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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Terror of the Lord, continued
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19,20)
In other places we have mentioned that the Great Commission has been changed from making disciples into building churches. If we truly believe that the Christian salvation is a ticket to Heaven, that godly behavior is not the purpose of redemption, and that our goal is to build a large and "successful" church, then we are not going to emphasize the need for repentance.
We do not preach repentance today because we do not believe a change of behavior is absolutely necessary—or even possible, in some instances! Also, the preaching of repentance will drive today's "believers" away from the church (we suppose), thus frustrating those who view the adding of numbers of people as the evidence of "success in the ministry."
Back in the minds of many Evangelicals is the concept of "faith alone": that is, even though I do not make the supreme effort necessary to turn away from the world and follow the Lord I will find peace and joy when I die. This is a false, unscriptural hope.
"The just shall live by faith" has been changed from a description of the manner in which the righteous live to a formula by which people can ignore the need for righteous behavior in favor of a "statement of faith."
We hear Christians saying, "As long as we are in this world we will sin. No one is perfect. We ought to try to be good but it is impossible to overcome sin."
The idea that sin cannot be overcome in this world is compatible with the concept that the blood of Jesus is a ticket that brings us to Paradise whether or not we live a godly life, and with the doctrine of the "pretribulation rapture" of the believers.
The reason Christians do not attempt to overcome sin is that they believe it is neither necessary nor possible to do so. What fighter would enter the ring if he knew he could not win? What runner would strain the last nerve if he understood that no matter how hard he strove victory was impossible? Thus Christian believers, attempting to survive in a demon-saturated environment, do not make the effort necessary to overcome sin.
There are at least three passages that one could employ to prove that sin cannot be overcome while we are in the world:
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10)
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (Romans 7:15)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (I John 1:8)
The Scriptures are written in such a manner that if someone wishes to disobey God he can defend his actions with Scripture. God deals with the rebels by sending a strong delusion upon them.
To be continued.