In the last several years, all forms of Christian media have been promoting what some are calling a “new revelation”. It basically goes something like this; that God the Father loves you so much that no matter what you do, He will accept you. Jesus died on the cross for all your sins, past, present and future. And since Jesus paid the price for all your sins, NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO when you die you’ll go to heaven.
The Bible addresses this particular “doctrine” very early. The first time it made its appearance it came out of the mouth of a talking snake.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And He said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it nor shall you touch it lest you die.’
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”
Let’s put it a different way. Say and do whatever you want to say or do and you will be OK. God didn’t really mean it. It’s funny how many people call themselves “Bible Believing Christians” and they don’t believe the Bible.
Ahhhhh! But a response to that would be, “Well that’s Old Testament. We’re now living in a period of grace, where we don’t have to do anything to be accepted by God.” Well let’s see what the New Testament says, shall we?
Romans 10:9 says “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead you will be saved.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but apparently you must confess with your mouth and you must believe in your heart. Logic would say that apparently you have to do two things here.
This is the main difference between real Christianity and religion. Religion says it’s all in the hands of “God” or “Gods” or “fate”. Real Christianity says it’s up to YOU. The God of the Old and New Testament NEVER makes you do anything against your will. The main reason we have a book called the Bible is so we can think and act like God does. Nobody forces God to do anything against His will, and nobody should force you to go against your own will.
Until one understands the big differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament it is impossible for that person to ever live a victorious Christian life. It’s just impossible!
One of the biggest differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament is this, there are only 3 humans in the entirety of the Old Testament that were considered “born of God”. Those 3 humans were named Adam, Eve and Jesus. No other humans were ever referred to as being “born of God” for a period of approximately 4,000 years.
In the Old Testament people were continually paying lip service to God. They talked one way and lived another. That’s because they were not “born again”. In the New Testament if you are “born again” you talk it and you walk it whether you are in a crowd of people or by yourself. You see Jesus addressed the people who talk it but didn’t walk it.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who SAYS to Me, “Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the will of My Father in heaven.
22 “Many will SAY to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
For some strange reason, I’ve heard ministers say that these people are lying. Are they really?! They’re standing in front of the Judge of all creation and their going to lie???? If that’s true, then why doesn’t Jesus correct them? The word lie never comes out of His mouth. He doesn’t deny that what they are saying isn’t true because they are telling the truth. THEY DID DO all these wonderful things in His name. Look at what He says in Matthew 7,
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS!’
Jesus says that He will say to them, “I NEVER KNEW YOU”. The word “knew” here in the original Greek is not talking about a mental awareness. Of course, He knows they exist. But the real definition of the word is “intimate knowledge of”. Knowledge that can only be known from the inside; that is what the word intimate means. Jesus is saying in essence, “Yes, you did all these great things in my name, and yes, you had a “head” knowledge of me, but you never let me into your heart. You never gave your heart to me.”
How does Jesus know that they never gave Him their heart? By what they did. In public they put on a grand show by using His name (if you don’t know the power in the name of Jesus, you are missing out on the greatest power in this life). But in private, away from the crowd, they were doing their own thing. We know this by what He will continue to say to them.
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and DOES THEM, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and DOES NOT DO THEM, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Ask yourself this question, does Jesus know what He is talking about?
One can’t help but get the impression that what is passing for Christianity, sadly too often, is something that makes people feel better about their lives but their lives never really change. It has a placebo effect. I’m taking it in (hearing it) but all I’m doing is hearing a lot of words. I feel excited and charged up at that time, but tomorrow is another day. I don’t see any real change in me. I don’t see any real change in my family. I don’t see any real change in my friends. I don’t see any real change in my finances. I don’t see any real change in my health. If what I believe can’t be proven in the real world, you know the world we live in, then it’s just a myth. Or to put it another way, it’s just religion.
You see religion is all about feelings. Christianity is about concrete, real world answers. Whenever somebody came to Jesus for healing, what happened first? Well, they came to Him for healing (action). And guess what, they got healed (or actions). Do you think Jesus might had a better idea about “grace” than apparently some of His ministers have today? What about His followers in the first church? In Acts 14 Paul and Barnabas went to Iconium. In verse 3 there’s a very important statement made, “Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of HIS GRACE”. How did He do that? By “granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” In other words, if someone is proclaiming the true New Testament doctrine of grace, where’s the proof? Oh, they will give you instances from the past, but they can’t prove it right now. And anybody who pays attention closely to what they are saying will recognize this “new revelation” as a sad old Calvinistic doctrine. You may not be familiar with these terms, because you are too young, but this “new revelation of grace” sounds exactly the same as “once saved always saved” aka “eternal security”. They even use the exact same words. Jesus paid for all your sins, past, present and future. God doesn’t look at your sin like He does others sin because you don’t have any sin. In other words, you’re never wrong no matter what you do or say. You’re perfect. You don’t need to do anything else. You’re your own god. You decide what’s right and what’s wrong for you to do. There was another being that had that same mindset, his name is now Satan. At one time he was one of the 3 main arch angels. He was beautiful. And in his heart he could do no wrong. In other words, Satan was filled with PRIDE. That is what this “new grace revelation” or “eternal security” or “once saved always saved” leads to. You never miss it. You’re always right. Everybody else are the ones who are wrong, but not you. You never have to say “I’m sorry”, because you are never wrong. In other words, you continue doing your own thing, speaking your own words, living your own life, and God’s always going to accept you.
