable gift. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Lies Religious Tradition Taught Us: It's not God's will to Heal you

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.                 2 Timothy 3:5 KJV 

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

 We've been in an extended study examining the lies religious tradition has taught for years and years. Concepts and views taught in such a way to dare question them would make it seem as if your doubting and questioning God Almighty. Things taught in such a way and for so long they've formed strongholds in people's minds.

 In this series, we've exposed lies such as God is the author of your sickness and disease. That God causes evil so good may come. That it's His highest and best that we live in poverty. That God is a mean and angry God, we even explored the true meaning of spiritual warfare. 

 In our last study, we allayed myths surrounding holiness, what it is and what it isn't. Today, it seems good to explore another area of God's goodness. In doing so, we will ask and answer a hard question. Is it God's will to heal today? Is it God's will to heal you?

 What traditional religion has taught for years is that it's not God's will to heal all. That God heals some and leaves others to suffer, languishing in their disease. That God chooses some to heal and some not to. God is sovereign and He knows what's best for us. 

 God seems to know that children suffering from cancer, leukemia, cystic fibrosis or some other disease are good and right. That it's working for their good, their parents good, and the Church's good. God knows more than us and He is sovereign and knows what's best for us. 

 This is precisely what traditional ministers teach. Is this the truth? That is, is this the true will of God? What does God say about Jesus' work of redemption?

Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains -- he hath carried them, And we -- we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted. And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace [is] on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us. Isaiah 53:4-5 YLT

 God lets us know what Jesus paid for in His work of redemption. So let's look at Jesus and what His attitude is about sickness and disease. Let's see what Jesus did when He encountered disease.

 In Matthew 4 what does Jesus do? Jesus heals all that were sick. Not some but all. In Matthew 8, Jesus again encounters pain, sickness, and disease. What does He do? Tell people this is working for their good? Matthew 8 again shows Jesus' attitude about disease. Surely we can find somewhere Jesus tells someone no, I won't heal you, right?

 Looking through the entire Gospels and you can't find Jesus ever telling anyone no. You can't find anyone hearing this sickness and disease is of God and for your good and self-improvement. You won't find any passage stating it's not God's will to heal you. 

 Some like to point to John 5 to prove Jesus didn't want to heal all. The Sheep Gate had a pool and angel came and stirred the water and whoever stepped in first got healed. There was a crowd of sick people there. Always, for there was no set time when the angel would come. These were looking unto the pool for help, not God. 

 Note what is left out when religion points to this passage. Not one soul there sought Jesus. Jesus was there healing and yet they never came to where He was. Well, some were invalid someone would say. And the lame man had four friends carry Him to get to where Jesus was and received. Point is not one soul upon seeing Jesus there, ever asked Him to heal them. If they asked they would've received.

 Jesus Himself answers this question about God's will. Look at Mark's Gospel. Jesus forever settled the question is it God's will to heal. 
41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Mark 1:41 NKJV

 Let's get real though. We see Jesus' attitude about sickness and disease. We see what His will is. Yet why do some not get healed? If it's His will why are people not receiving healing? 

 There is a simple explanation but many just don't like it. I am not even speaking of the unbelief aspect. There is an answer but it topples over religious tradition's biggest sacred cow. This idea that God's sovereignty means God's controlling everything.

 Here is the simple truth. Just because something is God's will and desire doesn't mean that it will just happen or be so. This truth cuts contrary to everything religious tradition teaches. Their whole theology rests on this foundation, That God dictates and determines every event on Earth.

 Let God's Word be the final authority. Paul writing to Timothy declared it's God's will and desire that all men should be saved. Peter writing also echoes this same sentiment and expression of God's revealed will. So it's God's will for all to be saved and not His will that any perish. Yet all people are not saved and some people have perished dying apart from receiving Christ's free gift of Grace. 

 Let's look at a couple of other areas about God's will. God declares it is His will that we believers abstain from sexual immorality. Yet many of us believers have slipped in this area. We've engaged in sex outside of marriage after we've received Jesus. Wait, it is God's will that we don't though. Why didn't God just control all things and make it so? If it's His will why did so many fail? It's as if people's free will and choice can counter God's will.

