There’s nothing wrong with preaching the grace of God! In fact, it is what we are commanded to do. But do we really understand God’s grace without a true and complete understanding of our condition before God? God’s way of showing us our condition is through looking into the mirror of God’s Law (ie. the 10 Commandments) which magnifies God’s grace by showing us what deep wretchedness He has really saved us from. If, however, we presume upon God’s grace (giving us what we don’t deserve) and mercy (not giving us what we do deserve) and think that His love is “unconditional” without carefully understanding His requirements, we risk being deluded and hearing the terrible phrase “I never knew you… Away from Me, you evildoers.” The soil of the human heart needs to be prepared by expounding the Law and the curse; the soul must be told about the condition of absolute surrender, and we must experience godly sorrow leading to repentance and salvation before we can know His grace and mercy.
The gospel message is not ours to modify and soften; it is God’s message and we must be faithful witnesses. A half truth is not the truth — it is perjury in man’s court and it is no different in God’s. Worse than complete untruths, those who hear a half truth conveyed as though it was the whole truth become convinced that God loves them and will accept them no matter what they do. It’s as if they were heading towards the cliff of God’s justice, about to fall off to their peril, and instead of warning them to change their ways, we plug earphones into their ears and lull them into complacency and eternal damnation with the pacifier of beautiful praise music!
YES — God’s grace and mercy are not something that can be purchased by ANY work or deed of man, but if there is no repentance and a giving up this life for the blessing of eternal life, then there can be no heaven and what’s left is eternal torment in Hell (we get what we deserve). Grace is not made effective to the willfully disobedient. Communicating anything otherwise is misleading and dishonors God.
Watch your life and doctrine closely.
Persevere in them, because if you do,
you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 Timothy 4:16, NIV
The truth is that those who claim to love God and be a friend of God but do not obey His commandments are liars and the truth is not in them (see 1 John 2:4). If we say that we abide in God and He in us, then we ought to walk in the same manner as Jesus did (see 1 John 2:6). This is not something that one can replicate by striving in the flesh; it must be through a synergistic work of God with the fully submitted will of man.
The following is very thought provoking excerpt from a book entitled “What Would Jesus Do?” by Ray Comfort. It is an email message to Ray from a minister in the First Church of God in Waco, TX. Please listen carefully to his message. (more…)