Monday, March 5, 2012
The Shotgun Wedding Supper of the Lamb!
First of all, I hope you recognize the sarcasm in the title for what it is. I in no way believe that scaring people into heaven by scaring the hell out of them is even remotely related to anything Jesus Christ told us to do!
Far too many times I have seen preachers and evangelists of all denominations using scare tactics to get people to the altar. Just turn on your television on Sunday morning and I bet you hear some of it.
I think we all know the kind of preaching that I'm talking about. The kind of preaching that can be boiled down to one phrase, and that phrase is this, 'If you don't come down to this alter tonight and get yourself saved then you'll go to hell and burn forever! Don't put it off any longer!!'
I challenge any one of you reading this message to show me IN THE BIBLE where Jesus said to do this! It ain't there.
Before we go any further, you need to understand that fear is a tool of Satan. It is my opinion that any preacher that is using fear in his sermons is being GREATLY used by Satan. You see, in order to be saved we must repent. Repentance requires sincerity, and being sincerely scared doesn't automatically mean that you are sincerely repentant. This is one of Satan's grandest schemes. He has lured you into a false sense of security about your salvation because you scared and manipulated into making a snap decision. This is what I refer to as 'the shotgun wedding supper of the Lamb!' people are being scared into making a commitment to someone that they really don't love! It never lasts! You must fall in love before you can make a commitment, not after. Even a relationship with Jesus needs time to grow.
Jesus told us what to do. He told us to go out and preach the GOSPEL. What does that mean, you ask. Well, let's look at what Wikipedia calls gospel:
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. According to the bible, the "Gospel", is also defined as the "Word" that comes from God. The First Epistle of Peter 1:25, references Isaiah 40:8. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:but the Word of our God shall stand forever. 1 Peter 1:25...the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Isaiah 39:8...Good is the word... Isaiah 40:5 ...for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Therefore, out of the mouth of God, is the good news, glad tidings, or what is also known as, the gospel. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. However, the term is also used to refer to the apocryphal gospels, the non-canonical gospels, the Jewish gospels and the gnostic gospels.
So what is the 'Good News'? That God Almighty aka Jesus Christ, loves you without end! That we can have eternal life with the creator of all the universe, and it's REAL easy! Believe that He was who He said He was, and that he defeated death, hell, and the grave.
See Matthew 24:14. After Jesus rose from the dead, he commanded his disciples to share the Gospel. He said, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creatures." See Mark 16:15. He did not say "go forth and scare the hell out of people until they repent!"
Where there is faith, fear cannot exist. Likewise where fear dwells, faith cannot be found. If someone is using even the most subtle fear tactics such as, 'you're gonna miss heaven if you ______!' , I would be very wary of all of their teachings. Fear only comes from one place!
Please, if you are going to share the gospel with the world, just share the gospel. Do not share fear! Do not give Satan the glory.
I realize that my message may not be popular, and you may think that I am totally wrong. That is ok. I have only shared what has been on my heart for some time. I welcome any comments or private messages at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading!