(James 1:14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
You cannot be tempted by something your heart does not want. God said he would answer you according to the idols of your heart. That is how you will believe the lie. But, if your heart only wants the truth even though it means death to your life and everything you thought you knew, only then will you be protected from the lie. Any thing short of that will cause us to come short of the calling and not be among the few that will be chosen of God.
Is that scary? You’re darn right that is scary! If we have not taken up our cross, dying to our own want and desires, if we are not working out our own salvation with fear and trembling we are on very shaky ground. (Philippians 2:12b)
If you have subscribed to the “I’m ok, you’re ok” doctrine of Grace without addressing sin in any way because it might offend someone, you have subscribed to the anti-christ doctrine.
I watched Wolf Blitzer interview Joel Osteen on CNN, here are a couple of questions:
Wolf Blitzer: All right. What about many evangelicals would call the moral issues whether abortion or gay rights? Do you get involved in trying to express your opinions on those sensitive issues?
Joel Osteen: You know, I would say this, Wolf, I don't crusade against them or crusade to make my opinion known. Again, I feel like my calling is to bring hope and encouragement and teach people how to live their everyday lives. But I'm not for abortion and I don't think homosexuality is God's best but I just try to stay in my calling and the main thing is we're for everybody to bring them hope and encouragement and not to exclude a certain group from our following.
Wolf Blitzer: And what about same-sex marriage or same-sex unions. If two men love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives with each other or two women love each other, should they get the benefits, the rights that heterosexual couples have?
Joel Osteen: You know, Wolf, I'm not up to speed on all that. I just - I don't believe again that it's God's best for us to say that a marriage is between a man, I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I don't know about all the technical issues. I'm certainly for everybody having a chance in life and being kind and respectful to everyone. But I just don't know if I'm up to speed on it all. (CNN, The Situation Room, November 9, 2007)
Not God’s best? Not up to speed? What in the world are you talking about Joel? Was Jesus not clear about sin? Were not Paul, Peter and John clear about sin? Did God the father think sin was bad enough to have his only son Jesus die a horrible death because of sin? Do you think God would now say it was ok, maybe not his best…..but, let’s not focus on it now?
To me it should be clear Joel is trying to hide something. He does not want to say that it is an abomination unto God. (Lev 18:22 & Romans 1:27,28) He does not want to offend anyone. He does not want it to keep them from coming to his church or buying his books. It is clear he is ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of salvation. Without the knowledge of sin, there is no repentance (turning away from) sin. And without repentance there is no salvation. So we have to preach the truth. That is what Jesus preached, (Matthew 4:17) That is what John the Baptist preached, (Mark 1:4). That is what all the apostles preached. Read what Paul and Barnabas preached in Acts 14:15 when they tried to worship them.
I understand, it is hard to speak the truth when you know it will offend people. I too have struggled with that. If we just go with the flow, don’t rock the boat, people will like us, maybe they will listen to us. But that sounds like the easy path, the wide path that Jesus warned us about. The end of it is destruction, not salvation.
Churches would rather give people a new car than give them the truth. Pay people to come to church seems to be the popular way now. Free give away programs with large advertising budgets. I even heard one try to justify it by using the story of Zacchaeus found Luke chapter 19. Not sure how they made the connection, since Jesus didn’t offer him anything to come hear him. It was Zacchaeus that was looking for Jesus; he was already rich and didn’t ask Jesus for anything. In fact it was Zacchaeus that offered to give back to those whom he may have cheated. But somehow, people will believe this false gospel. But it is a gospel born of the flesh and it will burn up when the fire hits it. Because these people cannot stand the truth, they will turn away when it gets tough. They will turn away because they were never called of God, but were called of men. They were brought in by merchandising programs, selling Jesus. But Jesus will not be sold.
From Joel Osteen’s “preach no sin” gospel to Church “give away programs”, to John Hagee “denying Jesus came as the messiah” and all the ministries being investigated for corruption, all these speak of God exposing the truth to those with ears to hear and eyes to see.
To be sure there are some of the remnant of God that will see the exposing going on today and “come out from among them”. Make God’s word the authority on everything we believe. See if it lines up the with the “sum” of God’s word, our very lives depend on it!