Thursday, August 29, 2013

Growing in Christ Part 21

2 Peter 1:9, “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

Nowadays it is a popular thing to assume that there are no consequences to anything we do. Because the notion of consequence has so been diminished, people do very foolish, very permanent things to themselves regretting their choices later in life, perhaps belatedly realizing that tattooing your favorite football team’s name on your forehead in large block letters wasn’t the best career booster, but being unable to do anything about it.

Some believers have the same attitude when it comes to Peter’s admonition and encouragement to possess the godly virtues readily available to us. They see these virtues as options a Christian can either seek and desire after, or ignore completely without any adverse consequence or repercussion.

It is the Word of God that dispels the notion of zero consequence if we do not possess these virtues, and it does so quite clearly. When we lack knowledge, virtue, perseverance, self-control as well as the other things Peter listed, we are shortsighted in regards to our spiritual wellbeing, and we are told even to blindness.

A shortsighted person only sees what is directly in front of their face, while a blind person sees absolutely nothing. A blind individual can feel their way around, they can touch and discern certain shapes, but they can never know the true aspect of a thing because they lack the ability to see.

What is most astounding about those who are spiritually shortsighted or outright blind is the vehemence with which they defend their position even though their position is contrary to Scripture. There is no soul so unreachable as one who believes they already know it all, and have nothing further to learn. They shut themselves off from counsel, they shut themselves off from the urging of the Holy Spirit, and they shut themselves off from the truth of God’s Word, all because in their mind they’ve determined the absolute rightness of their path.

Because it is so easy for us to become certain about some doctrine or some opinion of man, the Word of God is ever insistent on the point that it and nothing else must be the plumb line by which we choose to receive or reject certain teachings.

Even though it may sound good to the flesh, even though it may make us feel good about ourselves, if what is being said does not line up with the Word of truth, if it does not line up with the Scriptures, then we are believing a lie. Yes, lies can make us feel good about ourselves; they can elevate our mood and cause us to see ourselves in a different light.

Those who know me know I tend to tip the scales on the huskier side of life. As such, although I hadn’t lost any weight, each time someone would ask me ‘have you lost some weight?’ it made me feel good about myself even though in my heart I knew nothing had changed.

It is much the same with false doctrine. It makes us feel good about ourselves even though we know that in our hearts nothing has changed. We fool ourselves and deceive ourselves and follow after men who feed us poison all because we like the way they make us feel about ourselves.

When a man becomes shortsighted then blind, he begins to forget that he was purged from his old sins. Herein lies the dilemma, because nowadays few if any continue to teach that we must be purged from our old sins, that we must lay aside the wickedness we so reveled in, that we must part ways with the vices which had ensnared us, and be renewed in mind and heart, made into an image of Christ Jesus our Lord, Savior, and King.

How can one know the necessity of the virtues Peter insists we must possess, if they have, as yet, not been purged of their old sins?

How can one find the light when they are being told they can remain in the darkness yet still be partakers of the divine nature?

It is because we’ve stopped preaching truth that the lie has grown to such heights. It is because we thought ourselves wiser than God, and set upon attempting to transform His Word to better suit our evil hearts that we are now seeing an entire generation ignorant of what true repentance is, how necessary it is, and why every believer truly born again must experience this life transforming truth.

The blind are being led indeed, but wholly unaware that the one doing the leading is as blind as they are. This, by far, is the greatest tragedy visited upon the church in our generation, and since the bliss of ignorance is a narcotic for the conscience more and more flock to a Gospelless Gospel than ever before.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Barbara said...

Most people follow a sinner's gospel. They don't feel they have to strive for righteousness because they believe they are loved as they are. They were lured into church on that assumption, so that is what they stick with.

If you try to tell people how to act properly, instead of respecting you, they call you judgmental and hateful. You end up on the witness stand trying to defend yourself instead of helping someone to perfect their walk.

It is a love gospel that is just taken to every extreme The gospel is about far more than love, it is about perfecting a walk with the world working against you. It is about contending in a battle that few have the talent to ever win.

Someone who is able to reach the finish line will be able to take some knocks of criticism so that they can straighten their path. If you can't get off your high horse to listen to reason, you are just on the easy path to hell.

Most Christians start out with very serious errors in their doctrinal beliefs. It is those who are willing to humble themselves and learn, who are going to have the strength to make it to the end. Those who are so sensitive that any correction sends them into fury and attack mode, will not have the patience and the humility to stay on track.

A Sister From Washington said...

I just received an e-mail from my evangelical, pentecostal church inviting me to participate in a two day conference in which I can take "Life Coach Leadership Training"! According to the advertisement I only have to pay $45 for something which normally costs $499 to attend. As I read further through the materials I see that this fabulous speaker is going to "Help Me Win!!!" Isn't that so totally awesome. Apparently this gentelman is going to teach me how to "activate my leadership potential" and access the "hidden power of influence to inspire and activate those around you." I feel sick to my stomach. This church is the same church which has created a quarterly system for our small groups and announced that anyone that gets together to study the Bible during the official 3 weeks break between quarters is acting in disobedience to the pastors. The pastor in charge of the small groups has stated several times to the small group leaders that we must be careful not to "teach too much." They have also announced that all the small groups must set aside their own studies (we were studying an OT prophet) to study the book "Not a Fan" by Idleman because that's the book the senior pastor will be preaching on in the fall. If you are not familiar with this book (I wasn't) apparently it is a Christian bestseller, written by a mega-pastor with tens of thousands of followers, that you can buy "Not a Fan" t-shirts and coffee mugs, and that it is supposed to teach you to become a committed follower of Christ instead of just a "fan of Christ." As I researched this author, I got the feeling it is going to be like reading a book on how to be sexual pure written by Samson. At best, it will be juvenile, cotton-candy pap filled with pop culture references, nothing like the wonderful meat and potatoes of studying the OT. I love my church, but I have a sinking feeling I am watching it slide into the abyss, with the pastors at the helm, completely undiscerning of where they are leading us.

Anonymous said...

Well put, brother Michael, so much so that I was groaning silently deep in my soul at the poignant truth of your words. "Repentance"! What a beautiful word and how sorely neglected even by "pastors". As always, I greatly appreciate your courageous, Bible-based directness.


A Sister from Washington said...

I visited a different church yesterday, just to see what was out there. Another evangelical, pentecostal church, bordering on being a mega-church. The pastor and his wife preached on how our "little stories" can be made part of God's "big story" and recapped Bible stories to show how famous Bible characters' little stories fit. At the end of the service, he did a version of an altar call where he invited people to invite Jesus to let them become part of God's "big story." No talk about repentance. No sin. No blood of Christ. A little about "brokenness." Just some feel good Bible references, no real depth. The place was packed -- and over 50% of them came 10 minutes late to service and people started wandering out before he finished speaking and closing down the service. I almost felt sorry for the pastor. A packed church where people so little respect him that can't be bothered to come on time and people have no problems leaving early. But he wasn't preaching the real true, hard core Gospel. Just this feel good imitation with just enough Bible to fool the undiscerning. I wonder what would happen if he woke up and started preaching repentance. What a shocker that would be!