Monday, June 21, 2010

Jesus Tells The Truth

(John 8:31–32) ¶ Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Notice that Jesus was speaking to people who professed to believe in Him. Do you find it interesting that this statement by Jesus made them mad? Soon they are accusing Jesus of being born of fornication (v.41,) and of being a demon possessed Samaritan (v.48.) Jesus goes on to say that in spite of their profession of belief in Him, they are unbelievers who are seeking to kill him, that they are still in slavery to sin and that they are of their father, the Devil.

Jesus would not have made it onto Oprah. His message was too confrontational. He was too careless with people's self-esteem.

Jesus would not be invited onto the platform of many modern churches that claim to be Christian - much less the stages of many made for T.V. churches. Why? Because His message is too exclusionary and negative. Making people mad will result in low ratings and declining attendance. Offerings will certainly drop off.

Too many churches are happy to clean people up a little bit and help them feel good about themselves, while carefully shielding them from the truth. Churches today will help people manage their money, lose weight, overcome their addictions, do good things and enjoy an upbeat celebration they call worship. Unfortunately, those same people - more financially secure, lighter weight, clean from addictions and feeling good - are STILL going to die and go to hell unless they come to the TRUTH.

We are willing to lie to people to make them feel better. We let people think that they will be o.k. when they die as long as they are superficially religious in this life. As long as they profess faith - and pray a certain prayer. As long as they are "spiritual" (whatever that means.) As long as they go to church somewhere. As long as they beat back their addictions - more or less. As long as they do some good works like work in the soup kitchen or habitat for humanity or a foreign missions trip. Then they must be o.k.

In truth they can do all of these things and still perish and go to hell. In fact, doing all of these things is probably anesthetizing them to their very real danger. In this regard being superficially religious is worse for people than if they were completely down and out.

What we need is the approach that Jesus took. It is the proclamation of the truth. We need to tell people that they are sinners who deserve to go to hell. We need to tell them that they are lost in their trespasses and sins. We need to point out that there is no comfort for them in any of the best things that they have ever done or will ever do. We need to reveal to them that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. We need to tell them that sincerity and "spirituality" are worthless without the truth. We need to urge them to humble themselves before God - to acknowledge their wretchedness - and to cling to God's one and only provision for salvation - the Lord Jesus Christ.

They don't need to be cleaned up... they need to be converted, born again, made alive from the dead. That is something that is really beyond their ability - but it comes to people such as them through the proclamation of the truth of the Gospel. It will never come through the modern lies that pacify people in the things that they CAN do themselves.
(John 8:31–32) ¶ Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

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