Hello everyone. Today’s blog is going to be very straight forward. Due to the changes in society and extreme misconceptions about Christianity within and outside the church, it’s time to speak very openly about the truth. Ephesians 4:14-15 tells believers not to be swayed by every bit of deceitful and shifting doctrine, but speaking the truth in love allows us to grow in all things concerning Christ. Despite the controversy surrounding the following subjects, I would rather love you by telling you the truth and allow you to draw your own conclusion (Prov. 27:6 – AMP). This is not a guilt trip. This is only for your benefit. God cares for you and created you for a unique purpose (John 3:16 & Eph. 2:10). The only way to express that purpose is to live life in line with His word (Psalm 119:9).
Death and Illness
When it comes to illness and accidents that cause death, there is so much commentary about God’s will. The biggest misconception is that anyone who dies, regardless of age or circumstances surrounding the death, was “taken” by God. Jesus, who is God (John 1:14), is the way, the truth and the life not the king of death (John 14:6). In Psalm 91:16, God promises a long life to believers. When a person “dies before their time,” many are quick to say that God wanted the person to be with Him. However, Romans 8:9, says that God lives in us. God also states that He’ll never leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5). Since this is true, why would we need to die just to be with Him? We don’t!
Many have said that death and illness are God’s will, but Jesus healed numerous people (Matt. 8:16, Mark 1:34) and raised the dead (Mark 5:21-43, John 11:1-44). Jesus only said and did what the Father desired (John 5:19). It is God’s will for us to be healthy and live a full life. Jesus even proclaimed that everything He did, we will do even greater works (John 14:12). He works through us to produce the same healing and dead-raising results from the “Bible days.” Contrary to popular belief, death is not God’s formula of deliverance. In the following scriptures, I have changed the word “death” to “deliverance” to illustrate how this belief directly contradicts the nature of God: “The wage of sin is deliverance (Rom. 6:23),” “Deliverance has been swallowed up by victory/ Deliverance, where is your sting (1 Cor. 15:54-57),” “If Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge, they would surely be delivered (Gen. 2:16-17).” Death is not deliverance and illness is not God’s will. It is the Enemy who comes ONLY to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) not God!
There are more scriptures about money than there are scriptures about prayer or Heaven and Hell combined. The truth is money typically determines where we live, how we dress, what we eat, where our kids go to school and many other things. Money is not important to God, but He knows how important it is to us. Whether Christians choose to tithe (10% of income) or not, speaks directly to our faith in God. Because of the sacrifice Christ made for us, we bring the tithe as a gift and trust God to bless the gift (2 Cor. 8:8-9). God even challenges us to test His faithfulness through the tithe (Mal. 3:10-12). Many of us will faithfully attend church, pray for others and volunteer. There’s nothing wrong with any of these things, but it’s free. Somehow, when money is involved, roughly 80% of Christians flake out. Only 20% of us seem to trust God in this area our lives. For money to be such an important part of life, one would think more people would put the future of their finances in the hands of the creator of the Universe who loved us so much that He gave His life. God loves a cheerful giver because they give from the heart (2 Cor. 9:7). God also loves those who give less than 10%, or nothing at all, but that person obviously doesn’t understand the sacrifice that God made and clearly doesn’t trust Him. How can anyone truly love God if they don’t trust Him? How can we expect to experience all that He has for us if we have no faith (James 1:6-7)? We say we trust God. Then let’s trust Him.
Sexual Immorality (Dating and Homosexuality)
In today’s world, the term “dating” generally means having a sexual relationship with someone you have commonality with. “Hooking up” is also a popular term that means having sex with someone you are not committed to in any way. Although both scenarios have been practiced for ages, it is more prevalent today. Society has convinced most of us that it’s totally fine, but the Bible says otherwise. Sex is for married, heterosexual couples only (Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:4-5). Anything that promotes sexual stimulation should be off limits before marriage (1 Thess. 4:3-5). God created sex as a gift of intimacy to married couples (Prov. 5:18-20, 1 Cor. 7:5). It is more than just a physical act. It’s a spiritual connection between 2 people who have made a commitment to God and themselves to be joined for life. Sex is not a sin; it’s encouraged, but experienced out of context (outside of marriage), the purpose is diluted. There is nothing wrong with extension cords; but if used it to strangle someone, now it becomes a weapon! Many have said, “Once you get married, things get boring or the intimacy goes away,” because their relationships are out of whack. When we save ourselves for the one, and then combine sex with true love (not fickle feelings) and commitment, we experience an intimacy that’s unmatched by anything or anyone else but God. We have killed so many potentially great relationships because we live by the world’s standards rather than living by God’s word.
