In my work in the Corporate world, we sometimes use the expression “Creative Accounting” to describe bookkeeping that is less-than up-right and honest. A similar thing is happening throughout the Christian world in the arena of Biblical truth. I am saddened by the number of preachers, teachers and others who play loose with God’s Word in efforts to attract crowds or assuage their own guilty consciences.
In the old days, churches often prided themselves on doctrinal distinctives and spiritual gifts. While this was not always a good thing – as pride can always set us up for destruction (Proverbs 16:18) – it was preferable to the pride we see in our modern Christian circles.
The type of pride that is permeating the church world today is one of independence and freedom from responsible discipleship. Some teach that God loves everyone so much that in the end, no one will go to Hell. Everyone will eventually be saved. Other’s teach that the messages of sin and repentance only applies to those who have not “accepted Jesus into their hearts.”
While this kind of teaching is very seductive to those looking for an easy path to God, and a less-than-holy lifestyle, it does not hold-up to even the slightest scriptural scrutiny. Consider this warning from the book of Jude, “…certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4 ESV)
Not only did Jesus pick up the message of repentance after the death of John the Baptist, He also continued this message after His resurrection and ascension. In speaking to the Apostle John during his Revelation, Jesus warned five of the seven churches to repent. This is not five out of seven sinners, or even five out of seven people, this is five out of seven CHURCHES.
Jesus was clear, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)
This is a frightening statement. Only a few will actually find eternal life. This is a hard message. It doesn’t go down easy at all. Wouldn’t it be nicer, and better, if Jesus had said, “All gates lead to life?” or “All roads lead to me.” Or maybe something like, “Everybody will be saved except Hitler and some highly selective others?”
The Apostle Paul warned that we will all appear before God’s judgement seat to receive our reward for whatever we have done be it good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). Notice he says, “we.” If he is including himself, then it stands to reason he is not talking about the unsaved.” While this should lead us to sober reflection and heart-felt repentance, too many false teachers are encouraging people to feel comfortable in their sins and leading them in the way, error and doctrine of Balaam (Numbers 22).
The way of Balaam was his willingness to prostitute his prophetic gift and preach untruths for personal gain (II Peter 2:15). The error of Balaam was his willingness to compromise his own convictions for the benefit of others (Jude 11). Finally, the doctrine of Balaam was his teaching that his listeners could compromise God’s Word and indulge in the anti-god culture around them. As Peter warned, these kinds of teachers promise freedom even while they themselves are slaves to corruption. (2 Peter 2:19)
Thankfully we are not left without hope, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)
My friends, don’t buy into the lie that grace is cheap and salvation is just a prayer. Jesus didn’t say go and make converts, He said, “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). He was very candid that there is a cost associated with the decision to be His disciple (Luke 14:28). That cost is a serious life commitment to the Savior regardless of your circumstances. If we start out right but then turn back, we are not fit for the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:62).
If these blogs are helpful to you, if you have questions, or if there is a topic you would like me to address, I would love to hear from you. You may respond to me on Facebook, Twitter or from one of my websites. Thank you!as also very candid that there is a cost associated with the decision to be His disciple.