What Do I Fear (4/6/13)

Read: Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20, Luke 11:37-12:7, Psalm 78:1-31, Proverbs 12:19-20

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. (Luke 12:4-5)

fear

Relate: One hundred fifty-one days ago today marked the beginning of what was the bloodiest battle in the Civil War up to that point. Near a little town in western Tennessee called Shiloh, about 107,000 soldiers collided leaving behind over 23,000 dead, wounded, or missing. The level of devastation left both armies shocked. Neither side had any idea that three years and other, far worse, battles were still to come.

There was a worse thing that happened on this day in history.  Ninety-six years ago today Congress voted by overwhelming measure to enter WWI on the side of the allies. By the end of the war we would rack up over a hundred ten thousand dead and two hundred thousand wounded making it the third highest casualty total in our military history. If the outcome either of these events were known beforehand, they almost definitely would not have happened.

But that was not the worst thing that happened today in history, either. One hundred eighty-three days ago today in Fayette Township, NY, a man named Joseph Smith, along with a small group of followers officially organized the Church of Christ. Later they would call themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but most would know them by the term Mormons. This organization would grow and spread to over 14 million worldwide. While they do no damage to the body, they have been active in leading many to hell.

React: It almost goes against my nature to say something as harsh as that last sentence, but sometimes the truth must sound harsh. We know from John 1 and 1 John 5:20 that eternal life comes through Jesus and, explicitly through an accepting of who He is and what He has done. Mormons will commonly say that they believe Jesus is the Son of God, but they say we all are. They claim He was created as first among God’s “spirit children”. They will then credit him with all that the Bible claims He does, but clearly their Jesus is not the same Jesus we know and believe. Jesus is the True God and eternal life. (1J 5:20) To deny this is to be denied by Him on the day of judgment. More than any physical death, this is what I fear.

Respond: 

God, let me never stray from the truth of who You are. Let me never wander from the reality of what You have done. You alone, God, my Savior died to take my sins then rose to give me life. You alone are God. Let me always worship You in the reality of who You are.

14 thoughts on “What Do I Fear (4/6/13)

  1. You are correct about the teaching of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints. They argue the verse Jn 10 v 16 – that they are the sheep not of this pasture. They know some verses but the bulk of their teaching comes from the Book of Mormon, not the Living Word. They are a difficult group to reach. I share your fear.

  2. I was raised nominally Christian in an episcopal church setting. In my early twenties I was fascinated with two also young female LDS missionaries. They seemed to have a real conviction to their faith that I was unfamiliar with. On my 21st birthday I was baptized. This event sparked a conversation with my parents. Some actual theology was discussed. I discovered the deeper writings of the LDS church and saw the guilting process to make you stay. I was done with them within a year. Four years later Christ found me. A friend taught me about grace. I insisted on getting baptized again, just to wash that stain off. 20 years later I still occasionally get mail from the LDS people. It’s a cult.

    • Hi Noel

      In my opinion anyone who tells of a way to get right with God other than through faith in Christ as redeemer can be said to be “leading them to hell” because they’re not telling them the true way to be saved. And those who aren’t saved end up in hell.

      Jesus said something similar to the Pharisees:

      Matthew 23:13-15
      “But woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You keep locking people out of the kingdom of heaven! For you neither enter nor permit those trying to enter to go in.
      “Woe to you, experts in the law a and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You cross land and sea to make one convert, b and when you get one, c you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves! “

      • Thank you Mark for your response. So you believe that people who have never heard of Jesus, no matter how they have served others and practiced kindness, forgiveness, and mercy, will go to hell. To me, this is not teaching love, but fear. Today’s Christianity is full of fear driven doctrine, instead of love driven. So we are manipulated to believe that, unless we accept what today’s church says about “salvation”, we will regret it with eternal damnation. I am sorry, but this is a doctrine I no longer can digest. Peace.

        • To not speak the truth is not love. When you say I am teaching fear and not love, my immediate question is, “have you read anything beyond this post?” Being unloving is not something I am accused of often. If you felt that I was writing so on Saturday, I apologize. I clearly did not convey truth in the manner I hoped. Either that, or there is some displacement going on here.

  3. As one who spent years in apologetics I understand your point of view. However, I find it far better to speak the truth as we know it, and live the truth we espouse, and leave the eternal addresses to God. He is just and merciful, and we mustn’t limit His ability to save. At least this is my approach, since I have neither a heaven or hell to send anyone to.

    Blessings,
    Ruth

  4. In times past but it seems even more so today, the word love has been used to silence so many who are trying to speak the truth in love. (AND I am not talking Westboro hate).We don’t have all the answers, but God does. When I become distraught about the changes in our churches and governement stance on sinful nature, love who you love, I just remember the Word said it would come to this toward Jesus second coming.”Will I find faith on the earth when I return?” I pray for those being deceived and being lulled from the truth by tolerance and using the word love. Like the Word teaches, it is not love to let someone believe a lie and be damned.

  5. BJ, “While they do no damage to the body, they have been active in leading many to hell.” This is the statement you wrote that made me wonder about the love in today’s Christianity. I was not implying anything about you as a person. I am sure you are a very loving human being. But the doctrine that many Christians teach these days make me sad.

    • Do you mean the doctrine that there will be false teachers who will lead many astray? That’s not *just* doctrine that Christians teach today. That’s doctrine that Paul and Peter and John taught. That’s doctrine that God Himself taught when He walked this earth. “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. . . . For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time” (Matthew 24)

      Truth can be spoken unlovingly but love can never be spoken untruthfully. Love rejoices in the truth. Love protects. To uphold a lie through silence, to allow others to be led astray who you had the opportunity to protect is not love. It is sin.

      • I have to agree. The measure of truth isn’t whether it’s comfortable or politically correct but whether it’s true. Love means seeking the best for others, which includes telling them the truth.

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