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  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." - Mark 16:15 

 

Sin Cannot be Overcome by Force, but by Love

“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away..” —1 Cor. 13:8
In this world, why would anyone wish to stop lying, if lying helped them gain more things?  Some people might lie to 'get ahead', at work.  Some people might lie to their spouse, in order to see another, or multiple partners.  Some people might gossip, slander, ruin others reputation, to make them look good.  To make them look like the successful one.  To forward their career.  To improve their standing, their regard, in their community, and so forth.

A person can engage in charity work, not because they happen to care about someone, but because, engaging in charity, makes them look good.   Big business do this all the time!  (
link), giving a little to some cause, but keeping vast profits.  It's an investment for them.  It's public relations (PR), “That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” Mat. 6:4.

God's message is love

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
 
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”  1 John 4:9
Here is a story of God's love in action, through some Christians, which brought a man to Christ,
But that wasn’t why I became a Christian. That would be a stupid reason to join anyway as I could go to the nearest hipster bar and join a tribe like that.

What won me over was the way they loved me and loved people who were hurting and messy. It was the way they shared openly about their hurts and repeated failures. It was the way they loved their wives and spoke so highly about them. It was the joy they had even in the midst of tears and deep suffering. It was the fact they didn’t pretend to have it all together or all the answers. Sometimes they would just say “I don’t know.”

But what they DID know was contagious. Infectious. It was big, bold, and beautiful and I was fascinated by it because I had never heard it.


Growing up I had heard, “Believe in Jesus and live a moral life = go to heaven”. Simple enough.
That Christian's story - the love of the Christians that brought him to Christ, that love reflected the love of Jesus, who even called Judas "friend" (Mat. 26:50).

He goes on to say,
But what they told me ended up being insanely complex and challenged if I was really down for this whole Christianity thing. What they explained was that as Christians our goal is not to follow a set of rules to earn God’s favor. Often there are people out there who can easily live more moral lives than us. In fact, it seemed most non-Christians were helping more people than those in the pews every Sunday.

To them, the cross where Jesus died was a reminder that as good as we try to be, we still need someone to save us from ourselves because at the end of the day we love to compare ourselves to scoundrels.     
Source.
It's true.  Show me a good man and I will show you a better man.  What we have as Christians is the Holy Spirit on the inside, it is what we have within, the love we have, for the people in the world, as God loves us sinners, Jesus, sacrificing Himself on the cross for us.  It is that love which we reflect.  It's not about a set of rules.  Sure, as Christians, we want to live better, but it is that childlike faith is so easy, is what it's all about, that the joy and contentment is noticed by and shared with others; people, and everyone wants that.  It's to be re-connected with their creator, God.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Tim. 6:6

“We love him, because he first loved us.”  1 John 4:19

Promiscuity, Sleeping Around, and Homosexuality.

There is a teaching circulating, propagated by, albeit a minority of preachers, that limits God's grace to a certain class of sinners, that is, limiting it to the exclusion of homosexuals.  That homosexuals can't be saved.  The basis for this doctrine is found in a mis-interpretation of Romans 1, where people who reject God, engage in a multitude of sins, of which homosexuality is listed as one of them.

The mis-interpretation arises, by saying that God rejects the homosexual, and other sinners, however, this is NOT what Romans 1 says, it says that people rejected God.  God doesn't reject them!  And in fact, God wishes for none to perish, but even the worst of sinners to repent and believe on Him. (
2 Peter 3:9).
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”  Rom. 1:21
Here, Paul is saying that people have made a choice to reject God, because everyone knows that God must exist, as how else can the world, the universe: everything, exist without a creator? “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Rom.1:20.

To read more of this 'other Gospel', you could go to this link.

Denying the Gospel to Homosexuals is to Promote Homosexuality

If a homosexual, or anyone who is engaging in ungodly sexual practices, or indeed, anyone who is habitually practicing any sin, is told that God 1.  Doesn't love them and 2.  God has forever rejected them, why then would they stop engaging in the sin they are engaging in?

If they are told, they "are going to hell anyway", why would they stop?

Actually, it's like a red rag to a bull.  If all is lost, then a person would have no inclination to stop, but indeed, could very well magnify and PROMOTE their sin.

