We have to be so careful with our words, especially when they reflect our theology. What can appear like mere semantics to one person can have enormous implications for how people live their lives and relate to God. For example, the most common way today to invite people to become Christians is, “Would you like to ask Jesus to come in to your heart?” This is standard fare at the conclusion of many church services. Yet this simple statement is laden with dangerous views of God. First, it says nothing about repentance, as if the Holy Spirit will enter our lives at our bidding regardless of whether we have first repented of our sins (1 John 1:9-10). Second, it says nothing about Christ’s lordship. In fact the statement makes it look like we call the shots. The reality is that the Holy Spirit will not enter a life that is not repentant and surrendered. The Holy Spirit is not an “App” you download to help your eternity go better! He enters your life on His terms, not ours. I believe the reason a lot of adults are getting “re-saved” is because they were never born again when they first asked Jesus to enter their heart.
Likewise there are many preachers and evangelists assuring people that God loves them “just the way you are.” This is of course false. God loves sinners despite the way they are. Jesus would not have died on a cross if God loved the way people were. There is an interesting verse in Exodus 19:3: “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.” We tend to overlook the first part of that verse and simply assure people they are God’s special treasure. But God Himself declared that those who obey His voice and keep His covenant are treasured by Him. It parallels what Jesus said, “You are My friends IF you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). Somehow in our effort to make becoming a Christian as “palatable” as possible, we have neglected to tell people what God’s terms are for the process. The result is that today we have churches filled with people who falsely assume they are going to heaven when they die (Matthew 7:21-23). In these critical days we need to be careful with what we say!
You will soon be noticing some significant changes in the look of our web site! We have initiated a huge overhaul so that we can provide much more information and resources for people world-wide. I hope you find it encouraging.
My dad and I are heading to Australia. There is a desire among church leaders there to see a movement of God. They sense that incremental growth will not do. I’d appreciate your prayers for them and us as we seek to encourage them to seek God with all their hearts.
I pray you are having a great Fall and seeing God’s hand in all that you do!