In the past few years, I have come across a few Christians who disagreed with me so much about God’s Love that they spewed hate. I have had many people try to tell me I preach a false Gospel, not enough doctrine, and too much about God’s good qualities. Apparently, I need to preach Hell, Fire, Brimstone, and Wrath more. Anyone who knows me knows I believe in those things. The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. But please note- it is the Beginning, and only the beginning. The Fear of the Lord is NOT complete wisdom. I try to keep the Gospel simple. The word “Gospel” means the best news ever. Jesus told us to preach the Gospel, to share the Good News. So that is what we must do.
This morning I was reminded by a friend, of a time when we were scolded by another Christian for preaching a false doctrine. It was really rough. I just stood there, my heart aching for this man, who had the same mindset I used to have, before God woke me up. He screamed at us, warned us of being like Ananias and Sapphira, called us names, and tried to incite us. We listened to him, tried to have a conversation with him, blessed him, and told him we loved him. I truly used to be like him.
I have always been radical. I was radical about the Laws of Moses, condemnation, and wrath for 25 years as a Christian. I loved to listen to pastors like David Jeremiah, John MacArthur, and Paul Washer. They validated my beliefs. And then I read Galatians and something changed. I remember having a conversation with my grandmother about it, and showing her what Galatians said. Her response was, “I never saw that before. People need to know this.” So, in 2011, I began to change my sermons to that of Love. But I still had hatred in my heart for those I deemed as “false.” You know, Jesus was killed by a group of people for preaching the Good News and being called false. They were so focused on God’s wrath and the Law that they missed Love. That group was called Pharisees, and I would’ve been one of them.
It wasn’t enough to know that Jesus preached about God’s Love and forgiveness. In 2015, I was still right there in the middle, preaching Love, but enjoying the Law and behavior-based Christianity. Now I am free of the behavior-based, works-based Christianity, and because of it I have had many people come to me to try to correct me. Maybe you have too. I imagine that you have had a few encounters with Christians being angry with you, trying to correct you on your problems, your beliefs, or your grace towards others. I want to encourage you. When Christians get angry at you for what you live out, there is only one thing we should do: Love them. Jesus, on the cross, was obviously confronted with hate and vitriol. His response to them was perfect, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Obviously, they knew what they were doing. They even knew why they wanted to do it. But Jesus gave them grace and forgiveness, through His love for them. When people hit you (like I have been hit), put a gun in your face, threaten you in any way, yell at you, mock you, or lie about you, there is only one response that glorifies God: LOVE. So love everyone today.
1 John 4:7 says, “ Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
We wanna hear your story and your thoughts so leave us a comment below. Also keep an eye out for pt 2 of this post.
Written by a few for the many.