The truth is that ANYONE can come to God's Gospel, simply by recognizing themself as sinful, and believing on Jesus's sacrifice on the cross as payment for their sin, then they too can have the indwelling Spirit; be a child of God, and therefore grow from WITHIN.  There is no one sin that writes a person off.  The Bible is quite clear, that to offend in one point, we offend in them all, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.James 2:10.  Everyone needs a Saviour.

A person isn't changed through a bunch of rules and demands, a person is changed by a change of mind, a change of heart.  This is EXACTLY how sin is treated, by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, as new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17), through repentance (with is the biblical word metanoeō, which means, a change of mind), believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as our ONLY way to Heaven.  THIS is the second birth.  When all things become new.  To read about God's plan of salvation, you could read the late evangelist, Dr. John R Rice's guide, What must I do to to be Saved?.

Conclusion

It's not our job to decide who is and who isn't to be saved.  Our job is to preach the Gospel to all creatures (Mark 16:15), witnessing in meekness, and in heart (1 Peter 3:15).

Telling a homosexual that they can't be saved, that God hates them, does nothing to help the person.  It's unbiblical, untrue.  Furthermore, it promotes homosexuality in society, because, if that person thinks that God can't or won't give them salvation, why would they ever change, even if they realized their lifestyle was wrong?

In the quote oft attributed to the Baptist preacher of some years ago, Charles Spurgeon,

“Now God knows who the elect are. I don’t. Someone came to Spurgeon one time and said, “Mr Spurgeon, if I believed as you do, I would not preach like you do. You say you believe that there are the elect, and yet you preach as if everybody can be saved.” Spurgeon’s answer was, “They can all be saved. If God had put a yellow streak up and down the backs of the elect, I’d go up and down the streets lifting up shirt tails to find out who had the yellow streak up and down his back. Then I’d give that person the gospel. But God didn’t do that. He told me to preach the gospel to every creature and that whosoever will may come.” That is our marching order, and as far as I am concerned, until God gives me the roll call of the elect, I am going to preach the “whosoever will” gospel. That is the gospel we are to preach today..”
— Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee.

I wanted to write a little more on this.  I've touched on the limited Gospel message before.  As much as I disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, we are all sinners, and I am no better than anyone.  The only thing that separates me, and other Christians, from the unsaved, is that the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, as we are forgiven by God's grace.   It breaks my heart to think that someone could be told, or believe, that they are beyond God's love and redemption.  This is a horrible thing to say to anyone.  And, from a societal point of view, it does nothing to clean up society, but contrarywise, it promotes making society worse.  A world without God, a world which thinks that God has forever rejected them, will just engage in sinful practices and lusts even more.  Denying the truth that salvation is for ALL, is to PROMOTE homosexuality, along with other sinful acts and ways of life.

The Right Kind of Love

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Prov. 13:24

Proverbs 16:32 - ”He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.”

“The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.”  Prov. 20:30

Love is not turning a blind eye to wrong doing. The Bible teaches us that if we do not discipline our children, then really we do not love our child. It may be unpleasant to smack a child, but we don't not do it so that we can feel good; that's seflish. We do it in spite of not wanting to do it, because we know in the long run, that disciplining and correcting is the best for that child.

Children, and people, need to know the difference between right and wrong.

Nor do we discipline in an uncontrolled rage, which also is not love, it is a merciless beating, and also achieves nothing, except again, only, albeit temporarily, making us feel better. We confirm that something is wrong. We state that sin is sin. We state that we disagree with it. However, we do not go into a rage and leave the impression that we hate them. It's done in the correct fashion. We may say nothing, if it's not the appropriate time to speak. We do not do the worse, which is to AGREE with sin, in order make and keep friends, or so called friends, nor do we say nothing in order to make us feel good, but in spite of ourselves, we preach the truth IN LOVE. Neither denying the truth to appease ourselves and them, nor preaching in hatred of a person, which also is not conducive, and not a fruit of the Spirit. Passion, yes, but hatred, no.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” — Gal. 5: 22-26
 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  Neither give place to the devil.”  — Eph 4:26-27
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”  — 2 Tim. 2:24-26

 











10th October 2018

 

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