Monday, May 7, 2012

Any Other Gospel Than This

Last night I was watching my service online like I typically do in this season of my life and they were sharing awesome testimonies from a retreat they’d had over the week-end.  The one that stood out to me was a young man who was bound by witchcraft and homosexuality.  When he was an extremely young child his family introduced him to voo doo by taking him to a ceremony.  At this ceremony or another like it, a man molested him which introduced him to homosexuality.  I shared the picture and Facebook version of the testimony so the world would be encouraged by the young man’s awesome testimony.

However, this testimony elicited an unexpected response from a former ORU [Oral Roberts University] peer (wing sister) of mine.  She called it “rubbish” and completely disregarded the young man’s struggle and deliverance.  It was late so I deleted her response because I do not allow any form of blasphemy or grieving the Holy Spirit and His evident work in someone’s life nor do I allow anyone to speak ill of my spiritual father or his church.  I don’t play that!  But not wanting to be rude and feeling maybe the testimony was unclear to her, I inboxed her a message to clarify the testimony of the young man and also my comment that Jesus can and does deliver from witchcraft and homosexuality.  I thought that maybe she misinterpreted it to mean that witchcraft causes homosexuality, which was not at all what I mean to convey.  I quickly discovered that her issue was not confusion with the testimony, but in believing that the Bible is true. 

The young lady has several loved ones that are active participants of the homosexual lifestyle and because they are wonderful people—which I cannot argue either way since I do not know any of them—has somehow led her to believe that it is alright for them to be homosexual because “God created them that way” and He loves them.  She also went on to add that I am judgmental, insinuated that I do not truly know the Bible (or at least how to interpret it), and that I will have to answer to God for my sins of judgment against His [homosexual] people.

This to me was absolutely laughable and also extremely sad because some people really think that their feelings about God and or His word determine how they are allowed to interpret the Bible.  They are sadly mistaken.  I write this blog not to gather personal supporters, but rather to use my literary platform to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.

The Apostle Paul provides an excellent passage that will direct the heart of this post.  It reads as follows:

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said and said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.  For do I persuade men, or God?  Or do I seek to please men?  For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ,” (Galatians 1:8-10).

Dear ORU grad, FB friend, Twitterbug, or other acquaintance: whether I know you or not, like you or not, I am not here to impress you.  I am here to lift up the name of Jesus and to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God—not of man—to you.  If anyone has an issue with what I say, then you don’t have an issue with me—you have an issue with God, with Jesus, and with the Bible.   

The Two-Edged Sword & Rock of Offense

Let us first clarify that the Word of God is a two-edged sword, sharper than any known to man (Hebrews 4:12).  So guess what? That means the Word cuts.  Or as Pastor Tamara Bennett would say, “it’s cutting me while it’s cutting you”.  We may not always like what the word of God says and we as human beings with free will are absolutely entitled to that preference.  However, when we stand before God on Judgment Day, He is not going to forgive us and let us in His Heaven to spend eternity with Him if we chose to disregard or twist His word to fit our preferences without repentance.  That’s not how it works.  When we truly know God, when we truly make Him our Lord and Saviour of every part of our lives, then we want to please Him; we want to abide by and preach His word because it’s our passion.  It doesn’t matter how we feel about it because what God says goes.    

The Bible also refers to Jesus as the “rock of offense” and that is a most accurate statement (Isaiah 8:14, Romans 9:33, I Peter 2:8).  I Peter goes on to say:

“They stumble, being disobedient, to the word, to which they also were appointed,” (I Peter 2:8). 

This means that even the people who have been introduced to the Gospel, those who claim to know, serve, and love God, can be [consistently] disobedient to God’s word.  

The word disobedience as defined by Merriem-Webster is the refusal to neglect or obey.  This means that the disobedient person knows the truth, knows what they are supposed to say, do, or believe, and yet they willfully choose to do otherwise.  They choose rebellion.  And it is this disobedience that allows the person to choose to be and or remain offended.

The Curse of Teaching [Promoting] False Doctrine

The Word is very harsh on those who teach and or promote off doctrine of any sort whether it’s a Unitarian doctrine that states everyone is saved and going to Heaven, they just don’t know it or that lying is ok.  Sin is sin to God and to be a believer and especially a member of the Fivefold ministry (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and or teacher) and promote it is a deadly mistake if it is not confessed and forgiven. 

