“There is a sense in which God’s promises are unconditional, in that our disobedience will not thwart God’s intention to be gracious, but there is also a sense in which those promises will be released only through the obedience of God’s people” (Paul Carter).
The Bible is clear that God blesses His people. But it’s also clear that some blessings have conditions: “If you do this, I will do that.” Sadly, motivational preachers, teachers, and pastors only focus on the blessings of God without showing the other side of the coin. “I have to keep my members happy and encouraged,” they say. Yes, we should encourage, but we also must convict and confront if we are to be faithful ministers of the gospel.
Many come to church praising God but not prevailing with Him, worshiping but not walking in His promises, and praying but not seeing His power because of unrepentant sin: “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). As it’s been said, “It is possible to have a saved soul but a lost life.”
We actually do a disservice to people if we fail to preach on the wonderful truth of repentance. I believe God will heal our land if we repent and turn to Him. I believe He will supply every need for those who, from a pure heart, honor Him with their resources. I believe God will bless you with a ministry if you are obedient in the small things. I believe God can honor a person with a spouse if they stop partying and seek His will rather than their own. And on and on it goes — where it stops only God knows.
Sin Fascinates Before It Assassinates
Scriptural truths must be balanced, but what does it mean to be balanced? When we speak of the attributes of God, we must remember that no one attribute is greater than another and no single truth of Scripture is truer than another. To genuinely help people, we must avoid the temptation to cherry-pick. We must preach the difficult truths as well as the joyful ones — the cross and the new life, hell and heaven, damnation and salvation, sin and grace, wrath and love, judgment and mercy, and obedience and forgiveness. We must preach that God is love but not forget He is also just. It is the love of God that compels us to share all His truth.
Jeremiah 5:25 is powerful and heart-wrenching: “Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you.” He goes on to say in verses 30 and 31: “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?” False teachers are often a judgment on false converts and on those who love to have their ears tickled but not their hearts changed. (Here is one sure sign of a false prophet.)
When people follow their own plans, they walk backward and not forward. Disobeying God is a recurring theme from Genesis to Revelation and from the church in Acts to the church today. We must be relentless in our pursuit of God, ruthless in rooting out and dealing with our own sin, and quick to repent and seek the restoration of our fellowship with God when we fail.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Shane Idleman