I want to go out on a limb, with this one.
Have you ever bought something you expected to work a certain way only to find out it didn’t seem to work that way at all?
Perhaps, you have bought a certain electronic device and try as you will, it does not perform as promised. So you might think, “I should just send this thing back or throw it away!” Only to have your child or grandchild come to you, take the device, push a button here or there and PRESTO! Just as promised. You discover it wasn’t the “thing”, it was you!!
It can be the same way in our relationship with God and His Word. When I hear and see some of the “things” people do and say in relation to God and His Word, it is no wonder that Christianity does not perform like it is Written.
Additionally, much of what is being preached today, and is passed off as The Gospel of Jesus Christ is, well, FAKE NEWS!”
#1. We are being told to “Pray a little prayer and ask Jesus into our heart and we will be saved”. FAKE NEWS!
The audacity to think that we, a puny, finite creation, made of dust, would assume we are worthy of or could even begin to tell The One and only True God, Creator of all things, what to do?!
The Bible says that if you want a relationship with GOD, then you must
- You come humbly to God
- ask for mercy
- repent of your ways,
- die to your old self,
- forsake who you are and all you know,
- confess your sins,
- cry out for mercy
- confess Jesus as your only hope, and as your Lord and Savior,
- commit to follow Him and His ways
Romans 10:9 says, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
v10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
v11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
#2. We are being told we should “Claim the promises of God”. FAKE NEWS!
God’s promises exist and permanent whether you claim them or not. Claiming them does not validate God’s promise in your life. The Bible uses the word promise, promises or promised 139 times. And not once does it tell you to claim what is already yours.
In fact, claiming what is already yours sounds extremely childish and one who teaches ‘claiming God’s promises’ is immature in their thinking.
Imagine an adult friend standing in his or her driveway, loudly proclaiming, “In the name of God I claim this car! Thank you God for the car which is coming. I receive your car!”
You want to shout at this person, “Hey, it’s already your car! It-is-already-yours. Just drive it! And, will you please, stop claiming God is going to give you something you already have? You look and sound ridiculous.”
We should, instead, appropriate what God has already given us for His Glory and for our own use. (Appropriate defined: “Take (something) for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission”.)
#3. We are being told that God answers prayer by saying, “Yes, No or Wait”. FAKE NEWS!
This is found NOWHERE in the Bible. The Bible says that God either hears your prayers and answers your prayers or He does not hear you and cannot answer what He does not hear.
Matthew 7:7 ¶ “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Psalms 66:18 If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;
#4. We are told that God wants everyone to always prosper and to always be in good health. FAKE NEWS!
This idea probably comes from the Apostle John’s greeting to Gaius in 3rd John 1:2, where he says, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”
The Bible says you can prosper and God gives us instructions and ways to help us prosper, both in our soul and in our natural body.
For example, the Bible say you will be healthier if you eat right, happier think right and more prosperous if you do right.
But what God wants is for humankind to come to Him, to love Him and to love one another. God wants us to obey Him, to follow Him and to spread The Good News about His Son, Jesus.
Listening to God and obeying Him may assist us in living a more prosperous and peaceful life. But, oftentimes in our service to God, we will suffer and experience poor health.
Avoidance of trouble is not God’s goal for us. Serving Him faithfully, obediently and Eternal life are.
#5. We are taught that prayer changes things or “moves the Hand of God”. FAKE NEWS!
The Bible gives us examples where prayer brings results. But, too often we are taught to pray to get God to do things on our behalf or to give us things.
In other words, we use prayer as a way to get God to serve us. HOW LUDICROUS!
We are told to be like Jesus and Jesus said, “I did not come to be served but to serve”. This is our calling, also.
Jesus also reminds us that even He could only do what He saw the Father doing ahead of time, and He only said what the Father had already said. (John 5). We should be mindful and pray “according to His Will” which is revealed in His Word.
Rather than “twisting God’s Arm” our prayers should be “How may I serve You this day”, shouldn’t they?
To echo an Oswald Chambers quote,
“We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself. To say that prayer changes things is not as close to the truth as saying, Prayer changes me and then I change things.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Good News. But, it is His Gospel, not ours.
Listen to what Pastor John MacArthur, said, “No temporal, political, social enterprise is a component of the Saving Gospel.
“You can go to the New Testament and you will never find anything except ‘Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Lord, believing in His death and resurrection, confessing your sins, repenting – THAT’S THE GOSPEL. Nothing can be added to that.”
And, hear what Pastor Alistair Begg said, “Our mandate in the world is not political, it’s not social, and it’s not economic. The calling of the church is to proclaim the gospel.
“Our responsibility is not to disrupt that environment, but it is instead to show the difference that the gospel makes.“
If you and I want see the Presence of God in our daily lives, if we want to see our prayers powerfully answered and if we must know and do God’s Word in order to experience God‘s Word, just as it is promised!
Let’s pray for one another and encourage one another to know God better each day so we may walk in the Works which He prepared for us, ahead of time.
Your Brother and Friend,