… Every year I feel like I’m better than the year before…yet, by the end of the year I see so much I still have yet to work through. It is a comfort to know how Jesus continues to edify us with His truth and the way He gets our attention. 2019, in particular, I’ve grown a lot.
I’ve started to listen to more sermons and Christian podcasts this year. God has broken through confusion, lies, and things I used to think. He’s also expanded upon things I never really understood before, or didn’t have proper knowledge on like false teaching.
As I prepare to write a post on my favorite posts I’ve written this past year…I am cringing at some of the things I’ve said. I thank everyone who has read these posts or has given me encouragement, edification, or even showed patience/concern for me. I have added some clarity updates to the posts that I’ve since learned from.
I thought it might be interesting to share things I’ve said or thought that God has changed my mind and heart on. I know not everyone will agree.
Salvation– Let’s get the big one out of the way. It’s interesting to me that even if we do not fully grasp concepts God can give us enough information to understand the basics, but that still means we have a lot to learn.
Salvation continues to be a topic that God teaches me on. At the beginning of 2019, I wrote a post with the goal that people understand salvation does not mean we can keep sinning, and this is true. But the way the post was written, even after my initial clarity I gave, I can understand how people could read the post and feel I was encouraging works. Meaning, people, especially non-believers or new believers, could read the post and think, “I have power over my salvation if I do these things.”
Salvation, in itself, is a gift from God. John 3:16. Jesus came to the earth and died for our sins because no man is perfect. Christ alone was our atonement. Salvation is not something we earn, and I never stated it was. But I think by me talking about how we need to keep giving up sin, though it is true, I think people could misconstrue that for works. I don’t agree with the way I wrote the post, there needs to be more of an in depth look of what the Holy Spirit helps us with, not just talking about what we do, but Who we need to turn to and what He did.
The seeds parable is the best way to explain how people have differences in their “walk with Jesus” but not actually have a true walk with Christ or salvation, and it is important to be able to recognize the difference. More than likely, I will have a post talking about this hopefully next year.
(NIV) 2 Peter 2:18-20, “For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.” (this speaks of NOT ONLY false teachers but then those who the false teachers pull into bondage with them.)
Faith– I used to view faith as trust in God, even if we can’t see Him. But very recently I was blessed with learning about the scriptures that share Christ is the author of faith. (Hebrews 12:02) Real faith comes by hearing the word of God (scripture, specifically the Gospel), and through Jesus Himself. It is not something we can “create” within ourselves. (Romans 10:17)
I think knowing this truth is a comfort because it just shows how we do not walk blindly, though we might walk in the unseen (2 Corinthians 5:07, 4:18). We seek things of eternity, and faith is given to us through a Source of Eternal Living Water. It clarifies further, at least to me, why the sword of the Spirit is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). To even hold the sword takes faith (essentially), and we need scripture to receive faith, however, without Jesus, we can’t do any of this! How cool is that!
Asking Jesus Into Our “Heart” & Truly Believing In Jesus In Our Heart ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS– This year, for sure, I understand the issues with the “sinner’s prayer.” People simply “saying” they believe or “saying” they confess of their sins…it’s very different than wholeheartedly seeking repentance, desiring, and believing in Jesus, His death/resurrection, forgiveness, etc.
Receiving salvation isn’t in a paragraph. It happened on the cross and through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not in words alone, but true belief, and then the action of picking up our cross, following, and accepting Jesus (not works, but sincerity in loving and seeking Jesus). I plan to follow up with this later in the coming year.
Pointing Out Concerns About Public Figures (False Teaching/Lukewarmness)– This was a huge conflict within my spirit. Is it right or is it wrong to talk about public figures, what they say, or are not saying…etc. I know not everyone will agree with me, and I think maybe that’s partially why I backed down. I don’t want people to think I’m being mean or possibly judgmental. However, again, very recently God helped change my perspective on this.
The scripture that talks about not judging, for example. If anyone uses this scripture to tell another person “not to judge” that individual made the judgement that someone else was judging another. (Luke 6:37) Therefore, by this logic, it is actually IMPOSSIBLE not to use judgement. The correct way is knowing HOW to use proper judgement, so that we are not a hypocrite. Jesus says take the plank out of our own eye first, THEN take the speck out of another. He doesn’t say, “Don’t do anything because people’s feelings might get hurt.” (Luke 6:42)
Good judgement needs to be used for edification and exhorting others, and WE need to apply the same judgement in our own lives first before we apply it to others.
Toward the end of this year, starting around October, God was really putting false teaching/teachers on my heart. Look, if someone is preaching something that is false, it needs to be talked about. I don’t think every person needs to be named in all cases if we are able to show others what to look out for. HOWEVER, that being said, there are times, I think, people or groups need to be named, especially when a large following is being drawn in. Bethel and Hillsong I plan to talk about in the coming year, but you can learn more right now! Mike Winger’s video –Bill Johnson’s Theology and Movement Explained Biblically and Doreen Virtue’s video (interview) – Ex-Bethel Student Tells All: Lindsay Davis Testimony Lindsay talks about grave soaking, tarot card reading, and more that comes out of the church of Bethel!
We are specifically told to snatch people from the fire. (Jude 1:23) I feel okay talking about anything that is made public to the public because people are watching, listening, and they could be pulled into the bondage of the false teacher. (Again, 2 Peter 2:20) But discernment, mercy, compassion, and above all love do need to be considered. I hope to discuss this further in future posts.
The best way to explain this was a sermon by Paul Washer. He gave the example if his wife was at a parking lot and she got assaulted, and you witnessed it but did nothing, he would not only come after the person who assaulted his wife but you, the bystander.
Are we just showering people with passes that are blasphemous to God and pulling others to Hell? That really spoke to me, but again, keeping our flesh in check is crucial when discussing false teachers!
I hope by sharing these things that I’m understanding better and growing in, people realize we always need to keep growing in Jesus. God may reveal things to us that challenge our thinking. Maybe things we thought for years or decades and now suddenly we are challenged to look it over.
I’ve been working on seeking sources who study scripture, share Biblically how things are sound, and then going to the Word myself and seeking the truth. Not only that but working on understanding context of scripture, the audience, the time period, what is meant to be literal and what is meant to be blunt, and where are other references of the topic in the Bible.
It’s so important we keep growing.
Sources I’ve Used & People I Listen To: Pastor Tim Conway, Pastor Paul Washer, Doreen Virtue on YouTube, Mike Winger on YouTube, Melissa Dougherty on YouTube, Got Questions (I agree with most things on the site, but NOT everything!), Rightly Dividing series that helps us understand false teachings and context, Set Apart Girl (blog & podcast) by Leslie Ludy, Corrie Ten Boom, and John MacArthur are some.
Monthly Scripture – (NIV) 2 Corinthians 2:11, “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
Community Prayer Requests | December ’19– Join us in requesting prayer, praying for each other and lifting each other up.
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath