Monday, December 16, 2013

The preaching of salvation?

Someone was preaching for me on Sunday so I visited a different church. The church was Evangelical and the pastor gave a salvation message talking of Jesus' love and urging people to believe in Jesus so they could have forgiveness of sins and go to heaven.

Unfortunately, in the entire sermon there was not a single word about repentance. In fact, listeners were assured that Jesus doesn't judge them. I am quite convinced that someone could have been in the audience who regularly and unrepentantly gets drunk, beats his wife, and steals from his employer--who could leave convinced that he is going to heaven because he believed in Jesus. This in spite of the fact that James 2 says that even the demons believe...and tremble.

When Paul talks about being saved by grace through faith apart from works, he makes it abundantly clear from the context of his letters that those who deliberately and unrepentantly continue to live lifestyles characterized by lawlessness and rebellion are not saved (he does this is Galatians, First Corinthians, Romans and Ephesians, just to name those letters that come immediately to mind). When a pastor gets up and tells people all they need for salvation is to believe in Jesus--but does not explain the biblical concept of belief/faith, he is in many cases comforting them on their way to hell!

I am convinced that this kind of false preaching is why there are so many people who are quite convinced they are Christians even though they haven't got the slightest desire to follow Jesus!


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