 Paul writes under the inspiration of the Spirit to forgive others because we've already been forgiven. If this is God's will why do some still hold grudges? It's as if mankind can override what God wants. I trust you're tracking with me. Just because God wants something doesn't mean it automatically happens. 

 Healing isn't God's will? God has given us His Son and His perfect Finished Work. He bore all our sickness and disease on the Cross. He's given us His Faith. He's given us His perfect unchanging Word of promise. He's given us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. He's given us authority over all the power of the enemy and their works. Jesus' perfect work redeemed us from the curse of the Law. God has done all He can for us to receive wholeness, the wholeness He purchased for us.

 So why aren't some healed? Why are some still sick and disease-ridden? Why are children dying suddenly? Why are people struck with cancer and never receive healing? 

 The answer is a mystery. We don't have all the answers. We don't always know why. We only have the truth God revealed to us. We live in a fallen and fractured creation. We know the defeated devil is a liar and sometimes attacks. We have authority over him. We do know that God isn't the author or ordainer of the infirmity. We do know what His will is. So we praise louder than the affliction, and unbelief. In the middle of the mystery, praise God more and more. He isn't the author of the affliction but the deliverer from affliction.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Good News vs fake news: God is an Angry God

15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; 1 Corinthians 15:1 TLB

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

We've been in an extended study contrasting the Good News of Jesus Christ and the fake news of religious tradition. As always, we must keep in mind that we are not fighting people. When we expose the error of tradition by shining the light of the New Covenant, we aren't attacking anyone. People aren't our enemy. Even religious traditional leaders who count us as their enemy, labeling us a preaching a false doctrine.

 So far we've seen God isn't cursing us for not tithing. We saw His answer to sin. He isn't holding it against us. We've seen just how forgiven we actually are. Today, I want to address the issue of God being an angry God. 

11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. Psalm 7:11 KJV
17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Psalm 9:17 KJV

 You see it is clear Scripture. God is angry every day. God is filled with wrath and indignation at the World. He is a vengeful God. 

 Is this really the image of God? Is this really the Scriptural image we have of our Father? Now I won't shy away from these passages. I won't try and tell you the mean something else when we see them clearly making a statement. What I will show you is the proper context and understanding of these passages. To rightly divide passages like this its best, to begin with this simple premise; God has anger, but He is love!

 These passages occur under the Old. There was no mediator between God and man. There was no once for all time sacrifice for sins offered. There was no final payment made for sins and unrighteousness. What though specifically is God angered at?

 If you look at the Old Covenant as a whole, we can find times when God poured out wrath and judgment. What specifically is the anger direct at? God isn't angry at people. God is angry at injustice. God was mad at the desolation and destruction sin and the fall brought. 

 Think of this. What is really is the wrath of God? It's righteous indignation at evil and injustice. When we hear of the evils mankind has wrought upon others isn't there a sense of indignation within you?  This righteous indignation is the simplest definition of God's wrath. 

 When Jesus went to that Cross, He took the punishment all the sins ever committed deserved. He took the punishment the Nazi's deserved for the brutal torture and murder of six million Jewish men, women, and children. He took the punishment violent racists deserved for their heinous acts of terror of lynching African American men, and bombing predominately black churches, in the southern United States. He took the punishment for all sins in His Body on that tree.

 When we understand fully the New Covenant, we will get a better understanding and hold to a better view of our Father in Heaven. God isn't angry any longer. He is forever satisfied with His Son's perfect sacrifice. 

Appeasing the Angry God

Because we don't rightly divide the Word we have embraced a view that our Father is angry and vengeful. In the mind of the religious, God is perpetually angry, indignant and exceedingly disappointed with the World, the Church, and the individual believer. This, in turn, becomes their focus.

 No longer is the motive for ministry, fellowship, and spiritual growth, love and intimacy with the Father. Appeasing the angry god becomes the driving force in all areas of the Christian life. We begin referring to time spent reading God's Word, prayer, and devotion as spiritual disciplines. What spouse or parent wants to hear their loved one say spending quality time with them is a "discipline?"

