Beth Moore- no wrath in witnessing

Beth Moore has a 2 minute audio ministry and on her Dec 9th spot, she talked about God’s wrath, and I applaud her for that topic.  I think that needs to be a regular subject in our pulpits.

What concerns me is that she does not think that our best approach to non-believers is to talk about God’s wrath, but his love. She tells us that God’s love is a huge draw and she justifies the “love only” approach with Romans 2:4, saying that God’s kindness leads us to repentance. This is a serious error in interpretation and we need to be clear on what scripture actually says.

Mrs Moore clearly interprets Romans 2:4 as, telling people about God’s kindness leads them to repentance, but that is not what the verse says. The verse tells us that the fact that we are able to repent is evidence that God is kind. If Paul was telling us to tell people only about God’s love, then he violated his own teaching in Acts 24:25 when he spoke of the need for righteousness and the judgment to come.

John the baptist said, “who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” And Jesus spoke often about the fires of Hell and commanded that people repent or perish. The Bible says that godly sorrow works repentance, not the knowledge that he is kind. James 4:9 tell us to “mourn and weep, letting our laughter be turned to sorrow and our joy to heaviness”.  How does telling people that God loves them produce sorrow and heaviness without a personal conviction of sin and its consequences?

Even the cross is evidence of God’s terrible wrath. Isaiah 53:10 said that it pleased God to CRUSH HIM. The fact is, that Christ centered witnessing needs God’s wrath to allow His love make sense.

“[Satan] stirs up daily, new sects, and last of all, which of all other I should never have foreseen or once suspected, he has raised up a sect as such as teach… that men should not be terrified by the Law, but gently exhorted by the preaching of the grace of Christ.” –Martin Luther

–Danny

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Rick Warren- Truth and Error

I saw an interesting interview on Beliefnet with Rick Warren, and the interviewer brought up some things that I believe we need to be able to answer- correctly. If we do not have a firm, biblical foundation, the theology we build on that foundation gets way out of wack. We end up inserting what we think, instead of what scripture says.

Please understand that I am not trying to single out Pastor Warren, but I feel an obligation to speak up against bad theology, no matter who it is.

Pastor Warren’s messages are mixed with solid truth one minute and bad theology the next.  For example, Pastor Warren says loud and clear that Jesus is the ONLY way to get to heaven– YEAH! But then he will say to the unsaved that God is not angry at them– EXCUSE ME? Doesn’t scripture say something about God’s anger and wrath on unbelievers? And these errors are not on some secondary issues, these are serious problems that effect how people respond to the gospel. These are FOUNDATIONAL issues.

Before watching the interview, there are a few basic things I want you to think about as you listen.

  • People are not sent to Hell just because they don’t believe in Jesus, they are sent to Hell primarily for breaking God’s laws. The Bible tells us that liars and thieves, adulterers, idolaters, covetous, and the sexually impure (and other law breakers) will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Unbelief IS a sin, but it is not the primary reason people are sent to Hell.
  • What happens to those who have never heard of Jesus? The Bible says that everyone is given a conscience (Rom 2:14-15).  People know it is wrong to lie and steal and commit adultery. So if someone does not sin, they will be fine, but if they have broken the law, then they will be guilty before God, and will be judged according to light that they have.
  • If non-believers die in their sins, they are judged for ALL the sins they have committed. Every one. Every sin requires payment. Every sin requires that justice is done. Either you repent and put your faith in Jesus, and the price He paid for our sins , or you pay for your own sin be spending an eternity in Hell.

See if you can spot the “personal” beliefs of both the interviewer and Pastor Warren that have no basis in scripture.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

–Danny

Rick Warren’s 60 day Jesus challenge

rickwarren2Rick Warren was on Hannity and Colmes last week (Dec 4th) where he was promoting his new book, The Purpose of Christmas. I think the interview was very interesting and disappointing.  I also think that understanding why this was a HORRIBLE gospel presentation can help us in presenting the gospel the correct way and give people a real reason to turn to Jesus this season.  Here’s the video, watch it and lets reason this out together.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Right off the bat, I see a problem. Salvation is mentioned, but what are people being saved from? They need to be saved from the wrath of God that is going to be poured out on those who do not know God. Pastor Warren does nothing to tell people WHY they need a savior. The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. Most men will proclaim their own goodness. Pastor Warren basically says that we need a savior because God said so. That is extremely inadequate.

Secondly, just “unrapping” the gift is not enough. People are stuck on accepting Christ, but that is so lukewarm and trivial, it has none of the weight that the Bible attaches to salvation… dieing to yourself, picking up your cross daily, forsaking sin, total surrender of one’s self as a living sacrifice to God. There is no repentance in Pastor Warren’s message.  No brokenness.  When James said to weep and mourn over your sins, letting your laughter be sorrow and your joy to heaviness, I don’t think that was code for “accept Jesus into your heart”.

