Saturday, April 17, 2010

Receiving God’s Word with Humility in These Last Days
Kato Mivule |November 2, 2009

Recently I listened to a Pastor in a local conservative Evangelical Church in the USA and was greatly disturbed by his handling of God's Truth. The Pastor was answering questions being asked by the believers in the church. However, the Pastor was avoiding giving answers that would offend some people with “weaknesses” in the Church.

At the end of the day, the believers got a watered down version of Biblical answers simply because the Pastor did not want to offend the parishioners who were still struggling with some issues.

On another occasion, one Ugandan Pastor told me that it was useless to dwell so much on what the bible says since we all have “weaknesses”. In other words the so-called discernment ministry we were engaging in was fruitless since “no one is perfect”.

Both the Ugandan Pastor and the American Pastor engage in what I call interpreting God’s Word from a weakness, inclusiveness, and actually conceding position. In other words, if there are folks struggling with some type of sin in the Church, then the Word of God should be interpreted to make those struggling with sin comfortable and not offended.

The point of such “interpretation” and “preaching” of God’s word is to make the church feel “friendly to sinners”, yet it is this ‘seeker friendly’ approach to preaching God’s word that is leading to Luke warmness in Christian Churches today. What is considered an offensive or cutting edge is taken away from sermons and what you have is a dead sermon and a dying church.

However, it is the Word of God, unadulterated, uncompromised, that is able to save our souls; and it is this unadulterated Word of God that we are told to desire and receive with humility and meekness so that our souls will be saved…

James 1:21-25
(21) Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
(22) But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
(23) For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
(24) For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
(25) But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

There is a great lie out there that equates Love of Jesus Christ with watering down Truth and preaching an accommodative gospel… Many Western Preachers are preaching a Gospel that separates Jesus Christ and His Love from His Word.

We do not respond to God’s Word because we are already perfected but rather we come to God’s Word and are perfected as we receive His Truth with all humility and meekness to the saving of our souls… James makes a very important point about God’s Word saving our souls. When we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives, the process of sanctification begins and goes on until the day we leave this world or until Jesus Christ comes back.

Therefore, our approach to God’s word should be one of humility and in prayer that The Lord will grant us Grace to live according to His Word uncompromised in this adulterous generation as Jesus Christ aptly described it.

So, there is absolutely no need to preach and teach God’s Word is such a way as to dilute the message and edit out the “offensive” edges so as to accommodate our own weaknesses. If we do so then that is the greater sin, because we then restrain that which would bring growth and healing to our souls.

This particular Pastor in this conservative Evangelical church in the USA that I listened to was asked if it was OK to divorce as a Christian and remarry again for any reason. Rather than teach what the New Testament scriptures teach, this Pastor resorted to preaching a gospel of “love” for those who had been victims of divorce.

Yes, we are to preach love but love based on Truth and Truth in God’s Word. God’s Love does not at any time contradict His Word. Those who claim to preach love but yet contradict God’s Word, are preaching another gospel. Yes, for example, The Lord does forgive and gives a second chance to those who have fallen to divorce but this does not negate New Testament Teachings on Divorce. As a matter of fact and truth, it is The Word of God that will save and protect marriages.

My point is that we should not interpret God’s Word based on our personal weaknesses so as to justify our weaknesses and sins. Rather we should receive the Word of God with all humility and meekness. There is a very good reason why James decided to use the term meekness… This is because there are times when it will seem as though the word of God is harsh and tough on us but if we receive it in humility and meekness, and become doers of the Word, then The Lord will grant us grace to outgrow our weaknesses and overcome sin in our lives.

1 Peter 2:1-3
(1) Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
(2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
(3) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

The scriptures command us to lay aside all malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speaking as these things will hinder our receptiveness to the Word of God. If we approach the Word of God with pride and arrogance, then we are still in rebellion. However, we are commanded to desire the sincere milk of the Word as newborn babes that we may grow.

It is sad that many Pastors and Preachers are preaching a Seeker Friendly Gospel so as not to offend their parishioners and look like they are “loving” but yet the truth is that they are stagnating the spiritual life of Christians.

Paul the Apostle sums it up all well in his message to Timothy…that Timothy should preach the word, in season and out of season, for a time will come when they will not give heed to sound doctrine but will gather to themselves false teachers and pastors who teach things that they love to hear.

2 Timothy 4:1-4
(1) I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
(2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
(3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
(4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Dear Pastor preach the Word, in season and out of season, rebuke, exhort, reprove, with all longsuffering and they say 'bitter herbs heal'... It is the word of God that brings healing, restoration, and true renewal. We do not approach God’s Word and receive His word because we are already perfected but rather that we should be perfected, daily, until the day we meet Him face to face…Amen.


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