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  1. #1
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    Back to the Basics. - The teachings of Jesus

    Every now and then we hear of a preacher that has a large following falling down.
    Ted Haggard and male prostitutes. Jim Baker and Jessica Hahn. Jimmy Swaggert and Debra Murphree. Ray Boltz and homosexuality. Amy Grant and Vince Gill.
    These are just a few examples. I believe some of these people have repented, some of them have not.
    I bring this up, not to judge them, but just to show that sometimes men fail.
    I have been a follower of a number of what I have considered to be great theologians of our time.
    A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, Charles Stanley, John MacArthur, and there are a few that I don't agree with 100% R.C. Sproul for example.
    After reading some "new revelations" that have recently come out, I am reminded, even great theologians are just men who can fail sometimes.
    I have to say I am disappointed with Joel Osteen's views on Mormonism and Homosexuality who "doesn't want to say that those things are necessarily wrong". Perhaps Franklin Graham also (Billy's son) who isn't "really for them, but doesn't want to offend anyone".
    I have been hearing more and more teachings from 'Quotes of [fill in the blank with name of preacher or theologian]' and less and less teachings from scripture.

    A popular teaching of the day is one of the five sola's. "Christ alone". Then they go about preaching what they think that means.
    Unfortunately, the trend these days is to preach everything BUT what Jesus taught. So what did Jesus teach?

    In Matt 3:10-12 it says he will baptize people with the Holy Spirit, but it also says he will separate the wheat and the chaff, and burn up the chaff.
    In Matt 4:17 he preached repentance. (why does no one preach this anymore?)
    In Matt 5:13-19 he preached we are the salt of the earth, to be a light on a hill so "people can see your good works". He preached that he didn't come to do away with the commandments, but to fulfill them. He said don't annul any of the commandments or teach others not to follow them. Paul and Hebrews have verses that seemingly contradict this, but taken in context, I don't think they do. Besides, if they did contradict, who should we follow? Jesus or Paul?

    In Matt 5:20-22 He repeats one of the ten commandments, (murder) then he adds to it saying even calling someone a fool or good for nothing is the same as murder.
    In Matt 5:27-30 He repeat another one of the 10 commandments (adultery) then he adds to it saying even lust is adultery.
    In Matt 5:31-32 He talks about divorce, and give a reason for divorce. He says any other reason is sin. (Deut 24:1-4)
    In Matt 5:33-37 He talks about making false vows or swearing upon God's name. (Lev 19:12; Numb 30:2)
    In Matt 5:38-42 He talks about taking revenge and getting sued. (Exod 21:24-29; Lev 24:20)
    In Matt 5:43-48 He talks about loving your neighbor, and then adds to it, saying love your enemies also.
    In Matt 6:1-8 He talks about practicing righteousness in front of other people and acting pious. He talks about hypocrisy.
    In Matt 6:14-15 He says we will only be forgiven if we forgive others. (Another thing you rarely hear in churches these days).
    In Matt 6:22-24 He talks about letting money be your master, he says you can't serve God and money. (So much for prosperity preaching).
    In Matt 7:1-5 He talks about judging others and hypocrisy.
    In Matt 7:11-14 He talks about the Golden Rule, saying "this is the law of the prophets". He goes on to say few will enter the narrow gate and many will enter the broad path to destruction. (Nobody preaches these things anymore, only that Jesus loves everybody, so of course many take this to mean everyone is going to heaven).
    In Matt 7:15-27 He talks about false prophets and how to know them (good fruit vs bad fruit) He goes on to say many people will think they are Christians, but are not. He compares those "who do the will of the Father to those who practice lawlessness" (good fruit vs bad fruit). He also mentions those who hear his words and "act upon them" vs those who hear his words and "do not act upon them". He calls this second group of people foolish (verse 26)
    In Matt 9:11-13 He tells the Pharisee's (I believe somewhat tongue in cheek) he didn't come for the righteous, but the sinners. (I believe the Pharisee thought he was talking about the sinners and tax collectors, but in reality, he was talking about them).
    Jesus also says.. "I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE" (See Matt 12:7 also) he would rather have us obedient and loving one another, than have us make up for it by continuing to sin (therefore, having to have the priests sacrifice animals, or he himself continuing to cover our on-going sins).
    In Matt 10:32-33 Jesus says if you deny me before men, I will deny you before my father.
    In Matt 10:37-38 He says if you love your family or job more than me, you are not worthy of me. He says unless you take up your cross (die to your own selfish wants) and follow him (follows God's desires) you are not worthy of him.
    The point here is, some churches only preach grace, grace, grace, everything is grace. Yet what I see from virtually all the verses above, Jesus wants repentance and obedience. Grace isn't meant to cover everything, it's meant to fill in the gaps where we fail. None of us will be justified by the law, why? Because we can't follow the law 100% on our own. So we will be justified by his righteousness, he covers the parts we fail at.