Same-sex couples are not the will of God (Rom. 1:26-27, Gen. 19:1-13, Lev. 18:22, 1 Cor. 6:9-11). He loves all people, but that doesn’t mean He loves everything we do. God is a Father and like any loving parent, He’s going to steer us in the right direction, whether we agree or understand or not. We don’t know everything! God designed us and knows what’s best for us. Looking to His word is like reading the “owner’s manual” for your life. If we ever need answers for anything, the Bible is the place to find them. There’s no doubt that homosexual relationships involve deep feelings, but unfortunately, people in this lifestyle are deceived. The Devil doesn’t appear to us with a pitchfork and horns screaming, “I’ve come to kill, steal and destroy your life (John 10:10). Follow me!” People would dismiss him. That’s why he is slick and tricks us into going his way by getting our feelings involved (2 Cor. 11:14). When we are deceived and not living by the word, we fall into sin (1 Tim. 2:14, James 1:22). All sexual sin degrades and misuses the body (1 Cor. 6:18). Living according to the word, for anyone, is not easy (Matt. 7:13-14). We need Christ to guide our steps so that we live as we are supposed to (Prov. 16:9).
The Family Prototype vs. The Modern Family
Today, “family” can mean everything from a married, lesbian couple with a dog to a single mom with 4 children. However, God has already established a prototype of what a family should look like. It is a husband, wife and their children (Gen. 2:18-24, Gen. 5:3-4). God knows what works best. He created people, marriage and family. It is His design and should be executed His way for the best outcome.
“Whatever Is Meant to Be Will Be”
When people say, “Whatever is meant to be will be,” I think to myself, “This is one of the greatest lies ever told.” The problem with this belief is that it undermines our free will (Deut. 30:19) and, more importantly, it contradicts God’s nature, fooling people into believing that He’s an evil God who takes pleasure in our pain (1 John 4:8, Psa. 147:3, Rev. 21:4). We live in a crazy world and God seems to get all the credit for what people have created! It is not God’s will for us to be impoverished, sick, broken-hearted or depressed, yet here we are. [Please refer to my previous blog “Fearless” for a more detailed teaching on the state of our world.] God has given us a guide to live by, but it is up to us to choose how we live. 1 Corinthians 10:23 states that everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. We ultimately make the decisions of how we are going to live our lives. It’s time to stop blaming God for the outcome of your life. We all have had devastating experiences, but it’s our trust in God that brings us out (Psa. 9:9) and our decision to live for, love and trust Him keeps us from harm (Psa. 91). God gives us free will because He created humans, not robots. He wants us to follow Him because we choose to, not because we’re made to. God desires for all to be saved and in a relationship with Him (1 Tim. 2:1-4), but that is obviously not our reality. We have a choice, but many of us don’t want to make the sacrifice. Therefore, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Sin: Mistakes vs. Lifestyles
All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23), but there comes a time when each of us have to decide whether we’re going to accept Christ and live by His word or not. When a person decides to become a Christian, they decide to truly make Jesus the Lord of their life. We trust Him, love Him and believe what He has done for us (Rom. 10:9-10, John 3:16). We believe in His plan for our lives (Hebrews 13:20-21, Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Cor. 12:18). Christians are saved, but will make mistakes. However, the more we live by the word, the deeper our relationship is with God and the fewer mistakes we’ll make (Rom. 6:1-4, Proverbs 13:20). Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands (John 14:15).” Consider this: Let’s say you are in a relationship, but you’ve met an attractive person that makes you laugh. You will not pursue that person because you love your significant other and they love you and you would not want to do anything to hurt them. Although no one can totally comprehend God’s love, Christians know God loves us and has made incredible sacrifices for us. We “return the favor” through our love for Him and following His lead. We are not perfect; therefore, we make bad choices at times. Contrarily, for those who habitually live in sin, they do not care to keep God’s commands and do not love Him (John 14:15 – reverse prospective).
A person who is born-again in Christ cannot go on sinning because God’s seed is in him (1 John 3:9). To make a choice to sin or get “caught up in the moment” is very different from a person who chooses to sin and continue in that lifestyle. This means that the person in the lifestyle continues in sin comfortably without a second thought or conscience. The Holy Spirit is the like the conscience of a saved person (John 14:26), but a someone living without the Holy Spirit is obviously not saved. The word says you may know a tree by its fruit (Matt. 7:16). An apple tree cannot produce grapes nor does a grapevine produce plums. Likewise, a Christian does not produce a sinful lifestyle. Being saved is more than just lip service. Too many people believe that simply saying the prayer of Romans 10:9 is all they need to be saved; but Matthew 7:22-23 tells us that many will call Jesus Lord, but because their hearts are not right, Jesus tells them to depart from Him. God looks at our hearts (1 Sam 16:7). People also believe that repentance means “I’m sorry” and all is forgiven until the next time. Repentance means to turn a go a different way. When the Bible tells us to repent, it’s telling us to change. Sin separates us from God (Isa. 59:2), so how can we remain in sin and be Christian (living for Christ) at the same time? If you have struggled with the same sins for years and years (a.k.a. a lifestyle), it’s time to be free and get saved!
Kirby N. McKinney