“And Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” Hebrews 1:10
God loves us so very much! Just as He sustains life around us, He does and will sustain us. That is His promise to us. We need only to draw close to Him and trust Him for all things. Praise God in all circumstances, for He is Jehoviah-jireh. The Lord our provider.
I’ve spent a lot of time in thought and prayer these past few days. It’s like the floodgates have opened, and there are so many things coming to mind that I want to share. I wish I could write as fast as the thoughts come.
I recently read about a teaching from back in the 90’s by Zane Hodges. He was a Bible scholar who actually taught a great many of the pastors who are now leading churches. Unfortunately these churches are full of baby Christians who don’t have the ability to discern the truth from counterfeit.
“The Crossless Gospel”. Have you ever heard of it? In the words of my dear Honey, the term ‘Crossless Gospel’ is a Biblical oxymoron. I looked into Zane Hodges and his teachings. Basically, he has taught scores of Christian leaders that folks can bypass the cross and still get to heaven. According to him, we merely have to acknowledge God and His love. Isn’t that something? If this teaching were true, so much of the events recorded in the New Testament would have been unnecessary … the life & death of John the Baptist, the virgin birth of Jesus, the years Jesus spent traveling the hot dusty lands teaching the people, the horrendous torture & humiliation He endured at the hands of the Roman soldiers, and the cruel death that He experienced on the cross at Golgotha. It would also mean that the resurrection was a waste of time as well.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; - 1 Timothy 4:1-2
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” – 2 Peter 2:1
I don’t know how this affects you, but it made me fighting mad! How dare this man make light of the sacrifice Jesus made! How dare he minimize the life, death, and resurrection of my Lord! But before I could start a letter writing campaign to this false prophet, I found that Zane Hodges passed away a couple of years ago. He is forever locked into whatever belief he held the very minute that he passed from this life to the next. Whether or not he came to the clear understanding that he was wrong and confessed his sins before he breathed his final breath is something only he and God know at this point. The Scriptures talk about false teachings and the consequences to those who lead His sheep astray. One warning being,
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the Words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19
After I researched Zane Hodges and saw that he was no longer alive to teach his false beliefs, I thought “Ok, it’s done. Few people have even heard of this teaching. What’s the big deal?” and then it occurred to me … the title “The Crossless Gospel” may have faded to the annuls of history, but the teaching is still alive & well. It is still being taught from pulpits great & small all around the world. These wolves in sheep’s clothing may have dropped the title but they have latched on to one sentence of the Scriptures and developed an entire theology on it, “God is love”. Have you heard it? God is love, so therefore all roads lead to Him. God is love, so how can He possibly send anyone to hell as long as they are behaving themselves, taking care of people that are less fortunate, and being nice to other people? God is love, so we can put down our swords & shields, be a good example to the mean people, they will also put down their swords & shields and we will all live peacefully together in a state of nirvana. Some of these ‘religions’ acknowledge Jesus. Ok, so history says that He lived & died. He may or may not have rose from the grave. That was awful nice of Him, but unnecessary. Because God is love. We obviously didn’t need the sacrifice. They believe in God and to them, that is enough.
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” –James 2:19
Am I exaggerating this? With few exceptions, that is the primary teaching of every church within 30 miles of where we live right now. And if you listen to some of the more famous ‘preachers’ making the headlines recently, you will see that this is their teaching as well. Some have even written books based on this false teaching. You can find them in Christian bookstores all around the world. It’s the ‘socially acceptable gospel”.
“For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” – 2 Peter 2:21
I have been shouting from the rooftops for so long that we have GOT to seek sound spiritual teaching! I’m not a Bible scholar. But I will share with you the most absolute basics…
God Is Love … He loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to be born of a young virgin girl. His Son Jesus lived a sinless life, Jesus taught & ministered to great multitudes. He was wrongly convicted by the courts of the day; He was beaten severely, and nailed to a cross to die the most horrible death imaginable. God is love because He allowed His Son to take our place. He allowed His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins. God is love because, HE RESSURECTED HIS SON JESUS FROM THE GRAVE ON THE 3rd DAY, as prophesied by the Old Testament prophets.
Yes, God is love. He loves us so much, and wants us to come to Him. But the only path that leads to the Father is through the Son. Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven and to our loving Father. Period, point-blank, and end of discussion. The Bible is either real or it isn’t. It’s an all or nothing deal. The Bible states:
“For God so loved the world, (you and me), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18
Folks, I know I get a little wound up sometimes. But time is so short. If the only thing you do today is grab ahold of these Scriptures, ask Jesus to become your Savior & Lord, and accept God’s loving promise that He will be with you in this life, and you will be with Him forever in the next … then the desert I’ve recently gone through will have been worth every dry & thirsty minute.
As we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, the true Passover, this weekend, I pray that God draws you close and pours out His blessings on you and your families. Come out of the desert. Jesus is waiting to offer you Living Water.
I just glanced at the Bible laying open on my desk. Let me share the absolute first words that I saw ...
“If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
Jesus was saying to the woman at the well. He went on to say,
“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:10,14
Have a wonderful day and May the Lord bless you.