I am going to speak about a lot of misconceptions concerning Christianity, but first I want to start you off with something to think about. I wrote this poem the other night while thinking about the state of the world and how everything is becoming more and more evil.
We walk among the spiritual generations of Lot,
surrounded by those who live out their every evil thought.
We strive within the cities of ancient Babylon,
where everyone bows and worships to a pagan god.
There remains fewer of us day by day,
for we have entered, the great falling away.
As we send out a stern and loud warning,
of the coming destruction that will bring mourning.
The world has been given over to reprobate minds,
to do the things they please, to walk around blind.
Church, do no consent to evil, do not be enticed,
no matter the persecution, we must remember the price.
Do not emulate the world, or buy into their lies,
do not lend them your ears, or Hollywood, your eyes.
Do not agree with them, refuse to take any part,
for the enemy is seeking to enter into your heart.
Proverbs 4:23: Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.
Proverbs 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Luke 6:45: Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
...and there are many more about guarding our hearts.
LOVE THE SINNER
We have all heard the saying that we ought to love the sinner and hate the sin, and I bet that many of you believe that there is a bible verse pertaining to that, but there is not. This saying came from the belief that all roads lead to heaven.
True, we are to love the unsaved and even our enemies, but the implication of this saying is much deeper. It is more of “if you love the sinner, you will accept/ignore their sin”.
But what does scripture really say about the relationship between God and the willful sinner?
Romans 5:10: For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being, reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
James 4:4: He who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God.
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9: The sinner is punished with ever lasting destruction.
Matthew 13:49-50: The sinner is thrown into the furnace of fire, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Mark 9:43: It is better to enter into heaven maimed than to have the whole body cast into the fire which shall never be quenched.
2 Peter 2:4-9: God did not spare the angels who sinned, or those in the old world but saved just Noah and his family, he condemned Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, surely he knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.
As we have seen, scripture says that sinners are enemies of God, but while we were enemies, he sent his Son to die for us, to save us from eternal damnation, and to make a way that we may have eternal life.
What many are blinded to is that on the day of judgment, it will not be sin cast into the flames, it will be the sinner. The one who did not repent but chose to support wickedness, and to willfully continue in their evil ways.
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?
In John 3:16-18, we are told of how God gave his only Son for one reason, and that is because he loved people. It was his desire to make a way for the world to be saved. And that whoever believes on Christ might be saved, but those who do not are all ready condemned.
John 3:19-21: And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither does he come to the light, lest his deeds may be reproved (scolded or corrected). But he that does truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought (beaten out or shaped by hammering) in God.
The gospel is the good news that Christ has come to bring atonement for sins. He is an advocate and a propitiation for sins, to all who believe on his name and repent.
Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Yeshua Christ.
Hebrews 10:26: If we continue to willfully sin after we have received knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.
Romans 6:1:-7: Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer in sin?
1 John 1:6: If we say we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we do not tell the truth.
1 John 3:6-10: No one who abides in him sins. No one born of God practices sin. Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God.
BUT, we have also heard that:
1 John 1:8: Anyone who says he has no sin is a liar and the truth is not in him.
Romans 3:10: There is none righteous.
Romans 3:23: All have sinned and have come short of the glory of God.
These scriptures tell us that we have all sinned, this is why we need a savior. There is no one alive who does not require the blood of Yeshua to cover their filth. However, once we decide to follow Christ, we repent. Repentance means turning from your old ways, walking away from your sins. We are no longer to look or act like the world, but we are to look and act like Christ.
CONDEMNATION OR LOVE
I do not find scripture that says we have the right to go and tell someone that they are going to hell, because scripture also tells us that no one knows the heart but God. However, as I have stated many times before, we can with confidence, say what the Bible says, and that is that unrepentant sin leads to eternal damnation.
Colossians 3:5: Mortify your members, which are on the earth; sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry, because of these things, the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience.
1 Corinthians 5:11: But now I have written to you to not keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; do not eat with such.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11: Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, or homosexuals, or abusers of themselves with mankind, not thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanders, nor extortioners, Shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: But you are washed, and you are sanctified, and you are justified in the name of our Lord Yeshua, and by the Spirit of our God.
Galatians 5:19-21: Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lusts, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, slanderers, and such like: of which I have told you before, as I have told you in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Leviticus 18:22: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination.
Romans 1:27: And the men likewise, gave up their natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving within themselves the due penalty for their error. (see Jude 1:7)
Revelation 21:8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and sexually immoral, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Revelation 21:27: Nothing unclean will enter it (heaven), nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Many scriptures tell us what we are not supposed to do, and how we are supposed to act. Some people make the claim that behaving differently than we did before we knew Christ is a “works based” salvation. This is not true. If we are truly saved, then should we not bear the fruit?
We must strive and struggle to walk as Christ did. We must live that which we teach, least we be hypocrites in the eyes of God, which is what Matthew 7:1-4 was speaking of. Sure, we may miss the mark from time to time, but we are not to willfully and knowingly sin. Paul asked, how can we who are dead to sin, live any longer in sin? (Romans 6:2)
People call it condemnation when someone tells them of the dangers of sin, but there are two problems with this. One, condemnation is a judgment that comes with punishment. I have never told anyone the gospel and then horse whipped them or passed out any other kind of punishment. This claim is nothing short of reverse psychology. Secondly, is it not love to warn people of an eternal danger, that is so great, that not only will they suffer forever for it, but there is no escaping it once it is upon them?
