What Saith the Scripture?
An Open Letter: "Probably"
"He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea"
by Katie Stewart
Concerning GOD's opinion of holiness and sin in the professed body of Christ, we probably do NOT agree in principle, let alone practice. I could take the trouble and time to quote you many verses, and you would probably say you agree, totally. After all, what kind of Christian would disagree with anything the LORD said in His Word? Right?
But the real problem here is not how many verses I show you, or how well I try to organize them so that logic can easily flow. It doesnt even seem to matter how careful I am at trying to be understood. I assure you, we do, probably, differ in doctrine.
Your doctrine is, probably, not an accurate view of GOD, or His mind, concerning sin. Therefore, you would call a man a Christian, who professed Christ with his mouth, but yet, still knowingly, lived in sin. You would not condone his sin. But you would not condemn him, and his sin, as GOD would. GOD will not, and does not, wink at sin! And I won't either. GOD does not forgive willfully unrepented sin, and therefore does not forget it. Neither do I.
Your doctrine tolerates sin, claiming no man is perfect. Your doctrine ALWAYS allows any person who professes with their mouth, that they believe in Jesus Christ, to enter Heaven, regardless of lifestyle. You have probably never told someone that they were not a Christian, if they said they were.
Biblical doctrine is probably different from your doctrine. And I believe this difference is oftentimes the difference between Heaven and hell. Now, I ask you, is this difference important enough to seriously examine? Aren't these principles, and not just practices?
We are trying to show you Biblical doctrine. We are trying to show you how much of the world has probably crept into the foundation of your religious thought, and the professed Church, because of the tolerance of sin. We are trying to show you how big the grievance is between the only true Christ, the LORD Jesus, and those who only profess to know Him. We are trying to show you how Laodicean this age really is. Don't you see how important it is to live according to all the Light He alone shows you -- not just what you want to know, or what someone without real authority says you will know? "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" (Luke 12:48).
You probably are too busy to care. If you had any heart to understand, you would probably have plenty of places to start asking questions, or sharing principles that you thought would help others. But then again, you are reading this, aren't you? Do you ever consider sharing the actual Scriptures that make your life worth living? Does the Word make up the foundation of your thought life? If not, you have probably ignored the Word of GOD. When you were first saved, if you were ever first saved, you loved to fellowship the Word. Have you lost your First Love?
1 John 1:3 "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." Fellowship with the Father and Jesus Christ is that "which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life" (1 John 1:1). You agree with this, of course -- yet, do you really? Your conversation, probably, is mainly composed of your own opinions. "I think....." Truth? It looks to GOD, as if you don't care to study the Word, let alone apply it to what you think you know. Have you probably lost your First Love?
You see, we believe that faith without works is dead, being alone. You agree with this, of course-- yet do you really? There are many professed Christians that say with their mouth that they believe -- yet their works deny Him.
We believe that, "we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." And that, "he that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him " (1 John 2: 3,4). You agree with this, of course -- yet, do you really? Do you apply the Word of these two verses to your life? You know, when you're in your sin, you deceive yourself. And the the whole time you are practicing this deception, you are practicing sin. You probably state, "Certainly a Christian can commit a sin, but conviction of sin is swift and repentance will soon follow." You and I know too many people, who profess Christ, yet their works have denied Him for years. Hebrews 3:15, "While it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation." Sure, repentance should be swift, but too often it isn't, and then hardness of heart and the "deceitfulness of sin" sets in (Hebrews 3:13). That one-time unrepented sin then becomes a habit. And you cannot tell me you haven't met any Christians who fit this description. One of the marks of Laodicea is its irreconcilableness. 2 Timothy 3:3,5 "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
Isn't Truth important to you? Isn't GOD's Word important to you? Shouldn't your works show your faith in this? If I tell you that I believe, "Many will say to Me [Jesus] in that day, LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?" (Matthew 7:22), and that, if left as is, Jesus will say to them, "I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (v.23), do you not then, consider this important? What if my doctrine is right? What if your conception of, "Who is really a Christian?" is very wrong? Where does that leave your family? Where does that leave many of the friends you've counseled? Where does that leave you?
You think you have the right answers, probably, but-- what if you are wrong? What if, 1 John 3:9, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God", means exactly that? What if "doth not commit sin" or "practices sin" means that GOD will not let someone know if he is a real Christian, while he abides in his sin? Just because someone claims to know Jesus Christ as their Savior does not mean that the LORD will give them testimony of their sonship while they persist in their sin. GOD will not give assurance of sonship to a backslider. The whole Epistle of First John is to demonstrate who can know that they have eternal life -- and consequently, who cannot know. If a backslider cannot know that he is a Christian (because GOD won't testify by His Spirit to their spirit), then he must and should feel very lost. Are you willing to whitewash this whole discussion? What about other verses on this website we have given you showing the unity of one's actions in relationship to the love of GOD or hope of Heaven? Remember what you've probably said to the Spirit, in some form or other, "If you want to continue with teaching Your doctrine, feel free?" Didn't He already lay it out systematically in the Bible? Hasn't He tried many times to teach you Truth? "Feel free" to do what? Say it all again? Why should He give you more verses when you won't address, or fellowship the ones you already have? Isn't this worth the effort? Isn't Jesus worth the effort? Isn't your family worth the effort? You'll probably say (although I hope not) I haven't demonstrated love in this letter. If so, I must say you have forgotten what love is!
