A Lazy Grace By Jack Kelley What if God had made the same half-hearted mediocre…
Let Your Yes be Yes
By Dennis Huebshman
Previously, I gave a message about the dangers of being taken in by False Prophets and anti-christs and how they are leading people of faith away from the truth. When the proper judgment comes, they will be dealt with by the Father. (Note: all emphasis is mine.)
Along these same lines, each one of us must be aware of our own actions so as not to mislead others, either inadvertently or on purpose. Much as I hate to admit it, there are church people today who do just that. The Bible has a lot of passages about this, and in this message, I will try to cover a few. Most are obvious from the language given in the texts. One thing to remember, our Heavenly Father hates ALL sin, yet will forgive us if we ask as given in 1 John 1: 8-10. The only sin that won’t be forgiven is to deny Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. That’s the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit to not believe. Knowing this, He does not take away the possibility of discipline for our actions, and it could be harsher if the sin is intentional or meant to cause others harm.
Hosea 10:4, “They utter empty words taking false oaths and making empty agreements. Therefore, legal disputes sprout up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of a plowed field.”
In 2 Thessalonians 2: 11-12, “Consequently God sends them a deluding influence, so they will believe what is false. (12) And so, all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned. (Part of John 14:6 is covered here.)
Proverbs 13:5, “The righteous person hates anything false, but the wicked person acts in shameful disgrace.”
Proverbs 19:5, “A false witness will not go unpunished and the one who spouts out lies will not escape punishment. (discipline)
Jeremiah 7:8, “But just look at you; you are putting your confidence in a false belief that will not deliver you.” (believing satan’s lies)
Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:3-5, “If someone spreads false teachings and does not agree with sound words – those of our Lord Jesus Christ – and with the teaching that accords with godliness (4) he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in controversies and verbal disputes (gossip). This gives rise to envy, dissensions, slanders, evil suspicions, (5) and constant bickering by people corrupted in their minds, and deprived of the truth; who suppose that godliness is a way of making a point.” (using the word of the Lord as a weapon rather than given in a loving manner)
He goes on in 2 Timothy 2:19, “However, God’s solid foundation remains standing bearing this seal – the Lord knows those who are His, and everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn from evil.” (we still have 1 John 1:8-10 for when we slip and sin which we all will still do – Romans 3:23)
James 5:12, “And above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear neither by heaven or by earth or any other oath; but let your Yes be Yes and your No be No so that you may not fall into judgment.” (Jesus gave almost the same message in Matthew 5:37)
Ezekiel 13:7, “Have you not seen a false vision and announced a lying omen when you say, ‘the Lord declares’ although I myself never spoke?” In this passage, we are being warned that if we say, “The Lord Said”, it had better be something He really did say. Many people say this to try to make their point look like it’s biblical. However, there’s passages in the bible that talk about adding to and taking away from the word, and the discipline that goes with it. (Revelation 22: 18-19)
How many times have you heard someone say, “I swear to God” or “I swear on my mother’s grave”? Does this in any way make our statements any more valid? If you will notice in court proceedings, a person who is going to testify to anything is asked to “swear or affirm that what they are about to testify to is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, So Help You God.” I actually witnessed a person in Federal Court being “sworn in” by the Judge using the above parameters. The person said he would tell the truth, but would not swear to God, because he didn’t believe in Him. I’ve never seen a Judge at such a loss of words, but he finally said he would accept the person’s testimony. He did give warning about the penalty for perjury if the statements were later found to be false. God does not need anyone to investigate our statements. He knows a lie no matter how we try to disguise it. Best policy with the Lord is to tell the truth and accept the discipline if any is warranted.
So many people are being turned off and either leave a church in disgust or just reject the Lord outright because of actions being taken in organized religion today. James basically is saying to always stick to the real word of God and we can never go wrong. If someone won’t accept the truth when it is given, that’s on them. However, if they turn away because of false statements, malicious gossip or anything else that goes against the True Word of the Lord, then the person making these false statements will be held accountable. When people begin to believe the church “belongs” to them, they have in effect evicted the true owner – Jesus the Christ who bought it with His precious blood. He will not stay where He is not honored as Redeemer, Savior, Master, Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He will accept ALL who sincerely call on Him and accept Him. (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:14)
Those who twist His words or give them out of context will fall under Galatians 1: 8-9 where Paul says they are to be condemned to hell. He said it not once, but twice for emphasis.
The word is meant to be given as-is according to Revelation 22: 18-19 as mentioned earlier. It’s not really that hard to do, but the atmosphere today is “don’t offend anyone or your attendance and contributions will be down.”
There are no secret ceremonies, no special incantations, no sacrifice on the altar and no mortal man can save anyone. There’s a song that says very clearly, “Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.” The only thing we can do to receive our salvation is to ACCEPT His Sacrifice He gave on the Cross; believe He really did die for our sins, was raised on the third day and that He really is God the Son. The only physical thing we can do is to Confess to Jesus (not any man) that we have sinned and ask for His forgiveness. The only sin His sacrifice will not cover is to take your last breath on earth without accepting Him. He will not force Himself on anyone, but will turn no one away either. Anyone who wants a real relationship with Him are welcome and He is waiting to accept them and prepare a place for them to be with Him forever. (John 14)
We serve a Mighty God and a Blessed Savior. The Father wants us to tell about His Son, but in a truthful way as He presented it in His Holy Word. Call on Him today and join the ones who already have. There’s plenty of room in heaven.
Have a great eternity! Maranatha