I’m all about grace. I’m aware of the daily grace I receive from my Father. And I’m certainly in favor of demonstrating immeasurable grace towards struggling brothers and sisters. Our family always shares about God’s grace when we minister, whether in churches or in prisons.
But…let me suggest to you that the church of today may need to stop focusing on God’s grace. And realign with scripture.
Please hear me out. Many in our churches are content to remain stuck in their sins because of the abuse of grace. Yes, the grace message can be misleading and deceptive. And we need to simply stop it!
If we think it’s time to get America back to God, it needs to start with us. The church. God’s body. Me and you. We’ve been brainwashed long enough. It’s time to come back to what God’s word says.
I recently heard a wonderful message regarding being in fellowship with God. And I believe it was accurately describing the true heart of God.
Let’s begin by looking at what God has determined to be the punishment for sin. Rom. 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…” This verse isn’t only talking about physical death, but a spiritual death or eternal separation from God. If our physical death was adequate punishment for sin, Jesus wouldn’t have been needed. The punishment for sin is always separation from the presence of God. This is what happened in the Garden when God told Adam that he would die if he ate of the forbidden tree. Adam didn’t die a physical death, but, for the first time, experienced broken fellowship with God.
The price for sin was paid at the cross, but too many times, this is where we stop. We thank God for this incredible finished work of Christ. God’s indescribable love and grace. But we must see and proclaim God’s whole truth, because the Christian walk is much more than this. Salvation should be just the beginning.
My friend, sin separates us from the presence of God. Every time. When Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world He cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46) It wasn’t because God no longer loved Jesus or chose to reject Him. It was because of sin. Sin always separates us from God.
Isaiah 59:2 declares,“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” This is serious stuff! And the enemy knows it. He doesn’t want us to see the seriousness of sin.
Often times we take sin lightly because we don’t realize we are choosing to separate ourselves from God each time we sin. I believe Jesus knew this separation would take place and that is why He asked God to “remove this cup” from Him.
What would our lives and our daily choices look like if our hearts were deeply grieved by one minute of being separated from the presence of God? Do we truly love God more than the pleasure of our sins? Would we continue repeating the same sins year after year if we truly loved fellowship with God? Do we love God so deeply that we don’t want our fellowship with Him to be broken for even a few minutes? Remember, your life demonstrates what you truly believe.
I’m going to go against popular opinion and assure you that God doesn’t accept you “just as you are.” Yes, I actually said that! In order to be accepted by God, we must be broken, surrendered, and willing to repent from sin. God does not accept the proud…but gives grace to the humble. And you are not in fellowship with God if you have unconfessed sin in your life. And your prayers are falling flat on the ground if you’re not a righteous person who hates sin and focuses on walking in “the light.” (1 John 1:7)
Does this mean every time we sin, we are no longer saved? No. But sin does always separate us from the presence of God. In some way. And only God knows at what point we choose to allow our sin to eternally separate us from God. The following four points are taken from an article by Zac Poonan:
1. (John 10:27-29) “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
When considering the promise in these verses, we must remember that there are some conditions mentioned here for the promise to be fulfilled. Most Christians do not look at the conditions! Thus they believe a false teaching. The promise of eternal security is given here ONLY to those who follow Jesus until the end. You cannot encash a cheque if it is not in your name; and you cannot claim a promise if you do not fulfil the conditions. If you are following Jesus, you certainly have eternal security. But if you are not following Him, then you are deceiving yourself if you believe that you are eternally secure. No-one can pluck you from Jesus’ hand if you follow Him. But you can choose to jump out of His hand yourself at any time “ because God will never take away your free will.
2. (Matt. 24:11-13) “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Jesus Himself says here that to be saved, one must endure until the end. We must take these words of Jesus exactly as He spoke them, if we are to know the truth.
3. (Matt. 6:14-15) “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
Jesus was very accurate with His words. The fact that He used heavenly Father here, indicates that He was talking to God’s children and not to unbelievers. In fact, the whole sermon on the mount (of which these verses are a part) was meant for God’s children. Here Jesus tells God’s children that they will not be forgiven if they do not forgive others.What will happen to this saved person, if he dies in that state “ unforgiven by God, because he did not forgive others. Can he enter into God’s presence with unforgiven sin? Can he receive forgiveness of sins after he has died?? There is NO forgiveness of sins beyond the grave. So he will be eternally lost…
4. (Rom. 8:12-13) “Brethren……if you are living according to the flesh, you WILL die.”.
This warning is for brethren believers. The Holy Spirit tells believers here (in no uncertain terms) that they will CERTAINLY die spiritually, if they live according to the flesh even if they were once made alive. Yet many preachers tell believers that they will NEVER die spiritually.
God warned Adam in Genesis 2:17, that if he disobeyed God, he would surely die” (just as it is written in Romans 8:13). But Satan said, “You surely will not die” (Gen.3:4) “ just like many preachers are telling believers today.
Who was right in Eden “ God or Satan?
Who do you think is right today “ God or these false teachers?
Just as with Adam in the garden, when we sin, God graciously continues to draw us to Himself. But His grace never overlooks sin. And He doesn’t continue to seek that fellowship with us when we develop sinful patterns and choose to separate ourselves from Him. God is a gentleman. He patiently waits and woos, but never forces.
The more I get to know who God is and study His word, the more I’m convinced of my own un-doneness. My sinful nature that separates me from God’s presence. I can identify with Isaiah when he said“…Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Is. 6:5)
Let me ask you…when you have an argument with your spouse, do you feel God’s presence? When you view pornography, does God seem close to you? After you speak harshly to a family member, does Jesus presence surround you? If you feel stuck in your relationship with God, or you feel your prayers are falling flat on the floor, ponder the question, “Do I have a clear conscience before God?” Because sin in our lives cuts off our connection with Him. When we do our part in repenting and making things right, we again experience that sweet fellowship with Jesus.
1 John 2:1-6 says, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
If the church would begin teaching on how to stay in the presence of God rather than only focusing on the grace of God, life and light would return to our churches. Our homes. And to our country. Oh, how this is needed today!
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:22-23)
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)
Pastor Tim HardenPosted at 10:00h, 19 August
Cindy, this is very sound, well reasoned doctrine and it is well written too! You have expressed my heart, which is resonating more and more with a call back to God and to his standards for the Christian life. Grace and truth or judgment are in perfect balance in the bible but we have put our thumb on the scale in favour of grace because we want “wiggle room,” about the choices we make – choices which often pander to the flesh and the ways of this world. Thanks for sharing your blog. Jackie and I are really looking forward to some time with you and Duane on the cruise in February.
Rudy yutzyPosted at 21:29h, 20 August
Very well written article, although I find myself falling short many times, I’m in agreement with this article!!
CindyPosted at 14:07h, 05 October
Praise the Lord! Thank you for those encouraging words. I agree, Grace and truth really are perfectly balanced in God’s word. It’s alarming to see how God’s truth and judgement is subtly being removed within the “body of Christ” under the guise of “grace.” I pray that God will continue to show me His heart as I seek to shine His light. Our family is VERY excited to have you and Jackie join us on the cruise! We look forward to connecting with you then. Blessings, Cindy
CindyPosted at 14:24h, 05 October
Thank you, Rudy. Give God the glory. And I can certainly identify with the part of “falling short.” May God help each of us to accurately portray His heart to this hurting, broken world.