The LORD has burned into the very fiber of my spirit His truth found in Matthew 16:13-19 and Romans 1:16 and how different “this” gospel is from that which has been shared by many churches and by many believers today and in past decades.
The gospel of “cheap grace” and “easy believe-ism” and “Jesus plus something” is not the same gospel JESUS spoke of in Matthew 10 and Matthew 16:13-19, or that Paul spoke of in Romans 1:16.
It is important to understand that the biblical teaching of the security of the believer and walking in the grace of GOD never embodies the practice of antinomianism.
The biblical truth of the security of the believer embraces the reality that JESUS’ death, burial and resurrection fully satisfied the redemptive plan of GOD for all who truly believe once and for all (Hebrews 10).
If one thinks that GOD’s grace gives us a license to continue on in sin then they clearly do not comprehend GOD’s grace at all (Romans 6).
For many reasons a large percentage the Church has cheapened the GOSPEL OF JESUS. The primary reason perhaps is because we have not fully grasped the power of it. Due to our unbelief we have been forced to scramble to find substitutes for the GOSPEL OF JESUS: church growth strategies, works, human effort and ingenuity, church programs and events to draw people into the church building, evangelistic presentations that manipulate and attempt to “sell” Jesus to the lost.
If JESUS preached the message that ministers preach today He would have never been crucified (Lenard Ravenwood).
We are forced to enter into the political arena due to our unbelief in the power of the GOSPEL OF JESUS. Our culture has become incredibly decadent because the Church has failed to be “salt and light.” We pitifully strive to preserve what we believe to be a Christian culture within a kingdom that is not our own.
When JESUS responded to Peter’s confession in Matthew 16 He did not say that political debate is the rock upon which He would build His Church. JESUS did not say church growth strategies is the rock, or that works of the Law is the rock, or that human effort and ingenuity is the rock, or that church programs and entertainment is the rock, or that shallow evangelistic presentations is the rock. JESUS said the rock upon which He is building His Church is the confession that “He is the Christ, the Son of the Living GOD.”
What the church has been doing to respond to our culture has not worked well. This is evident by the state of the Church today. It is weak and full of strife, conflict and division. The lifestyles of Christians today basically mimic the lifestyles of our godless culture. If we could see past the masks and walls of many believers and peer into their secret closets we would see that there really isn’t a lot of difference. Many believers are caught up in debate over the most frivolous issues you can imagine. Pride and self-centeredness are rampant. There is a thick cloud of self-righteousness that breeds a judgmental condemning attitude toward unbelievers. Those outside of faith are simply living out of who they are and what they were born into (the Adamic nature/sinful nature/the old man).
Also, look at our culture. Why would we expect people who do not know JESUS and, therefore, who do not possess HOLY SPIRIT, to act differently? Do we actually believe we are going to gain ground or usher in GOD’s Kingdom through cultural battles?
The call of GOD to His Church is to “go and makes disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20). JESUS shows us what it looks like to be His disciple in Matthew 10. That looks radically different from the watered-down, compromised, cheap grace, “easy believe-ism” gospel which is the gospel often shared today.
Believing the GOSPEL OF JESUS: “. . . upon this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18) and believing that the GOSEPL OF JESUSis the power of GOD unto salvation to all who believe” (Romans 1:16), I choose to be provoked by the GOSPEL OF JESUSto engage our culture rather than to be offended and withdraw from it. Prophets were developed in the wilderness, not in the temple.
I choose to follow the example of JESUS who radically loved sinners, harlots, prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers and the outcasts of His day. The leper of today is the gay community and people like me who follow JESUS though we may continue dealing with same-sex attractions.
I will continue to engage the gay community with “His kindness, tolerance and patience . . . because it is the kindness of GOD that leads to repentance” (Romans 2:4) not self-righteousness and condemnation, debate and politics. I totally renounce and resist any offer of Law rather than JESUS’ complete and finished redemptive work.
I am not a heretic and I have not renounced GOD’s word. I am a follower of JESUS and I embrace the GOSPEL OF JESUS.