The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy about false teachers saying:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables,” (II Timothy 4:3-4).

Jesus tells us the punishment for leading God’s children astray in Matthew.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea.  Woe to the world because of offenses!  For offenses must come, but woe to the man by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18:6-7).

Another passage that pronounce a judgment on promoting a false doctrine states:

“Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.  For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” (Matthew 5:19-20).

The Bible places very steep judgment on those who know the truth and choose to do, preach, or live otherwise.

Mistaking God’s Love for His Tolerance

Many people, especially as it concerns homosexuality, tell themselves that since God is a God of love, He would not really send unrepentant sinners to Hell for eternity.  These people are sorely mistaken.

God most certainly is love, but He is also holy and as such, demands us to be holy.  Sin cannot dwell in His presence which is why man was driven from Eden.  Their sin-sick state would have tainted the realm of glory that God created us to live in and it is as true today as it was then.  God loves us so unbelievably much whether we serve Him or not, whether we surrender our sexuality to Him or not.  Yet when we actively choose to disregard or disbelieve what His Word says about [homosexuality], when we choose to ignore the work of redemption and freedom that Jesus won for us through his horrible suffering, gruesome death on the cross, and powerful resurrection, we slap Him in the face and reject the gift and therefore willfully forfeit eternal life with Him. 

Illustration: If I give you a gift card to Nieman Marcus,  but you never redeem it, you will not be able to possess all of the wonderful gifts that are waiting for your there.  It’s like you never had it to begin with.

It is the same with salvation.  If we never accept it and walk in it, then we forfeit the abundant life that God longs to give us. 

Furthermore, when we say that God is love, it does not mean that He is tolerant of our sin and rebellion.  This is one of the biggest deceptions of our “advanced” society.  You become labeled as a bigot or hatemonger if you profess God’s stance on homosexuality because there is a widespread misconception of God and His word.

Illustration: An example I love to use is a parent and their child.  If you as a parent tell your child to clean their room and they don’t, they are being disobedient.  You hate that the child does not clean their room, but you do not hate the child them self.  Yet the child’s disobedience requires punishment. 

God is the same way.  He loves each and every one of us so very much!  The word tells us that “The Lord…is not willing that any of us should perish”! But I’m going finish the verse that so many would prefer I not see or read because it states “but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). 

The Fragrance of Life or Death

I have been accused before of “cherry-picking” (preferential selection) Bible verses to suit a particular theology or philosophy.  Yet it is not cherry-picking to preach God’s word the way He intended to preach it.  I refuse to have blood on my hands for not preaching God’s word to the lost, or worse, for twisting and or selectively preaching His word to make it more appealing to a deceived generation.  I could boost my popularity with people and preach to their itching ears the things that comfort them in their mess, polish their chains of bondage, or pity their flesh, but God would be most grieved.  I would lose my place in Heaven and eternity because I was too busy trying to make myself a place among men. 

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not popular, sugar-coated, or encouraging to our flesh.  In fact, it is foolishness (I Corinthians 1:18) and “the aroma of death leading to death” (II Corinthians 2:14-16) to those who do not believe.  But do not let it remain a deadly aroma in your nostrils.  If you repent and believe on Christ and His word, it will become the fragrance of life to you(II Corinthians 2:14-15)! 

Repeat this prayer with me:

            Father God,

I know that I am a sinner and my sin grieves You and separates me from you.  I want to put aside my emotions, preferences, and bondages to embrace You and Your word.  Come into my heart today.  I confess that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God who was born of a virgin, died on the cross, and rose from the grave on the third day to claim my freedom and healing. I make you the Saviour and Lord of my life.  Fill me with Your precious Holy Spirit who teaches and guides me into all truth!  I accept you now!  Thank God for saving and filling me!

In Jesus’ name,


My prayer is that you repeated and believed that prayer with all your heart.  If you did, you are transformed and a bona fide son/daughter of the Most High God whose presence lives in and leads you.  If you make a mistake, it’s ok! Just ask God for His forgiveness, ignore condemnation from the devil, and continue to grow in the things of God.  Join a church near you that preaches the sound doctrine Jesus preached and can help you in your walk.   

I love you and most of all, God loves you! 

God Bless! xx