The truth isn't popular. But I'm not called to be popular. Popularity doesn't grant access to heaven.
There are waves of teachings sweeping our country that are lessening the gospel. We are being misguided by an undercurrent of false teachers.
We are seeing myriads of smooth talkers, drifting away from preaching the word to preaching their thoughts of the word. Searching for loopholes to make themselves feel better. Interpreting acts of Jesus into meanings He never meant and ignoring the black and white teachings of the Bible. There are no loopholes in the Bible. There is a heaven and a hell. Those who earnestly follow God, denying self and striving to be more like Christ, will one day join Him in heaven. Those who follow their own path will spend eternity in hell. It's the consequence of our behavior, our own choice that determines our eternity.
To be a Christian means to believe the Bible is God-inspired and that He wrote all of it, using man to pen it. They are His words. How then, can we refute some of it, decide not to believe parts of it? When we separate His words from His mouth, His teachings from His heart, we are separating ourselves from Him.
Learned scholars have been studying the Bible for centuries and then we come along with little to no knowledge and try to change things.Centuries of belief and faith are being wiped out in favor of a message that makes us comfortable. The Bible was never intended to make us comfortable, it's a living word that, if we allow, searches our hearts and shows us where we need to change in order to align ourselves with it. It does not align itself with us. We are the ones needing to change.
We have some who are cheapening the gospel, trying to make it inclusive when it is not. Jesus died for all but not all will accept Him and give up their sinful ways to follow Him. We may have gotten soft on some things because we don't want to cause emotional pain, but the truth is offensive. It's not the Christian's job to make sure the sinner is affirmed. It's not the Christian's job to water down the message -- that is not teaching truth.
If, for example, there is no literal hell (as some claim) what was the point of Jesus dying on the cross? Why was He resurrected? What was He saving us from? Why would we need saved if there was no consequence to our sin? The Bible teaches that sin leads to death and through Jesus there is eternal life.
Changing your mind on a hot topic is not God changing His mind. Lowering our standards on what is sin and what isn't sin does not lower God's standards. Sin is sin, it always has been and always will be. Society changes. God does not. Just because American culture has become accepting and approving of activities the Bible teaches against does not mean we can now erase those we disagree with. Sin is still sin to God.
How arrogant we are, putting our words into God's mouth. We need to remember what we are. He alone is the author, we are not. We are creation. He is the Creator. We are insignificant. Our lives are a vapor, here for a little while and then gone. He is constant and eternal. He has been and is and will be. How dare we try to put Him in a box.
My God is the one who annihilated Ananias and Sapphira for lying. Lying. That's my God. He feels the same way about lying as He does other sin. It's the Christian community's fault for being fixated on certain sin, it's all the same to God and it separates us from Him.
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way." Matthew 7:13 (NLT)
"It's like they are trying to widen the path that God made narrow. They're hammering and sweating and shoveling, toiling to make the gate bigger that He created to be small. We've got a narrow path that they're trying to widen so more people can fit. A little gate they're trying to make bigger so more can get through. They're investing time and energy into a building project that will fail. Trying to enlarge what He has made small so no one feels left out. All of this work is going to be burned up."
"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
18Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” ; 20and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 1 Corinthians 3:13-20 (NIV)
Take a look at 2 Peter 2:
"1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, a putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.
Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. 12But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.
13They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. 14With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
17These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” g and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” (NIV)
The Bible teaches us to beware, false teachers are among us. We need to pray for discernment so we can quickly tell what is true and what is not. What is God and what is not. We need to read more of the Word and less of blogger's (ironically said in a blog...). More of the Bible and less someone's thoughts. Read God's word, meditate on it, and let it change our hearts. Be in the world and not of the world.
Be different. Be the light. The world is watching.