1 Timothy 1:8-11 ESV Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, (9) understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, (10) the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, (11) in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
What is the gospel? Most professing Christians would say that it is a simple, short sentence. Something like: “Jesus died for your sins on the cross and if you believe in Him as your Savior, you will go to heaven.”
But I can remember, even many years ago, wrestling with this question – “just what is the gospel?” And I can tell you that the answer cannot be condensed down into 25 words or less.
Continue reading “Judgment of the Wicked is Part of the Gospel”
Hebrews 11:1 ESV Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
If we do not have the “direction” of what we think is faith, that genuine faith given us as a gift from the Lord, then we are going to get it wrong. And getting faith wrong can really cause us some troubles.
As you can see from the above scripture, faith does look ahead. We “hope” for things that lie in the future, not the past. But we must also notice that this faith’s eyes do not see! Yes, certainly we see God’s promises, by the eyes of faith. We “look for” Christ on the horizon. But faith does not see in the sense of actually possessing its object. One day, in the new heavens and earth, we won’t need faith because we will literally see the things which we now hope for.
But back to this issue of the “direction” of our faith.
Continue reading “Is Your Faith Supernatural or Superstitious?”
“For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 6:13-15)
The false prophets of Jeremiah’s day kept announcing “peace and prosperity and God’s blessing on everyone” even though the thing was a fallacy. They minimized the seriousness of what was the real cause of troubles among them: “They have healed the wound of my people lightly.” They didn’t acknowledge the depth of their evil and be ashamed. They were arrogant.
I would suggest to you that this kind of thinking and utterance is characteristic of an evil heart. And I will suggest something else to you. Namely, that all of the minimizing and discounting of abuse victims in the “church” by leaders and members is a plain example of the very same cry of “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. There is NO peace in the victim’s life because her abuser is at war with her. But what is she met with when she calls for help? “You exaggerate.” They pronounce peace, you see, when there is no peace.
Continue reading “Don’t be One of These False Prophets Promising False Peace”