When is a lie not a lie? Never! Is it really kind to tell people lies? No! So, should we be telling people what they WANT to hear, even if it is lies, or what they NEED to hear? I believe the answer to that one is obvious.
The Lord Jesus led me to read several scriptures on the subject of “Feel Good Messages.”
I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 2 Co. 11:1-4
The church, the body of Christ, has been promised to one husband, Jesus Christ. He is not only our Savior and Lord, but he is our husband and we are his bride, but husband and bride in relation to Jewish culture of biblical times where an engagement was a marriage contract, but the marriage was just not consummated until the husband had time to build a house for his bride. The same is in our relationship with Christ in that our marriage won’t be consummated with him until he returns for us and takes us to be with him.
When we are promised to Christ to be his bride, just as it was in Jewish culture, it is a marriage contract. We are now to be faithful to him as our only Lord and husband, and we are to no longer have any other “lovers.” We are his now, bought with his blood, and our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want. Now we are to live to please our husband-master. We are to no longer live as though we are single, but as though we are married. So, we should remain faithful to him in all that we are and do and say.
But, in a marriage between any husband and wife, it is possible that one spouse may be tempted, at some point, to be unfaithful, and to go after “other lovers,” rather than remain faithful to his or her spouse. So, it is with us who are the bride of Christ, his church. We may also be tempted, by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming, to stray from our pure devotion to Christ, and to follow after humans and humanistic philosophy which teaches what is contrary to God’s Word, although it may be disguised as biblical truth. So, we need to be discerning, so we aren’t led astray.
So, how do we recognize when someone is teaching “another Jesus” or “another gospel” other than the one Jesus and his NT apostles taught? We have to test what they are teaching against scripture, but not against just a few select scriptures taken out of context, but against the New Testament, in particular, as a whole, and within the context the scriptures were written.
For example, we cannot take Romans 10:9-10 out of the context of the whole of Romans and build our doctrine of salvation around those few verses, especially if we interpret those words based on our own culture and day and time. We are not saved from our sins, in other words, on the basis of a mere verbal confession of Jesus as Lord nor on the basis of a mere acknowledgment of belief in his bodily resurrection. James said that even the demons believe, and they shudder, but they are not saved.
So, what is the truth? It is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. This is the essence of the gospel message, that salvation from sin means we are delivered out of (turned from) darkness (sin), and we are brought into God’s wonderful light (truth, righteousness). We die with Christ to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, when we truly believe in him. Now we walk (in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Holy Spirit, and no longer according to our sinful flesh. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, not have the hope of eternal life with God.
“For from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is greedy for gain,
And from the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
“They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.
“Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done?
They were not even ashamed at all;
They did not even know how to blush. Jer. 6:13-15
Many of these modern-day preachers will preach “another Jesus” and “another gospel” other than what scripture teaches because they are greedy for power, prestige and/or wealth. They know that, if they are telling people the truth, it will not gain them popularity. And, so they tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear, even if it is lies, because they want to please their customer base and their target audience.
Instead of confronting sin in sinful humans, they pacify sin and they console the sinners in their sin. They tell them that they can be saved, sealed and going to heaven no matter how they live their lives once they are “saved.” And, they tell them that God is pleased with them no matter what they do. In addition to this, they also tell them that God requires nothing of them at all – no submission, no repentance and no obedience. All they have to do is confess with their mouths “Jesus is Lord,” and believe God raised Jesus from the dead, and they are saved, and nothing can take that away from them.
But, that is not what scripture teaches us. The Bible clearly teaches that if we walk according to our flesh, we will die in our sins. If we live sinful lifestyles or if we make sin our practice, we will die in our sins, not have the hope of heaven when we die. If we want to have the assurance of heaven as our eternal home, we must turn from our sins and follow our Lord Jesus to walk in his ways and in his truth. If we do sin, we repent, and we keep following our Lord in obedience to his Word. We don’t make sin our practice and then excuse it away by saying our sin is now under grace.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Tim. 4:1-5
So, we need to believe what is truth, and then we need to teach what is truth, and we need to stop telling people lies just to make them feel good.
For example, not everyone goes to heaven when they die. Although it sounds good, and it makes people feel good to believe their loved one is now in heaven, free from suffering, and at peace, it profits no one to console those left behind with lies, for then they have a false sense of security that when they die, they will also be in heaven, regardless of what they did with Jesus or with his gospel, or regardless of lifestyle.
So many people these days are teaching or preaching feel good messages because that is what people want to hear, but we do them no favors if we do not tell them the truth. We are NOT being kind or polite if we lie to them, just to make them feel good about themselves. Yes, we will most likely face rejection when we speak the truth in love, but it is far better to tell people the truth so that they can be genuinely saved, rather than tell them lies so that we save our own reputations and so that people will like us.
Many people have bought into this false grace gospel which appeases sin rather than eradicates it from the life of the believer. And, largely that is because they feel they have the promise of heaven when they die while they also have the sense that nothing really has to change in their lives. And, this stems from an entitlement mindset, which says that God does it all and nothing is required of us. Yet, while it is true that we can do nothing to earn or to deserve our salvation, we must understand that salvation is freedom, not just from the punishment of sin, but from slavery (addiction) to sin, and it is freedom to now walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness.
ONLY IN HIM / An Original Work / February 19, 2014
Based off Isaiah 30
Woe to those who look to man’s help;
Who turn away from Jesus Christ;
Forming an alliance not in step with God;
Making their own plans, and praying not.
Willing not to listen to truth,
They close their ears to what is right.
Pleasing words are all that they’ll hear;
Feel good messages that bring cheer.
Trust in your Lord; turn from your sin.
Put your faith now ONLY IN HIM.
Do not turn to idols. They’ll not satisfy.
Jesus will save you. That’s why He died.
Your Lord will be gracious to you.
He cares all about you, ‘tis true.
He forgives you all of your sin
When you give your life up to Him.
Oh, how truly gracious He’ll be
When you bow to Him on your knees;
Turning now from your sin; walking in his ways.
He’ll lead and guide you all of your days.
Now you will sing praises to Him.
He delivered you from your sin.
You’ll tell others now of His grace,
So they may see Christ face-to-face.
Thursday, December 7, 2017, 1:27 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from your Word. I pray that you will drive these truths home to our hearts so that we would walk in your ways and in your truth and be faithful to you in all things. Amen!