So I went to coffee with a special friend of mine who is my sister in Christ, spiritual mentor, and just all around loving person and of course we talked about our marriages, our children, where we sometimes feel we’ve failed and then encouraged each other that we aren’t done yet.
But we got onto the subject of “God loves us just the way we are” and if that’s all we teach how does the sinner repent?
It’s been on my mind since and just can’t get it out of my mind so thought I’d put it in writing and see how it goes 😉
So many years ago the churches and religious leaders used to teach mostly fire and brimstone and basically hoped to scare the “hell” out of you and you’d stay scared straight. It worked but not for long. Because when we sinned there wasn’t a consequence right away too often so the scared feeling went away alittle more each time since it’s only a feeling and the feeling won’t keep us from turning away from our sin continually.
So as time passed people were walking away from churches because they felt that they were always condemned and there was no way that they can be better due to only partially teaching what God says.
Then in comes the just say this prayer this way and you’ll be saved… Well this was a start but now we have confusion in the unsaved thinking they are bound for hell because they can’t get anything right because they don’t know how or what prayers to say. So churches are seeing that this isn’t working any longer so let’s change it up a bit…
The last 10 years it’s been about offending people so churches and spiritual leaders have been worried about losing people due to offending them… For instance God clearly says just in the 10 Commandments that lying, stealing, coveting (wanting what someone else has… and this includes spouses or girlfriends/boyfriends) is just as bad as adultery, worshiping idols (includes money, sex, a PhD and any addiction that is placed higher than God), and not loving your neighbor (this reference is to anyone whom is near to you in any way not just your house). Jesus said that the greatest of all commandments is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and he goes on to say that as important as the first is to love your neighbor(others) the same as you love yourself. Matthew 22:36-40 When we love fiercely, we see people are worth much more whether they are in sin or not so we want to protect them.
The problem today is that now many of us are afraid to tell people that even though God fiercely loves them for who they are that we think that this will save them but ultimately this leads people to believe that even though they are still in sin that they do not need to change or repent since God loves them already. We have forgotten to include the part that God loves them so much that He gave a way out of sin but the only way is to repent (ask for forgiveness), confess and turn away from the things that cause you to sin.
You see if we only preach about parts of the Truth we will only see parts of freedom. We need to preach about how God loves you right where you at so you will come to Him then preach about how He made a way to be truly happy through Jesus and can have real freedom from sin so we don’t return and when we do He is there to help us through it. We can’t be afraid of letting someone know that their behavior is causing/will cause them harm or will not fill the void that they will always have that was only made for Jesus because of the separation from God while in sin.
Yes God loves us just the way we are and right where we are at but to me that makes me want to be a better person and not stay in the low place and make excuses to live in sin just because He loves me. I want to be a better me because He loves me. Sin is a terrible place to be because it slowly tears us down little by little until we don’t even recognize ourselves anymore.
Tell the world that God loves them but also tell them their sin will not make them happy for long and in the end it loses its flare and that the real risk is trusting in the Lord but you get so much more!
He doesn’t promise a perfect life but He promises a full and abundant life that is complete!
How about you? We would love to hear your comments!
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