    Mat 11:18 "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon!'
    Mat 11:19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
    Mat 11:20 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.
    Mat 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
    Mat 11:22 "Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
    Mat 11:23 "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.
    Mat 11:24 "Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you."

    again.. repentance.

    Mat 12:33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.
    Mat 12:34 "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
    Mat 12:35 "The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.
    Mat 12:36 "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.
    Mat 12:37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

    again... good fruit vs bad fruit, good words vs bad words, good treasure vs bad treasure,

    Jesus makes it clear not everyone is going to heaven. This is an unpopular message, no one wants to hear it. The people cry "legalism".

    Mat 13:36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field."
    Mat 13:37 And He said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
    Mat 13:38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;
    Mat 13:39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.
    Mat 13:40 "So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
    Mat 13:41 "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,
    Mat 13:42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    It says here the angels will gather up those who commit lawlessness and throw them in the fire. Those aren't my words, they are Jesus'.

    Mat 13:47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;
    Mat 13:48 and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.
    Mat 13:49 "So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous,
    Mat 13:50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Same thing here, good fish and bad fish.. The angels are going to gather up "the bad fish" and throw them into the fire. This is Jesus speaking here.

    In Matt 15:3-11 He repeats another one of the 10 commandments (honor your father and mother) Then he goes on to call people who don't do this hypocrites.
    Mat 15:8 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
    Mat 15:9 'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'"
    He talks about those who falsely worship him by following traditions rather than his teachings.

    Mat 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
    Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
    Mat 16:25 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
    Mat 16:26 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
    Mat 16:27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
    What is he talking about here? Denying yourself, following him or losing your soul... and judgement according to our deeds.
    The thing is, Jesus preached repentance and obedience.

    I was going to include several more verses about this from chapters 17 through 21, perhaps I still will. In fact, it might be a good idea to go through all four gospels and remind ourselves what the teachings of Jesus really were.
    *- BAC -*

  2. #2
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    Hi B-A-C,

    I agree that many preachers these days don't preach from scripture.
    I heard from one retired pastor that many pastors act as if their position is merely a career.
    My own experience within churches confirms this as I rarely, if ever, hear any sermons making reference to any more than 2 or 3 scriptures. The majority of the sermon is merely just story telling with little to no relevance to the spiritual truth contained in the few scriptures they quote.

    Here on forums however there are many, like yourself, who quote scripture far more than what is heard from pastors. It's better to let God's word do the talking than our own story telling about it. And although we've all mistakenly quoted scripture out of context at times, at least in the sharing with each other we have opportunity to see some spiritual truth that another may be showing.

    Having said that I'd like to share the following points in reply to some aspects of your post.

    The teaching that we "repent" whenever we do wrong (traditionally and wrongly called "sin") is contradicted by scripture.
    Repentance is what we did when we received Christ.
    Acts 3:19
    "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

    Our repentance was of "dead works".
    Heb 6:1
    "Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works"

    And this repentance is a once only repentance.
    Heb 6:4-6
    "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,if they fall away,to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame."

    Repentance means to have such regret that you turn away from and stop what whatever it is you repented of. This is confirmed in the scriptures above. And as Christians we did this when we became converted, turning back to God. We stopped our unbelief/rejection of God.

    However the traditional view of repentance is that it's something we do whenever we do some wrong act. This is not supported in scripture. Also this is not repentance as evidenced by the fact that the same wrong is usually done repeatedly again and again. If one continues doing the same wrong over and over then clearly they didn't geniunely repent at all.

    Also you spoke of obedience. In the light of our previous discussions I'm confused by what you're actually saying here.
    You stated that 7 trillion x 7 trillion offenses by Christians will be forgiven by God. But then you stated that we should not test God's forgiveness, suggesting that there is some unknown limit to God's forgiveness. And in quoting the modern Bible versions of 1John 3:6-9 you claim that too many offenses means that such are in "habitual" sin which means they have "not known Christ" and are "of the devil", 1John 3:6,8.
    No doubt you can see the contradiction here.

    Can you explain what level of obedience to the law is required to confirm that one knows Christ?

    What I see in scriptures is that our obedience is to believe in Jesus.
    We obey God's will.
    John 6:40
    And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”


    Our works that shows our faith is to believe in Jesus.
    John 6:29
    Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

    Christians obey his commandments.
    1John 3:22,23
    whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave uscommandment.

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