Today we’re returning to the blog, Into the Foolishness of God by Shara Case. I got caught up in reading several articles here, and I encourage you to take ten minutes to do the same. For today’s piece, click the title to read at source.
Friends, we are called as disciples to “preach the Word” and be “ready in season and out of season”, when the circumstances are for us and when they are against us. We are told to “convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).
Why? Because “the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Do you know how the church can “do better”? By adhering to God’s Word and loving our neighbor in truth.
How is it that we can “dig deep” and “do the hard work” that God really desires of us? By searching His word and hiding it in our hearts. It is the TRUTH that sets people free, not our well-meaning actions. The opinions of culture, authors, historians or professors don’t set people free, in fact they can do just the opposite.
Lets open our arms, but with the true gospel.
Our God is holy and righteous. He is also loving and full of mercy. These don’t cancel each other out, and we can’t adhere to one and not the other.
Sin has a diabolical agenda that will take us further down the road of good intentions than we ever imagined. Following Jesus requires hard things sometimes. It means we die to sin and self. We don’t rejoice in sin but flee from it. When others are stuck, we point them to a God who loves them and wants them free. The argument of “you’re too judgmental, God just wants us to love each other” is worn out with me. A true disciple does everything in love. Speaking the truth does not equate me with Westboro Baptist lunatics. If we ignore what He says in His Word, if we rearrange it to suit our feelings, no matter how noble they may be, we are not living as Jesus followers. We are nothing more than people-pleasers.
“In the end its like two locals telling a visitor how to get into a building. One tells the visitor he must go through the main gate, while the other says to go through an easier side door. The latter fears the main gate is too far away and too hard to enter. Initially, this local appears to make it easier for the visitor to get in, while the other seems to impose a harsher standard – until you find out there’s no side door.
While the easier instruction is well intended, it’s sadly just another way of keeping the visitor out.” – Derek Rishmawy, The Gospel Coalition
It is precisely because we don’t want any to perish that we are speaking up. We don’t want anyone left out, Jesus didn’t come to be exclusive, He came for all of us. Ironically, those screaming to include what God has deemed not acceptable in His kingdom are shutting the door on the very people they hope to bring in.
Application: (1) Can you think of areas where the modern church has made it “easier” to be a Christian by being lax about things scripture teaches?
(2) Does this overlap on the issue of “belonging” versus “believing” as discussed in this article?