You would admit, probably, that we have Scripture to support this, and, probably, that we sound like a doctrines textbook. Yet you probably say, in your everyday life, "I know I don't take the time to support everything I say with Scripture. I believe I can or I wouldn"t have said it." Well, that's great for you, isn't it? You think you know what you know, and you don't really care if anyone else understands what GOD truly does know. Is that love? Does that sound like someone who loves Scripture? Your only authority should be, "What saith the Scripture" (Romans 4:3), not, "What saith (your name here)." Why should we BELIEVE you when you won't prove all things.
You have probably criticized me for this letter, by now, and I'm wondering why the harsh judgment? You don't even understand WHY I do what I do, let alone WHY I believe what I do! If I could just hear you now, you would probably sound like you understand everything -- and that I'm left in the balances, found wanting. I hope not.
Concerning Romans 14, which talks about "doubtful disputations", both Christians believe they stand Scripturally. And there are many things in this world that aren't discussed by name in the Bible, ie, television. But, dear one, the Bible does give us ALL the principles to live our lives by, no matter what the subject. ALL Scripture is given for profit, doctrine, and instruction -- not just the 10 Commandments. And where the principles are CLEAR, and the Bible is full of them, the Christian is obligated to agree with GOD. Where the practices are not clear, the important thing is that each Christian stand before GOD with the clear conscience that they have believed GOD's Word. That they do have a Scriptural reason for why they live the way they do. Because they believe they must live by every Word that comes from His mouth.
But, how about principles? The Scripture cannot be broken. GOD wrote it so that we could have His mind on it, and be of one mind with Him. We are to have unity on principles. We have no right "to agree to disagree" on principles. To do so, is to take the edge off His Sword, His Word.
Read the following verses concerning one-mindedness:
Romans 15:6 "That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
1 Corinthians 2:16 "But we have the mind of Christ."
2 Corinthians 13:11 "Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind"
Philippians 1:27 "that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel"
Philippians 2:2 "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."
Philippians 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus"
Philippians 3:16 "Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Philippians 4:2 "I beseech ... that they be of the same mind in the LORD."
Philemon 1:14 "But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly."
1 Peter 3:8 "Finally, be ye all of one mind"
1 Peter 4:1 "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin"
John 17:22 "that they may be one, even as We are One"
and even in Satan's camp:
Revelation 17:13 "These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast."
For your own convenience, you have probably reduced our "Bible doctrines textbook", ie, this little letter, down to a discussion of practices -- not principles. And accordingly, since no two Christians can ever agree on everything, (you probably say) then there is no real point in discussing any of this (you probably imply). What IF we have the mind of Christ on this? What IF we understand the description of "Who is really a Christian?", and who isn't? What IF sin does matter, greatly? Will it be too late? Will you have missed the boat?
How can you not KNOW, deep down in your heart, that probably the Bible says more about this than you were taught in church? Maybe GOD is holier than you imagined? Maybe His hatred of sin is greater than you imagined? Maybe His reaction towards sin is more severe than you imagined? Maybe when He says that He "is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5), that He means we are to have NO darkness at all, also -- just like Him.
Maybe you were taught a type of "catechism", that left out more than you imagined? Maybe there were some traditions started long ago (ie, St.Augustine's doctrine of original sin) that are perverting The Rock Foundation of Christian beliefs?
You probably say, we sound like we have a zero tolerance for sin. Show me, Biblically, where the LORD has anything but that! From the abundance of the heart, we are trying to lead you. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good... for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh" (Luke 6:45). "Through DESIRE a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with ALL Wisdom" (Proverbs 18:1). Do you?
Now, you probably agree with my principle, here, because, after all, what Christian is going to disagree with GOD's Word...but you might not agree with the way I apply these verses. Just remember, dear one, my application can't change the fact that Truth is Truth. If I'm rightly dividing the Truth, then you should be wondering an awfully lot of things right now! And if I'm not, then you should be sharing a more sure Word with those around you. That is, you would, if only you hadn't lost your First Love (if you really had Him first).
Yes, you're a Christian school teacher, or Sunday school leader, or elder. Yes, you've professed Christ for a good many years now. But, if you've lost your desire to search the Scriptures, then could not Jesus say to you, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent" (Revelation 2:4,5).
You probably act like you don't see the point of quoting Scripture, yet I'm sure you would SAY you do. Is your reason for not quoting the LORD because He's burdensome and grievous (like teaching your "little headaches" at home or church)?
1 John 5:3, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous." Now, before you attack my application, would you not agree that this verse says, that to love GOD, you must obey from the heart, joyfully -- not grievously? And if you obey grievously, then you don't love GOD -- right? How many backslidden Christians do you know that would admit they don't love GOD? Would you have judged them as not loving GOD -- in love, and to their face? Would you tell them so? If they said you were a liar, that you couldn't know what was in their heart, would you believe them -- or GOD? Can you tell what they are by their fruit? Am I being too harsh? Or, maybe, is GOD more severe than you thought?
People can say they believe the Bible, but if they don't rightly divide It, then they may have the form of godliness, but they deny the Bible's power. How can the Spirit convict of sin if GOD's people won't use the Word rightly?
Please, don't consider us another of your headaches. Repent, and do the first works. Show the LORD you really do care about His Word -- don't just say it. Show Him!
Have you lost your First Love? Are you ignoring His Word? Are you probably His biggest disappointment, again? Is the fruit from you He sees and hears, telling Him "Yes" ?
Ephesians 4:16 "From Whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the Effectual Working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Romans 12:4-5 "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
Hebrews 13:3 "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."
1 Thessalonians 5:23 "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Colossians 1:21,22,24,25 "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight... Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body's sake, which is the church: whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the Word of God"
Colossians 3:15 "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
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