These days, the modern day church and Christianity believe that Jesus came only to show love without correction. They believe in a “soft Jesus” who did not come to offend in order to bring all to repentance. Most Christians believe in a once saved always saved gospel and they think they do not need to change their way of thinking or lifestyle. But if we truly understood what true Love is, then the church would be preaching correction and we wouldn’t be offended when truth is presented to transform our worldly mindsets. Why is it that people think that they can have their own way and live their lives the way they want, which clearly contradicts the bible, and still believe they would be worthy of Jesus (Ref. Matthew 10:35)? Jesus came and brought strife and turned man against father and daughter against mother (Ref. Matthew 10:35). Most of today’s modern day “Christians” think being a Christian is just being a follower of Christ. But the scripture outlines and disproves these theories.
Scripture says that the Lord’s forgiveness is good and abounding in love to those who call to Him (Ref. Psalms 86:5). So what does it mean to call to Him?
The word call in the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon Bible is defined as To come together to meet. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word meet as coming into the presence of. How wonderful it is to know that when we come into His presence we are meeting Him and calling out to Him. We see that we can be in a place of becoming more and more like Him, being transformed into His image, and who He created us to be, by being in His presence. This is proven in 1John 3:2, where the Apostle John says when we meet Him we shall become like Him, for we shall see him as He is. This scripture alone disproves the modern day Christianity of living their lives the way they choose and following their fleshly, worldly desires in life. The Lord says there is only one way to the Father when speaking to those who went out to meet Him every day (Ref. John 14:6). The following scripture portrays Jesus rebuking His disciple, Phillip, for not knowing Him even after being with Him for so long in His presence (Ref. John 14:7). Phillip was not seeing Jesus as He is. Phillip was still veiled. Jesus was blunt here with Phillip in order for him to repent (change his way of thinking), regarding how he saw and looked at Jesus. Phillip spent his time in the presence of Jesus incorrectly and Jesus rebuked him in a power to bring Phillip to repentance. It wasn’t sugar coated and Jesus did not beat around the bush. He brought correction with truth where correction was due. That is true love. That is the love of the bible.
Once you can recognize how Jesus brought correction and truth, you can identify and see a pattern. He brought parables and sayings that were sometimes a tough pill to swallow. But the truth doesn’t always come wrapped up in a shiny, sparkling box with a ribbon on it. Jesus came against the religious Pharisees in His time and even called them out in their own homes (Ref. Luke 11:37). If you recognize the pattern here these Pharisees are our modern day religious “Christians”. Those who read, study the bible, and graduate from bible colleges. They are washing the outside of the cup (their outward appearances), but the inward man (their character) is not changing. The inward man is perishing and remains the same; with the same worldly thoughts and desires from before encountering Christ. They are never being transformed by renewing their minds (Ref. Romans 12:2). This is the same situation we have in our mainstream churches today. They know scripture, they may be able to recite it over and over, but they have not had a revelation of who the Word truly is. It is still veiled to them even if it is right in front of them, just as Phillip was still veiled to seeing the Father in Jesus after being in His presence for so long. These teachers, pastors, and prophets who claim to know the way are the blind leading the blind (Ref. Matthew 15:14). They cannot see past the literal value of the Word.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in this exact situation in His day saying
“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered”
(Ref. Luke 11:52).
Another great example can be from the verse Luke 6:46. Here, there are people calling out to the Lord and he responds with a question of
“Why do they call me Lord and they do not do the things which I say?”
There are people here He is describing. Notice, they call Him Lord. This is not the world. The world does not call Him Lord. This is the church; those who do not truly see Him for who He is. They do not do the will of the Father in heaven. When this same story is presented again in Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus tells us exactly what happens to this type of people. He directly, bluntly and truthfully explains how they will be departed from His presence. And He is light and in Him there is no darkness (Ref. 1John 1:5), so therefore those people will be casted into outer darkness, where there is no light in the separation of God. These are only a few of the many truths that are brought by the Lord in effort to bring a people to repentance (Ref. 2Timothy 2:25).
So how can we repent and become a true Christian? Jesus says if we love Him, we will obey His commandments (Ref. Luke 6:46). His commandments are not just a list of do’s and don’ts. They are the very nature and character of who He is and who He wants us to be. They are the goal, or the bullseye that we all should aim towards and hit the mark. The Lord never preached a “once saved always saved” gospel. He says we should pick up our cross daily and follow Him (Ref. Luke 9:23). We are to put down our own desires and natural understandings of who He is and allow Christ to live within us (Ref. Ephesians 3:17). A once saved always saved theology would not require us to be diligent in making our call and election sure as spoken about in 2Peter 1:10. So is the Lord a liar or is the theology of today’s mainstream theology off and missing the mark? Though the sayings of Jesus may be tough to receive, it is the truth. He is the truth. We must be receiving all of who He is and not just picking and choosing what best fits our life. He has called us into His presence and to become more like Him (Ref. Genesis 1:27). From glory to glory we should be transformed (Ref. 2Corinthians 3:18) with the unveiled understanding and vision of who He is through His Word.
- NKJV Bible Scriptures
- Ancient Hebrew Lexicon Bible Dictionary
- Merriam Webster Dictionary