 We begin to boast about our love for God. We do all we can to make God pleased with us. We are certain if we slip we will disappoint God and He will be mad at us. Whenever we do miss it we sense that God is now dissatisfied with us and can't trust us.

 That isn't a relationship. It's servitude. This isn't relating to our Father, but a servant doing to the bidding of a ruler. God isn't a Father but an austere taskmaster to be feared. Look at how we prepare worship gatherings. We desire to "host Him", so we go to great lengths to sing the "right" songs and such. Here is the real question, in light of His Grace, Jesus Finished Work, and His great love what makes you think He wouldn't want to come visit with you? 

 Reject these notions. God is our Father. God is in a good mood. He isn't angry with you or anyone for that matter. God is love. His love is long-suffering and eternal. He is not wroth or indignant at anyone. Jesus final sacrifice was enough. He bore all the punishment and wrath for all sin and God the Father has accepted this payment. 

 When we perpetuate the angry god image, we are in fact making light of Christ's Finished Work. 
“For this is like the days of Noah to Me, When I swore that the waters of Noah Would not flood the earth again; So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you Nor will I rebuke you. Isaiah 54:9 NASB

God is no longer angry? Hyper-Grace preacher, Paul himself said the wrath of God abideth on people, what about that? Paul did say that. Once again we need to rightly divide what Paul is saying. He calls these the children of disobedience. What is their disobedience? They have rejected the free gift of Grace. By rejecting Grace they aligned themselves with the enemy and become partakers of the wrath that's on him already.

What angered Jesus

 We see an account in Mark that angered the Lord Jesus Christ. When religious leaders hindered God's people from receiving His goodness it angered Jesus. God's love was extended to all. Yet the religious rejected His goodness. They also went so far as to try and hinder others from receiving. This doesn't make our Father happy. The beautiful picture of Grace was manifest as Jesus in spite of religious tradition moved in their midst and made His goodness known bringing wholeness. Let's always side with His goodness. Let's never hinder what He wants to do in anyone's life. 

  In summation, know and understand your Father. He is not an angry Father. He is love. God is love! God so loved the World He gave His Son. If He so loved His enemies how much more is His great love extended and seen toward His own family? Our Father isn't a bitter God. He isn't a perpetually angry God. He is good and only does good. don't perpetuate these negative images of Father God. Remind the World and the Church, we have a Father in Heaven who is faithful and just and loves unconditionally.
Image courtesy of iosphere at

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What Gospel Are You Hearing? Is the Gospel a Political/Social/Activist Gospel?

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. Galatians 1:6-7 NKJV

16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile Romans 1:16 NLT

 We've begun a brief study I've entitled what Gospel are you hearing? Many are proclaiming a message that is an either a Gospel mixture of Law and Grace or of truth and error. There is only one Gospel. The Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 Let's revisit the true definition of the Gospel. The Gospel defined by Thayer's Greek Lexicon is the glad tidings of salvation through Christ. The proclamation of the Grace of God manifest and pledged in Christ. It is that simple. This is the simplicity of Christ.

 Whenever we proclaim the true Gospel of Christ this is what we are supposed to be preaching. We aren't bringing sad tidings or bad tidings if you will. We are proclaiming good Gospel news. When you hear someone proclaiming a message that is contrary to this, know you're not hearing the Gospel. You're just hearing a message.

The political gospel?

 The pulpit is a place to proclaim the Grace of God. It is a sacred place to lift up and exalt Jesus and His Finished Work. It is not the place to promote a political message. 

 Am I teaching that Christians should not participate in politics? Absolutely not. Each of us abides in some nation of this Earth. As responsible citizens, we can let our personal voice be heard during elections, (unless one's resident is in a place where there is no free election and Government control makes all the decisions the best recourse is prayer and if it all possible perhaps relocation). 
 Though we can personally allow our voice to be heard with a vote, this is not the Gospel message. There are some 200 nations on this planet. Which political message then is the one size fits all message that is part of the Gospel? 

Wasn't Jesus a socialist?