Pastor Warren was asked a specific question about what happens to people who do not “accept” Jesus. The answer was typical for someone who does not build a foundation on the Law of God. There was no judgment, no wrath, no Hell in Pastor Warren’s message (and no cross for that matter). How can a god who loves me be angry at me? Colmes did not seem to think he needed a savior.

And the last point, and the biggest gripe I have, is… TRY JESUS? What is He, a used car? A pair of jeans that you try on just see if they are a right fit for you?  Pastor Warren challenges people to put their trust in Jesus for 60 days like He is some life improvement infomercial. Jesus did not suffer and die so you could try Him out and see if He makes your life better. In fact, the only things promised for a Christian in this life are trials, tribulation, and persecution. Can we receive blessings like a better marriage, or emotional healing from our walk with Christ? Yes, but if you come to Christ because you want something, no matter how bad your situation, then you come with a wrong motive.  If you d0 not come to Christ because you are a guilty criminal in need of a savior, then God will not save you.

Jesus Christ is the sovereign God of the universe, and we are supposed to give Him a shot at being Lord of our lives? Like He is going to say, “oh goody, I get to be Lord today!” He IS Lord, whether you live in rebellion to that fact or not. The only thing Pastor Warren’s message will serve to do is water down Christianity and create false converts.

–Danny

God is LOOOOOOOOVE

I was riding with a friend when he pulled up behind an SUV that had “God loves you” written on the back window. We were discussing spiritual things, so I asked him a tough question. Do you know why the statement “God loves you”, by itself, is totally inappropriate to tell people?

The one thing that is NOT lacking in what we are telling the world is that God is love. Love, love, love, love, love. My radio station said “you should not believe what you hear about Jesus unless it begins and ends with love”.  Emails I have been sent say “if God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it!” UGGGH!!

When you start off with God’s love, you have nowhere to go.  How do say, “Well, God loves you, but He is going to be forced to send you to Hell.” That makes no sense.  I hear non-Christians tell me over and over again things like “a loving god would not send someone to Hell”, “if god is all loving and all forgiving as Christians say he is…”, “How could a god of love create a place of everlasting torment?” “Isn’t God supposed to be all forgiving?” “My god understands that we make mistakes.”

When we do talk about Hell, people get offended. They have been told God loves them, not angry at them. It’s like a criminal brought before the judge and the bailiff tells him, “Ya know, the judge REALLY loves you!”  And then the criminal comes out to a judge full of anger at his crimes and says, “I am forced to sentence you to prison for the rest of your life.” The criminal can’t understand it. He thinks that his “minor” mistakes are in the past, they are not big deal, and besides he has done more good than bad.

People first need know that He is angry and sin- He is angry at THEM.  They need to know He is holy and righteous and will, by no means, overlook sin.  And then, if they are not trying to justify their sin, we can reveal God’s love the way the Bible does; “Here in is God’s love, not that we loved Him, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins.” (1Jn 4:10) God’s love is expressed in the cross of Christ. But preaching Christ crucified is foolishness to those whose hearts have not been broken by the Law of God. (1Cor 1:18) Only a heart that has been plowed up will receive the farmers seed.

If we continue to push this “squishy” god to the world, we are going to end up with false religions that call themselves Christian but remove Hell altogether, or claim that everyone goes to Heaven… oh, wait… we already have that… sorry!

–Danny

Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 8:39 am  Comments (3)  

God is not the God of second chances

It is easy to think that God gives people second chances. That is kinda the way our society is set up. We give criminals three strikes, and we go to counseling to get second chances at our marriage (not me personally, I was speaking in general). We divorce and remarry to get a second chance at love and we coin phrases like, “everybody deserves a second chance”. I have even heard the phrase, “Why not give God a second chance”, like he needs another shot at winning your heart.

The problem is that we have a concept of God that we try and fit into our understanding and sometimes it turns out really bad. Saying that God is the God of second chances has a huge problem associated with it. It puts the burden on the person to make sure they do it right this time. It also makes God out to be unjust. Awww, God will give you another chance. I think people can too easily turn this into works righteousness and think they can be good enough to get to heaven, or they keep failing and sink down into despair.

It’s like we need to preform well to get God’s approval. Well, if you are a Christian, I hate to break it to ya, but you are gonna let God down. BIG TIME. There is going to be some point in your life when you know what the will of God is and you choke. You let what everybody else thinks about you govern your actions rather than what you know God wants you to do. It’s gonna happen.

God is the God of COMPLETE justification of sins, past, present, and future. God is the God of sanctification, growing in holiness and obedience. God is the God of a new heart a new nature, being crucified with Christ to be born again in him. That is a little different than getting a “second chance”. Your salvation is not based on what you do, but who He is. That does not mean he overlooks sin, but that there is NOTHING good that dwells within us. All of our righteousness is like filthy rags in his sight.

If someone tells me that God gave them a second chance, I immediately think that they might have come to Christ for life enhancement and not for forgiveness of sins. I would not dare say that someone who viewpoint could not be a Christian, but it does make me question someone a little more than usual.

–Danny

Published in: on December 3, 2008 at 9:30 pm  Comments (1)