CHRIST NEVER JUDGED SIN?
I have heard some claim that Christ never judged sin. If they really believe that, then I would like to make a bet that they have never studied to understand the scriptures. I am going to show you that while Christ never condemned anyone in their sin, he did a whole lot of what people today call judging.
John 8:1-11: A woman was found in adultery and was brought to Christ for stoning. He told the men, "he who has no sin, cast the first stone". When Christ looked up, everyone was gone, except for the woman. Christ then asked, "where are your accusers, has no one condemned you?" She answered no one. Christ said that he did not condemn her either.
But then he said to her, Go your way and do not do it again. Why would he tell her to stop doing it, if he was okay with it? He never said anything bad about her accusers catching her in the act or making it known. What he took issue with was that they sought punish her by stoning her to death.
In John 5:2-17: There was a man who Christ found and healed by the pool at Bethesda. Later he found the man and told him not to sin any more unless a worse thing comes upon him.
Again, Christ was pointing out his sin, and telling him to stop doing it.
Matthew 21:12-13: Christ went into the temple and caught them buying and selling. He flipped over tables and the seats of them that sold doves. Christ told them that his Father's house is a house of prayer, but they have made it a den of thieves.
We read about the Syrophoenician woman in Matthew 15:21-28, she came to Christ for healing, because her daughter was possessed. He told her no, because he was sent to the house of Israel. She persisted and he told her that it was not right to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs. She did not argue but agreed with him, and added that even so, dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from the master's table.
A dog in biblical times was one that was an unbeliever, but again, he judged her with truth that even she did not deny. Yeshua did heal her daughter because of the woman's faith.
This is not counting all the times he rebuked the religious leaders and called them hypocrites. He also spoke many times on Hell and who would go there and why. He said that if we love him, we would keep his commandments.
This is what I mean when I say that the Christ of the world is not the Christ of the scriptures. They err in what they say because they do not know him.
BORN OF SIN
Some people say that no one has the right to tell people how to live in faith, true, no one does, but the scriptures tell us clearly how a believer should live in faith. Just as scripture tells us that we will be known by and we will know others by their fruits.
Others say that harm is caused when Christians affirm sin as sin, especially when people who are attached to sin cannot turn from it.
1 Corinthians 10:13: There is no temptation that has taken you but that which is common to man: but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able; but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.
James 1:14-15: But everyone is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when that desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown brings forth death.
Galatians 5:16-17: Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the Spirit and the flesh war against one another, so that you do not do the things you wish.
2 Corinthians 10:4: The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.
Ephesians 6:10-11: Put on the whole armor of God.
Truth is that we all have a sinful desire, and with each of us that desire is different, but none of them are uncommon to man.
Becoming a Christian and walking the straight and narrow is not easy. This is why Christ told us to struggle and strive to enter in. I have nothing but compassion for those who are truly trying to break free from sin and follow Christ.
Though, while difficult, I will not buy into the lie that it is impossible. We need to bear in mind that Christ would not have commanded that we turn from our sins and follow after him, if it was impossible. He would not have told so many to quit sinning, if it could not be done, but it is a choice that we choose to make.
It is being confronted with our sin, that allows us to see the light and change our ways, so we can become more like Christ.
If being confronted with your sin causes you to turn from the faith and run away, then the issue is that you love your sin more than God. It is like the rich man who Christ told to go and sell all his things and follow him, but the young rich man went away sorrowful, because he had many great possessions. People do the same thing when it comes to sin. Letting go of their indulgences is too high of a price.
Scripture tells us that we cannot serve two masters, Matthew 6:24. You cannot be a slave to sin and a slave to the cross.
1 Timothy 1:9-10: The law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for the sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murders of fathers and murders of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there be anything else that is contrary to sound doctrine.
Romans 7:7-12: I would not have known sin, except through the law.
SPREADING THE GOSPEL
2 Timothy 2:25: In humility, correcting those who are in opposition, If God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.
Matthew 10:14: And whoever will not receive you or hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake the dust off your feet.
Matthew 7:6: Do not give what is holy to the dogs (unbelievers); nor cast your pearls before the swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
I have said it many times that there is a right way and a wrong way to spread the gospel. I think Ray Comfort has it down extremely well. Often times, pride will get into the heart and make some want to argue about the word with unbelievers. It is an unfruitful event; if people will not receive the gospel, do not keep trying to shove it down their throat; turn and walk away.
Christ came to call sinners to repent, Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17, & Luke 5:32.
There have been all kinds of branding, name calling, and persecutions to get the true bride of Christ to sit down and shut up. But there are two witnesses that are yet to come, who God will give power to. They will be calling people to repent and they will be telling them what to repent from. The sins of the world will be confronted.
If we want to get an idea of how angry and vile this will make people, all we have to do is go to any comment section of a video where such things are being condemned.
Those with the mindset that watering down the gospel in order to love the sinner, while you secretly pray that nasty sin away is true love, may also think harshly of the two witnesses. Some will see the two witnesses as being mean, hateful, and unloving. Often times, the only way to see the truth, is to have a light shined upon it. One truth is clear. By the time that Christ returns, no one can say that they didn't hear the good news or that they did not know there was only one way, through Yeshua.