Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For 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 1:3-4 ESV
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could always just write about things positive and that we never had to discuss anything negative? Yet, because we live in an evil world, and we have an enemy Satan who is out to destroy the church and the Lord Jesus and his gospel, we must address negative issues, too. For, if we don’t, many could be led astray to follow the wrong Jesus.
For many years now, Satan has been infiltrating the gatherings of the church with his followers, with his messengers, and with his false gospel message. But, he has done this very slowly and stealthily over a long period of time so that most people did not even notice the transition. For, what he does is he introduces little subtle lies one at a time, and he slips them into the truth, and so they sound good and people accept them, and then he slips in more, and then more until the lies have now been accepted as truth.
And, I have observed much of this transition taking place, for at least the last 20 years. And, when I read A. W. Tozer, I realized he was seeing this way back in the 1940’s, before I was even born, over 70 years ago (1).
What these wolves in sheep’s clothing, these false shepherds of the people, have introduced into the church and into the gospel are subtle lies which have grown into big lies that turn the gospel of Jesus Christ upside down to where now the truth is regarded a lie, and the big lie is now considered the truth. And, people are so indoctrinated and so convinced that the lie is the truth that they refuse to hear the truth. They want the lie, instead.
So, what is so appealing about the lie that people want it over the truth? It appeases human flesh, and it requires no submission to Christ as Lord, no turning away from self and sinful practices, and no walks of obedience to Christ’s commands. It is the broad road that leads to destruction and many are following in its path, for they have been convinced that the narrow road that leads to eternal life is evil, and so they choose the broad road, instead.
And so those who are buying into this false cheap grace gospel (the big lie) feel liberated to continue in willful sinful practices without guilt and without remorse, and they deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their lives.
But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. Jude 1:10-13 ESV
Satan is not satisfied with just telling people the big fat lie, and with getting them to follow after the lie. He is also out to destroy the truth. And, so he has devised a clever scheme, not only to get people to buy into his cheap grace gospel, but to also attempt to discredit the true gospel. So, we who are teaching the true gospel are not only having to correct his false gospel, but we are also having to defend the true gospel against the lies.
So, what Satan has done is not only convince people that faith in Jesus Christ requires no repentance, no submission to Christ and no obedience to Christ’s commands, and even that God no longer sees when they sin against him, but he has convinced people that the true gospel of Christ is works-based salvation, and he has indoctrinated them to reject certain words or phrases and to automatically deny the truth in favor of the lie.
So, what this cheap grace gospel does is it gives its adherents free license to continue in willful sinful practices without guilt, without remorse, and convinced that their sins will not affect their eternal security. And, so many, many professers of Christ as Savior of their lives live no differently from those who make no such profession of faith in Christ. So, many of them live just like the world, and many of them are just as evil as the world.
Statistics have it that many pastors and spiritual leaders within the church (teachers, deacons and elders) are either addicted to porn or they regularly view porn. Statistics also have it that a high percentage of males who profess faith in Jesus Christ are addicted or are regular consumers of porn with a growing number of women doing the same. And, now a large percentage of children, as well, are addicted to some type of porn (with so many people now having open access to the internet via smart phones) (2).
Ministries and marriages and families are being destroyed because Satan has so convinced the church to accept his lies and to reject the truth, and with so many spiritual leaders now living in sin, instead of following after God.
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Jude 1:17-23 ESV
Oh, this is so true of today! If you are someone who is trying to teach the true gospel of grace, which doesn’t just forgive people of their sins, but which delivers them out of their slavery (addiction) to sin, then you are easy target for those who have been convinced that you are teaching works-based salvation. And, so they will come after you to try to discredit you.
They are causing divisions in the church, because they are leading people to reject the true gospel in favor of a libertine gospel which leaves people still in bondage to sin. And, yet they will call you out as a “disunifier” because you do not adhere to the cheap grace gospel or to marketing 101 church.
So, what are we to do? Well, first of all we need to get into the Word of God and we need to study the scriptures IN CONTEXT to learn what they are really saying. For, many lies are being spread and accepted by taking scriptures out of context to support false doctrines of faith which deny Christ as Lord and which do not submit to Christ and to his commands.
And, then we need to be those who are following after the truth, who are putting the Word of Christ into practice in our daily lives, who are resisting the devil, who are fleeing temptation, and who are drawing near to God in full assurance of faith. And, we need to be living holy lives, pleasing unto God, separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being conformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
And, we are to be those who are exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness and flesh-driven gospels and market-driven churches (houses of ill repute), and who are telling people the truth about what God requires of us, his followers, for eternal life with God. We need to be those who are snatching people out of the fire by exposing the lies for what they are and by telling the people the truth of what God’s word teaches IN CONTEXT.
For, the truth is that Jesus died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins and to promise us heaven when we die, but he died that we who believe in him might die to our sins and live to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Co. 5:15, 21; 2 Co. 6:20).
The truth about God’s grace is that it is not free license to continue in willful sinful practices without guilt. The truth is that the grace of God, which brings salvation, instructs (demands) us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
The truth also is that if we live to please our sinful flesh, if this is what we practice, no matter what we profess with our lips, we will NOT inherit eternal life with God. For, the truth is that it is only those who are walking (in practice) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God who will have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 5:3-6; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
So, know the truth and live the truth, for your eternity depends on it.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!