Let’s see what the apostle Paul had to say.
Romans 2:5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent (unrepentant) heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God,
6 who “will render to each one according to HIS DEEDS” (or ACTIONS);
Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law
13 (for NOT THE HEARERS of the law are just in the in the sight of God, but THE DOERS of the law will be justified;
The next time your favorite minister or teacher starts talking about the law, you better not take his/her word for it. It’s amazing to me how all these ministers must have a different version of the New Testament. Apparently the printers made a mistake and left this out. Or, oh that’s right, they got this REVELATION from God. So apparently God’s changed His mind. So why don’t we just disregard the entire New Testament? And I’m sure that no public figure would ever tell people something they didn’t want to hear. I mean, you got all these “resources” you need to sell and if you tell the people the real truth, they won’t buy your “resources”.
Romans 2:14 (for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,
15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)
16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
What’s basically being said here is this, everybody knows the difference between right and wrong. Your heart tells you and your conscience tells you.
If all there is to Christianity is just repeating words after someone else, then why bother? There’s a difference between actions and words.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, WHO DO NOT WALK ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh YOU WILL DIE; but if by the Spirit YOU PUT TO DEATH THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, you will live.
Why on earth would the Holy Spirit using the apostle Paul as His pen say this if it has no relevance to a Christian? And why on earth have him repeat it.
Galations 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do to do the things that you wish.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who PRACTICE such things WILL NOT inherit the kingdom of God.
When a person becomes “born again” they inherit a new nature. They love Jesus more than they love life itself. I love Jesus more than any other lovers I’ve ever had. I love Jesus more than any other drugs I’ve ever had. There is not any experience that I’ve ever went through (I’m talking about good experiences here, not bad ones) that can compare to knowing Jesus. Since you don’t know me personally, trust me on this one, there’s a real good chance that I’ve had far more experiences of all kinds than you’ve had. We won’t go there. I will just leave it up to your imagination. And depending on what kind of imagination you have, chances are my real life experiences were more extreme.
But when I fell in love with Jesus, only because He first loved me, nothing else can come close to this love.
Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He (Jesus) became the author of ETERNAL SALVATION to all who OBEY HIM.
You do notice the words “who obey Him”? That is a condition of eternal salvation. This is NOT the predominate teaching in most Protestant, Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal churches anymore. And we wonder why we don’t see the real power of God in our churches. Hmmm.
The Apostle John, who was in 90’s at this time, wrote these words in 1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
1John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. (the 2 commandments that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 22:37-40 & Luke 10:27)
4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Do you happen to notice how many times the Apostle John put himself in that same category? Now if the Apostle John had to on a regular basis ask God the Father to forgive him, maybe he just didn’t understand what “GRACE” was all about. We have actually heard Christian ministers, out of their own mouth, say that we don’t have to ask God to forgive us. And along that same line of thinking, if you hear anybody anywhere ever say something like this, “You don’t owe Jesus anything”, and that doesn’t bother you, I don’t know the Jesus you are following, but the Jesus I’m following is the one who gave His life for me. I owe Him everything.
Grace means simply this, when you make the decision to stop doing your own thing (that’s called repenting) and to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, and you call upon Him and ask Him to forgive you for your life up to that point, and make a commitment to follow Jesus for the rest of your life, you’ve just been born again. THAT’S GRACE. And when you blow it, and you will, you just simply ask God the Father to forgive you and keep on going. THAT’S GRACE.
In all honesty at the end of the day, your heart tells you what’s right and what’s wrong. You’re the one who makes the decision to either do the right thing or the wrong thing. And I can come up with all these wonderful verses from the Bible to justify what I want to do. And so can you.
I don’t know about you, but when I became “born again” I changed. And the process of “salvation” started and that’s where grace comes in. But if you think the grace of God means you can do anything you want to do, whenever you want to do it, to whoever you want to do it to, my question is simply this, “WHAT PART OF HELL DID YOU GET THAT FROM?”
With Love, Cincinnati Christian
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