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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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)