...God is also firm.
Too many people are neglecting what is in the scriptures and trying to justify sin or lifestyles that go against God's word, simply because God is love, but that doesn't mean that God accepts sin.
Too often we read or use a few scriptures that make us feel good and then omit everything else that we know about Jesus Christ, God and His word that might convict us. Some have bowed down to modern trends and allowed themselves to be manipulated by their feelings, messages from any other teacher besides God and the Holy Spirit, and other gospels. Too many people are looking for a religion that is easy and makes us feel good. In the world, we are taught about a Christ that accepts everyone just the way they are, with no judgement on anything, and the prosperity gospel. Instead of looking for a Church that teaches truth, many are on a quest to find a church that can satisfy their desire to worship God, but only in their own way.....or live the lifestyle that they want to live, regardless of how ungodly it really is and neglecting The Bible on the matter. The Christian life is not a ‘buffet’ that you can compile your perfect life from. There is no salvation in building your own religion or customizing Christ to suit your needs and wants, but the popular trend is to determine how you’d like to live your life and then to conform Christ to that lifestyle. One way it is done is by appealing to Christ’s infinite love and mercy, but we can’t just go around reciting that “God is Love” (1 John 4:8) and disregard the truth and seriousness of sin. John 3:16 is a beloved verse and amazing to ponder. In addition to this great and wonderful verse, there is a seriousness in God's actions. The seriousness to judge, righteously, sin and to please God the Father with a sacrifice for ALL sin. Only one could satisfy, totally, God. The God-man, Jesus Christ. A perfectly sinless man who willingly GAVE his life to please his Father in Heaven. This is the seriousness of God's love. Christ's sacrificial death wasn't just a show of infinite and holy love, however it certainly was a magnificent display of God's love,. In addition to that love, many more attributes are.also involved, simultaneously. God's judgement on sin means that God hates sin (Proverbs 6:16-19 ; Proverbs 8:13) and the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ, was needed to atone for all mankind.
I've noticed a trend over the years that is growing greater among Christians and it is an unhinged focus on the Love of God. At the base of this movement is the feeling that Christ was so loving and accepting of everyone, that He would never stand for any kind of exclusion or discrimination. This could not be further from the truth. Yes… it is true that Christ loves everyone and yes it is true that we should practice inclusion, but Christ was far from accepting behaviors that were not in accordance with His commandments or His word. He didn’t come to this earth and just let people act however they wanted to act. “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” he said in Matthew 10 verse 34. He continues, “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” How and why will “a man’s foes be they of his own household?” Because Christ asks Christians to take a stand and that stand is even more important than family. In essence, He asks which side of the line you’re going to be on…and you prove which side you are on by “keeping the faith” and standing firm to God's word. Not everything is ok or accepted by God. All are loved by Him, but our behaviors, if not in line with God's word, need to be repented of.
Does that sound all-inclusive and accepting of anything opposite God's word?
If Christ were walking the earth today preaching the same things He was preaching back in His day, people would be flying off the handle. He’d teach hard things, draw a line in the sand, tell people He loves them and ask them to repent. Maybe He would even get mad and turn over some tables, (or big, amplified speakers) (Matt 21:12-13) But then people would call Him a bigot, self-righteous, and un-accepting of others. People that oppose any part of God's word would just go their own way, and maybe start their own form of religion, just like when Christ was on earth and the disciples were offended and departed. The question you have to ask yourself is the same question He asked His disciples, “Will ye also go away”? (John 6:67)
People get mad at Bible Churches, it’s leaders, and individual Christians across the world for trying to defend some of the basic commandments. Christians inside and outside of the Church label bible doctrine as old and outdated, and in the same breath say that firm Christians are taking things way to far or reading into scripture. Consider the woman taken in adultery in John 8. The Savior did not condemn her… but he also didn’t condone what she did. He loved her and He forgave her, but He also meant what He said when He told her to “go and sin no more.” The forgiveness of Christ should not be misinterpreted for acceptance.
Another issue that the Bible clearly teaches about is the doctrine of seperation. Being separate UNTO God, yet also APART from the world. The absence of this is clearly seen in the worship wars. The Bible tells the believer in 1 John 2:15 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." This is a powerful verse. Love not the things of this world, and yet it seems that Christians love their way of worship and their preference for Christian music, more than obedience to God's prescription of worship, after all.....does the CREATION get a say in how his or her CREATOR is approached?
(To learn more about Biblical worship, visit my worship blog. Link is in the right hand column.)
We should be loving and compassionate but we should never allow ourselves to believe that Christ just accepts our behaviors or lifestyles, just because we are His children. That was never in the program. He’s always asked us to change, to repent, to get better, and to overcome the things that we struggle with. (Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.) Christians need to quit trying to align God's will with ours and let God's will rule and lead our lives.
It is also necessary and loving, and Biblical to follow Galations 6:1-2, which commands believers to "bear each other's burdens", or in other words, come along side a brother or sister and disciple them out of that fault and share the scriptures that refute that fault. Sadly, that too, is seen as unloving and judgemental in today's world.
Many people are taking the equality and fairness argument to the extreme, assuming that Jesus is accepting of everything, especially if the word Christian is attached. It’s just not true according to the scriptures.
James 1:5-6 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."