“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” Matthew 21:42.
After many years of legalism, it seems as though the church may have over shot and once again stumbled over the Cross of Jesus and His finished work. Yesterday I pulled out some of those little booklets you get after being saved and began to read what many of the churches today suggest one to do after accepting Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Here are a couple of the suggestions they give to help in our spiritual growth:
- ______ Church offers so many things to help you grow and mature in your faith. Regular attendance to church and finding a place of service in the church is the key to discovering everything God has for you.
- During these next few days I will show you how to grow spiritually. I cannot emphasize too strongly how important these days are. You are establishing the pattern for the rest of your life. You are determining the kind of Christian you will be. If you will follow each suggestion carefully, you will have a happy, successful Christian life.
Albeit, there were many helpful things in these booklets as well, for this discussion I wish to point out some of the ways the new believer is being directed. It appears that this false reformation has opened the doors of the church wide open to the ways of the world. Instead of scaring the lost into Heaven, we are now trying to love them into Heaven. What do I mean by loving them into Heaven? If we can just get them to recite the sinner’s prayer, get them to stay in church so we can keep them lifted up and pray that they will beat that devil, they will indeed have a “successful Christian life”. The problem with this scenario is this – we love them, we told them of Jesus’ love for them and they recited the sinner’s prayer. We point them to their next step and they put one foot in front of the other as we direct them. They read their Bible for 15 minutes everyday, they set aside their prayer time, they come to church and we show them love…they do everything we have instructed them to do but the bondage is still there, the weight is getting heavier – there is not yet any victory. We, as the church, with upmost sincerity have told them of God’s love for us but we have not let God show them His love…we are actually in the way while sincerely trying to help and God doesn’t need our help, He wants our trust. We no longer trust the Gospel of Jesus to allow the Holy Spirit to convict and draw the sinners and the saints to repentance. Today’s church is more concerned with the Holy Spirit running people out of the church, instead of allowing Him to draw people into the church.
- “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:” Luke 12:50
- Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34
Yes, Jesus was love but it is His love for us that sets us apart to provoke the lost to seek the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As Christians, are we not suppose to love the lost, reach out to them and tell them of Who saved us and how He saved us, through Jesus Christ and Him Crucified? Then when the enemy begins to roar, do we not remind them of His victory and point them back to what Jesus did and allow Him to deliver them…or do we point them to our program we have for that particular problem? All too often we attempt to use the authority we have in Jesus name as a means to an end, a method of victory, while in reality we don’t know Jesus as all…we just know about Him. “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22-23.
So my plea today is aimed directly to the preachers and teachers of the Gospel of Jesus and I am asking this question from a sincere heart… are you still preaching HIS Gospel His way? The salvations being seen in your churches, have they accepted Jesus in their heart or has the mental ascension been hijacked by the methods while the knowledge of Jesus remains in their minds instead of revealed by Him in their hearts? Please think back to your own salvation and the conviction and draw of the Holy Spirit. Are the vines being cut off by the little foxes who are trying to help the Holy Spirit convict, save and sanctify? By us attempting to love them into Heaven, is it possible we are getting in the way of Jesus trying to separate them making us in direct enmity with God’s will? “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 5:5. Such things as this are not for us to judge, our commission is to preach the Gospel, not perform the miracles.
This may sound as if I am without love for the lost. However, this is coming from one who was lost and had to be turned over and I am thankful I didn’t have a bunch of religious folks telling me “but God loves you and so do I” which would have prolonged my deliverance. For, to be quite honest, if there love was anything like God’s love…I didn’t want any part of it. There love was weak and had no power. I was going through literal hell and didn’t want love but deliverance. I am thankful to God for the preacher that night obeying the quickening of the Holy Spirit and holding on to that altar call. Through that preachers words, the Holy Spirit was ministering straight to my heart, convicting me of my weaknesses and causing me to seek Him for my deliverance. I am so thankful to God for the church I was in that prayed for me and prayed for God to direct me while they remained sensitive to the Holy Sprit for His guidance regarding my spiritual growth and not a program. I am thankful to God for the people He put in my life that would always tell me to seek God for the answer to my problem and not try to “fix it” themselves. I am thankful to God for not forsaking me in the snares in which the enemy has placed in my path but revealing them to me. Because of their “lack” of helping God, it caused me to seek Him myself and now , I know that I know that I know, it was God’s Hand in my life – not man’s, that has seen me through.
If God has called you as a preacher, teacher, evangelist, apostle or prophet of His Word, you will be held accountable for what you do with this gift of His Gospel you have been given. You are indeed held to a higher standard. It is because of this that I earnestly ask you to once again go back to trusting and believing in Jesus’ finished work and to be sensitive to the unction of the Holy Spirit. I ask you to once again point both the sinners and the saints back to the Cross of Jesus, where the victory was won for both salvation and sanctification. I ask you to reject man’s plan and return to God’s plan…Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. I ask you to be determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him Crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). I ask you to not stumble over the Cornerstone.
“Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Matthew 21:43-44.