Preaching the Word of God will always cause different reactions in different people, always has, always will. When Jesus spoke some people left everything behind and followed him, others wanted to kill him. When you clearly state that the Word says “no fornicator will inherit the kingdom of God” and two people who have sex outside of marriage hear it, one will repent and humble himself before God, the other will feel condemned and take up offense. Even better are the ones that upon hearing the rebuke of the Word do not change and still claim to be righteous. There is no way to preach the Word in a way that everyone likes it! Yet that’s what many preachers try to do and end up watering down the Word and worse.
I was thinking about that. Many times people use the Word to justify their actions or the lack thereof. I wonder how people can read the word but read it WRONG? For example: They tell themselves that God doesn’t want them to feel pressured, God doesn’t want them to feel ashamed, to feel condemned, God has set them free from all guilt and shame and we live under grace (that’s a big one).
Maybe some of these people do not live in blatant sin doing what the word tells them NOT TO DO but they live a passive life NOT DOING what the word tells them TO DO.
The problem is that many people don’t want to admit their sins and don’t see that sin has power over them because the enemy makes life in sin feel and look like freedom, we know that. Also people twist the Word of God to their liking to be able to live in their comfort zone, we also know that.
We have all heard this and know this, but today when I read 2 Corinthians 4:2 I think I gained new understanding. “We have renounced disgraceful ways (secret thoughts, feelings, desires and underhandedness, the methods and arts that men hide through shame); we refuse to deal craftily (to practice trickery and cunning) or to adulterate or handle dishonestly the Word of God, but we state the truth openly (clearly and candidly). And so we commend ourselves in the sight and presence of God to every man’s conscience.”
Are you handling the Word of God honestly? Are you brutally honest with yourself about everything you do, think or say? It is true that God doesn’t want us to feel guilt and shame BUT he never instructs us in His word to STOP FEELING guilt and shame. In 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 the apostle Paul says that God will makes us feel grief or sorrow concerning our actions or way of life to produce repentance. The Amplified version says He will even permit pain in our life that should alarm us to rise up against sin. But how can a God of love permit pain? People do not understand this because they don’t see the bigger picture.
Here is the conclusion I came to.
When we hear the word and FEEL guilt, condemnation, pain, pressure, sorrow or whatever other unpleasant feeling there is, it is NOT because GOD inflicts that feeling it is because WE have done something or didn’t do something that causes us to feel that way! God doesn’t WANT us to feel bad, so people take that and stop feeling bad about their actions or lack of action INSTEAD of DOING WHAT IS RIGHT!
People confuse rebuke and correction with condemnation. People confuse discipline with legalism. People confuse the fear of God with religion. People confuse the righteousness of God with self-righteousness.
Why? Because they read the Word wrong. People use the Word deceitfully, covering up and justifying their unrighteous living instead of repenting and humbling themselves.
It has always been that way and always will be, the question is if you are one of them or if you do what the apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:2.
When you hear or read the Word do you expect it to always make you feel good or to show you how to become more like Christ? Do you read it to be able to make your point or for God to show you the point?
It comes down to this:
Ask yourself “Will I be able to stand before God Almighty and say with all confidence that I am fully convinced I have done HIS WILL and what HIS WORD says and not what I thought was right but what I know was BEST in order to HONOR HIM, EXALT and GLORIFY HIM”
Because in the end it won’t matter what you thought, only what God thinks matters.
Wake up church, be real men and real women that take the Word of God and CHANGE.
...unless you want to tell me something really flaky, please don't ;)