3 Comments

Dangerous pragmatism.

I just read a great article on why a transformed life is not proof of salvation that I highly recommend to all DefCon readers. It is well thought-out, well-written, and can be found here at Better Than Sacrifice.

Here’s an excerpt:

The seed which fell upon stony ground appeared to burst into life – it ‘immediately sprang up’. Why? ‘Because there was no depth’. Far from the immediate flourishing of growth being an indicator of eventual fruit, that growth was caused by the seed falling upon unprepared ground. This is sobering; the implication is that a quick conversion – an abundance of early growth – might very well prove to be ill-grounded. . . .  The seed which fell on stony ground is likened to one who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy. Yet there is no depth there, no true understanding of what has been declared.

If this is sometimes the case with those who hear the true Word of the Kingdom, properly proclaimed, how plainly this exposes the dangers of our modern watered-down presentations of man’s sinful state. Rather than risk offending people by telling them of the wrath of a holy and just God toward sinners, we instead talk of having ‘made mistakes’ and ‘messed up our lives’. Instead of warning of the coming judgement, we tell people that God loves them, omitting any mention of His holiness and justice. Rather than call sinners to repent, we entice them with the offer of a better, more abundant life.

And thus we emasculate the Gospel, robbing it of its majesty and power. For if God is not angry with sinners, the punishment of His Son in their place on the cross can make no sense. Truly, it is this kind of diluted evangelism that results in false converts, lacking depth and with no understanding of the amazing grace that has been poured out upon sinners through the cross of Jesus Christ.

The Church’s task is not to make the Gospel palatable to unbelievers. It is to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Christ so clearly that the offence of the Gospel – Christ crucified in our place, the just suffering for the unjust – is plain to everyone who hears.

Our message should be such that it is impossible for anyone to accept, except the Holy Spirit be at work supernaturally in people’s lives. The Church is charged with preaching the Law in all its severity to frighten comfortable sinners, and then to comfort frightened sinners with the Gospel.

HT: CrossTalkBlog

3 comments on “Dangerous pragmatism.

  1. Good stuff Pilgrim. That’s why it is essential that we not fail in giving the whole counsel of God, tampering with the Gospel leads to false converts who fade away in time. There absolutely MUST be a supernatural work of God in the heart of the dead-in-sin sinner, His power must transform the life. This power isn’t available if the Gospel is tampered with, if truth is withheld and the heart isn’t plowed by the preachers of our day there will be NO transformation…period.
    We live in a time where men and women seem to just want to have their ears tickled, the preaching of judgment and hellfire have no place in today’s pulpit. God is love, love, love; and that He is. BUT, this is a lop-sided view and doesn’t prick the conscience when spoken. That is why the law is essential; first give them the bad news, then give them the best news they’ll ever hear….the GOSPEL!!

    “The Church is charged with preaching the Law in all its severity to frighten comfortable sinners, and then to comfort frightened sinners with the Gospel.” –AMEN

    May I also add this from the article…’Point me then, not to my own works, but to the exceedingly precious promises of Christ that are mine through His finished work on the cross. Call me daily to repentance, and tell me of the forgiveness of all my sin that has been accomplished through Christ’s death and the shedding of His blood. Exhort me not to look inward to myself, but outward to the one with whom I was buried through baptism into death, the one who was raised from the dead for my justification and even now causes me to walk in newness of life (cf. Romans 6).’~~to which I say heartily AMEN

  2. “Our message should be such that it is impossible for anyone to accept, except the Holy Spirit be at work supernaturally in people’s lives. The Church is charged with preaching the Law in all its severity to frighten comfortable sinners, and then to comfort frightened sinners with the Gospel.”

    Amen! Is that not what this should all be about?!

    Good post – Thanks

  3. I’ve just finished John MacArthur’s book, The Jesus You Can’t Ignore. It’s his analysis of what the Gospel accounts reveal of Christ, in answer to the siren call of undefined “love” and universalism of the emergent fungus. Good teaching, with a couple of caveats.

    A dear sister at church this past Sunday commented to my wife and I – “Isn’t it wonderful to have the mirror of scripture put in your face by a preacher, showing you how ugly and sinful you are, and be thankful to God for it!” Amen and amen! And this puts the entire seeker movement out to the curb. Goats want to be encouraged, petted, and not offended. Sheep want the Word of God – no matter the personal offense!

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