 This mentality is an unfortunate philosophy some cling to. Because Jesus taught giving to the poor and unfortunate some have interpreted this to mean Jesus' message was an ancient form of  Marxism. Jesus was not a socialist. He didn't conquer Rome and then "equally" redistribute the goods and property of the Roman empire throughout the globe. Jesus taught freewill giving. He didn't proclaim a message that Government was to impose its will on the people and force them to redistribute their material possessions. 

 The good news Gospel of Grace is a message that doesn't need men to muddle it up with human philosophies and ideologies. Under Grace, we have received the everlasting love of Almighty God within. God's Spirit personally directs our love and giving to be a blessing to those around us. Let's let God be God in people's lives and He will direct their steps. 

The social/activist gospel?

 Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ a social or activist message? If it is which cause are we to take to the streets to march and demonstrate for? Which is the one cause all believers in Christ have been instructed to contend with? I have viewed the news media outlets over that past few years, so which cause is the Christian cause?

 Are believers compelled by Christ to march to ensure Europeans have a 30 hour work week? That American youth shouldn't have to pay for their college education? Is the cause that should unite all believers in Christ, that America has immigration laws that some don't want to be enforced or want to repeal? There is a strong and passionate debate on this issue. 

 If immigration is the issue, then are we called to protest only the United States immigration laws? Why not Canada? Why not Ireland? Why not Israel? Why not Austraila or Japan? I can only trust that you see the futility in labeling this a Gospel issue. 

 We are to proclaim the Gospel of Grace to all nations and tribes and tongues. We are not to add to the Gospel. The Gospel is not the message of liberalism or conservatism. It is not a social movement. I want you to pause your passionate cause for a moment. The Gospel is Jesus plus nothing or is it?

Is the gospel Jesus plus a cause or activity?

 So is the Gospel message Jesus plus "income equality"? Jesus plus who you vote for? Jesus plus open borders in America? Jesus plus the 2nd Amendment? I wish God would clarify this for us. 

 Allow me to address another aspect of this. The social aspect some cling to also includes good works not just protesting or activism. Feeding the hungry, taking care of the homeless and other good deeds are these the Gospel? If you say, of course, let me frame it another way.

 What washed us from our sins, cleansing us and what forgave us once for all time? Is it the Blood of Jesus plus taking care of the poor and destitute? Is it Jesus once for all sacrifice plus our giving shelter to the homeless? Is it the Finished Work plus building orphanages? I hope you already know the answer.

 It is only the shed blood of Jesus that forgives and cleanses us. It is His final sacrifice that washed us, made us clean and exchanged our old life with His new eternal life. It was His Finished Work that made us the righteousness of God in Him, perfect and acceptable in the eyes of our good Father in Heaven. 

 I have actually heard some make statements like giving a person a hug is more effective than hearing someone preaching a sermon. I'm sorry, that is not conveying the Gospel. Can you imagine someone sharing a testimony like this;
 "Oh I know I'm saved, a Christian gave me a hug on the street."
"I know I'm right with God because a ministry fed me a chicken dinner."
 That sounds silly but the way some speak about the Gospel this is the impression they leave and what they declare the Gospel is. Is this accurate?
13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” Romans 10:13-15 NLT

What am I saying?

 The Gospel is the Gospel of the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a politically affiliated message. It is not an activist cause. It is not a social movement. It is not about doing good deeds. If it is then we've traded the Gospel of Grace for a gospel of works and performance. I sure hope you marched at the right rally, took up the right cause, fed enough hungry, visited enough prisoners, clothed enough naked, and met enough needs to become righteous.

 Now when we received the Gospel of Grace and have been transformed by His love and goodness, we will begin to bear fruit. Give someone a hug alright, but do it in Jesus name. Hug a fellow tight, but afterwards, share that Gospel with them. Feed the hungry, help the homeless, but make sure they know this is God's love in action. After they're warm and fed, give them the good news of Grace. 

 The Gospel needs to be conveyed for it to be received. The Gospel of Grace is the only thing that brings change to people. Simply feeding them or providing a need is good but not enough to bring about new life. If so the many, many secular thrift and consignment stores in the World should have many lives changed but there is no testimony of salvation because of them. As believers, we have the message that brings hope, love and new life. As we go about doing good and meeting needs let's not omit giving people the good news Gospel of Christ.