Grace v. Holiness


“One of the great dangers facing the church in these postmodern days is that professing believers will substitute the God of the Bible for a lesser deity of their own design—one that reflects their values, their morality, and their priorities. It’s a subtle shift, as men and women who claim to know and love God de-emphasize aspects of His nature and attributes that don’t sit well with them, or adhere to their worldview.” John MacArthur

Grace vs. Holiness

Great and sound theological teaching!


They are not facing it, they are in most cases causing it. For money, butts in the seats, and relevancy. There has been a massive push in recent years by Churches striving to grow into mega-Churches so the preacher can have his 10 million dollar house and garage full of Ferraris. Many Churches today are taking Jesus, God or the Bible out of their name, thinking it looks safer for folks to come on in. Some Churches have taken on the Joel Osteen approach of never mentioning the name of Jesus.


Not directly related, but your mention of Joel Osteen reminded me of a quote of his (at least it said so, and it’s consistent with what I’ve heard about him) that I saw on FB:

“If you can’t be positive, then at least be silent.”

Congratulations, Osteen; you just told Jesus to shut up:

[QUOTE=Jesus (per Matthew 23:33)]Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?[/QUOTE]


I shouldn’t weight in on this but I will:** professing believers will substitute the God of the Bible for a lesser deity of their own design—one that reflects their values, their morality, and their priorities.
I was raised close to the church in more ways that one. As a matter of fact I lived next door to the preacher & on the other side of his house was the church. Oddly enough my wife also grew up next to their church. The biggest difference was that her father & brothers actually built their church. Neither of us now go to church & for the same reason which is in bold above. I found that the more religious a person claimed to be, the more he had perverted his religious beliefs to those of his own. Don’t lie cheat or steal (unless there’s money in it for me). Don’t sleep with another man’s wife (well I was weak & I repent so I should be forgive). I found that people “talked” their religion, but didn’t live their religion. To often I found the leaders of churches very similar to politicians in that both were on a quest for either money or power. Big men want to rule their country, little men want to rule their congregations & all men seem to want money. It seems to me that many churches demonstrate the opposite of what is taught in the bible. The bigger & more wealthy the church the more the preacher makes to the point that they become wealthy. Shouldn’t they be returning that money to those who have less? Shouldn’t the preacher be one of the poorest people in the congregation?
When I was about 21 or so there was a guy who “sold” religion on the local tv on Sundays. Every Sunday I would listen to him requesting money from people that couldn’t get to a local church. Maybe they were older or in bad health or poor enough that they couldn’t afford a car. Yet he still needed the all mighty dollar to keep pouring in. Honestly I assumed that he got that job because he failed at being a used car salesman. I knew that using those lines nobody would buy a car from him, yet people bought religion from him. Go figure.
People that sell God paint a picture of him standing on a mountain top, all powerful, demanding etc. That’s not my view of him. I see him in the valley as part of everything & very silent or the sunlight that bathes us all. You see, I don’t think God needs to yell. Just the way I feel about it & why.


Then, Tex, you still are not seeing the picture. You are seeing your version of Him just the same way you complain about others seeing their version of God.
God IS the creator of all things and when you stop to realize, this whole vast universe and all things in it, just how BIG is God, and how awesome. We want Him to be like us, but in reality, He created us to be like Him. He is to be awed and Worshipped, He is Holy (set apart). He is higher than that mountain top you mentioned. He made that mountain top.
This is one of the reasons I began my senior citizen Bible Studies 4 years ago, because many had become so jaded by the Church teaching of today, and I am bringing the Bible back into their lives, and teaching about the real God and about Jesus and the Work of the Holy Spirit. The Three in one God. Please dear friend resume that relationship with the Living God, and find a Church that does teach and Live the Gospel.
God Bless.


Then, Tex, you still are not seeing the picture. You are seeing your version of Him just the same way you complain about others seeing their version of God.
njc17 I didn’t explain it well so I’ll explain a little (but just a little). I think that if God made everything then in fact those thing he made contain his touch. You can see him in his works. I feel much closer to God in a wilderness than I do in church. That’s because churches are generally run by the people that I lightly touched on above. I say lightly because I could go into great detail on the stuff that I’ve seen. I don’t think that I’ve done the churches that I know about an injustice by comparing them to politics. Now I’ll give you that it could have been that I’ve been to the wrong places, ok that could be. But I feel that one of the worst places to go to feel close to God is a church. That’s because churches can be a gathering place of: professing believers will substitute the God of the Bible for a lesser deity of their own design. Just my own feeling about the subject & others may feel different but I’ll add that my wife feel exactly the same way for exactly the same reason.


Tex; I understand completely; the folks I teach, many hold the same feelings as you do. The attitudes of so many “church folk” have burnt them, but there are still great ‘Eklesia’ gatherings, that still worship corporately as God intended, and hear the Word as God wrote it. (and by the way, God never wrote His Word with those thees and thous in it) Prayers are from the heart. Now does this mean Christians are pure and clean? absolutely not. Churches are full of sinners and hypocrites in need of Salvation. We open our doors to all who seek the Lord and His Saving Grace.
Now for His creation; He created the Heavens and the Earth, He created the animals, and the fowl, and the fish in the sea. He created man to be the caretaker and to fellowship with, but it was man who screwed it all up. God did clean house once but man has his own mind and kept at it. God gave man his own mind mainly because he wasn’t looking for little automatons or sycophants, but for mankind to freely come to Him.


The Parable of the Sower. The parable of the Tares. These two are connected.

The parable of the Mustard seed and the Parable of the Leaven. Don’t these all speak to that issue.

Jesus spoke in parables…for those that could hear. Those that couldn’t…it made no difference.


I’m not sure that a better title for that piece would have been…Grace vs Mercy


If you think you don’t need to associate with other Christians to be close to God, read Hebrews 10:25, and the surrounding scriptures. We are all inclined to squeeze God into our own mold, but there are also many of us who recognize this, and do our best to put it behind us. There are the likes of Joel Oesteen - many of them - teachers who cater to the “itching ears” of their listeners; people who let down the standards to get bigger crowds; people who tell people -in essence- that repentance is unnecessary. There are those who read the first verse of Matthew 7 and ignore the rest of the chapter. But there are still godly men in pulpits all around the country. They are not perfect, but are doing their best to lead their congregations in the right direction. And there is always the “God would never send anyone to Hell” crowd. That statement is true - God will never send anyone to Hell - everyone makes their own choice, and if they go to Hell, it’s their choice, not God’s. “He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”


God most certainly sends people to Hell. Since God is eternal, immutable, and infinite, and all sins are fundamentally against God, God has decreed the just punishment for sin must also be eternal (Matthew 25:46). There is another aspect to consider, which is that God also created people to live eternally. So when someone commits a sin against another person, the offended person has also been eternally wronged.

God, therefore, has deemed all who commit sin will go to hell because they have failed to meet His righteous standard; they have broken His Law of moral perfection. If God did not send people to hell for breaking His laws, it could be said that God is not just (Psalm 7:11). A good analogy is a court of law with a judge and a lawbreaker. A just judge will always convict the person who has been found guilty. If that judge did not pursue justice for the crime, he would not be a just judge (Deuteronomy 32:4).

However, the good news is that God is also merciful. In His rich mercy, He made a way for sinners to avoid the punishment of hell by trusting in the atoning work of His Son, Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16). For Christians, the penalty of sin has been removed and placed upon Christ on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). Because of the sacrifice of Christ, God is still just—the sin is punished—yet He is also merciful to all who believe.

Here is a good article, transcript of a sermon, with the option of listening as well. The sermon is about the wrath of God.

The Wrath of God