Why Your Teaching Could Affect People’s Salvation?
Romans 2:1-29 ESV “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. …
This is a critique to some preachers’ sermons on sin. Those preachers who reflect various doctrines and who belong to various denominations yet who agree about the principle of teaching the gospel based on spreading hate-based fear towards God and the warning against the punishment of Hell, without properly understanding the word of God, or presenting the truth carefully.
This is a critique and not criticism. Thus I believe that if this message was read and understood accordingly, may perhaps shine a light on other areas in the human psyche that these preachers may not be aware of.
Also please note that what I am writing below is not about those who try to twist the image of Jesus to suit and promote their own image. This is about people who, perhaps like these pastors, believe that Jesus is the beloved son of God who is perfect in every single way. And this is also about some of the latter category who chose to follow Jesus, not seeking a material reward on earth or in heaven necessarily, but who sought him for who He is. I am writing here about a category of people who have tender hearts and who love to live in peace and joy. These people who, although still in sin, found themselves in awe when discovering the glory and goodness of Christ.
I am writing here about a category of people whose only desire to love is found in line with God’s biggest commandment (Matthew 22:37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.)
And because God set love as the biggest commandment and He expected us to love him with all that we are (mind, soul and spirit), one can only conclude that God (who is fair and just) saw that this was possible for humanity, since He created the prime mechanism of our functions.
But before I begin talking about the impact of the pastor’s teaching on this category of people and how it may effect their salvation, I would like to refer you all to my other three articles about the meaning and mechanism of pure love where I have discussed some of its fundamentals, both from a natural human perspective, and when it is used to talk about our love for the Divine. I have not discussed sexual attraction/desire (greek: eros) in those articles as I don’t consider it to be one of the fundamentals of true love. I do apologise if anyone reading this has never experienced the difference.
So, please visit this short link for more details:
A General Appeal To Pastors A Round The World:
People were never thirstier for unconditional love and fellowship as they are nowadays. Please try to help people heal by pouring God’s love on them, instead of spreading hate-based fear in their hearts. Unless you are facing a self proclaimed Christian who boast about their sin in the open and try to draw yet another false image of Jesus, unless this is the case, what’s the point talking to the public about their own sins, and raising your ‘spiritual fist’ at them if you are not to show grace in the method you are using. Don’t they know already that they are sinners and in need of transformation?! Do they really need your warnings and accusations which can only increase the feeling of guilt and shame? Are you saying that YOU are now sin-free? Are you saying that you project the image of God?!
Please know that the general public nowadays are not easily deceived by your statements of purity and chastity. Please don’t lead the listener to think that you are talking on God’s behalf and/or that you resemble God in anyway, shape or form as this can be extremely off putting, and therefore, counter productive.
Humble yourselves and take care not to affect the potential salvation of the atheist and the spark of the newly saved.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.”
How About “spiritual laziness”?
Many pastors believe that it is very important to preach on ‘the fear of the Lord’ as an incentive for salvation. These preachers also complain about “spiritual laziness” of people in their congregations. I don’t think that anyone who is truly in love with Jesus and is seeking God with all his/her heart, that s/he will ever experience “spiritual laziness”. Those spiritually lazy people are in fact people who have issues in their relationship with Christ. They are people who are drawn to Christianity through sheer fear (from going to Hell) and who continue worshipping and showing up on Sundays also for fear of being persecuted by the community or judged by their own family members. Those are not people who love God genuinely. Some of those lazy people talked about, are also the law supporters. They are those who claim to be perfect while their sins are hidden under the carpet. Because they condemn others, they prefer never to mention their own sin (just like the pharisees).
How do Grace and Sin Collide?
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Grace works excellently well to remove sin. However, it doesn’t require mere belief but a strong readiness for love. The concept of grace works well with people who are desiring more intimacy with God. It is for those who are seeking to know, love and obey God the best they could and offer their lives as a living sacrifice. For those seekers, the love is an excellent cleansing detergent.
Moreover, for those new seekers who are under strangleholds, sin is not a mere feeling, emotion or desire as some preachers make it to be. Preachers/Pastors shouldn’t really project their own experiences with sin, on everyone else.
Sin for people with addictions (all kind of addictions) is a lot bigger than that. Sin can continue to be a negative ‘stranglehold’ even after conversion, hence the scandals we read in the newspapers about church leaders in all types of denominations.
The true seekers of God in love will desire so deeply and truthfully to rid themselves of negative strongholds. They will be desperate, trying to change because you just can’t hold fuel and fire at the same time in one hand without exploding. If you truly love God, you can’t not want to please him, especially if you want to draw closer to him. The more you get to know God, and to experience the Holy Spirit, the more you will reject the flesh and feel disgusted by it. Being already under a stronghold will naturally intensify the battle within. If sin was just destructive to the once atheist’s life, it has now become far worse for this ‘young’ believer, who is regardless of his/her age, is experiencing a maturity crisis in the Christian faith.
Dismissing or ignoring the phenomena of stronghold or choosing not to talk about its influence on the human will, is unkind. Moreover, for a pastor to demand immediate recovery from sin, confirms that s/he doesn’t believe God is a real person with a direct real input in people’s lives. This type of pastors are the true pharisees of the 21st century.