In my next post I will share some things from an old book by H.A. Ironside about repentance. Repentance seems neglected among Christians in our day. But just a brief thought in this post…
I’ve been thinking about how so much Scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments, is a word of judgment, critique, rebuke, or warning to…God’s people and religious folks. Really, think about it.
Deuteronomy contains warnings and cautions as God’s people are preparing to enter the Promised Land. The prophetic books are filled with warnings and insightful commentary about the hypocritical behavior of God’s people. In the Gospels, Jesus had sharp words for religious folks. If you think Jesus only said nice things all the time, you have not read the Gospels. In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus likewise has words of rebuke for a number of different churches.
Of course, there is also much evidence of God’s mercy and compassion! God is faithful and patient with his people. God does not give up easily. The warnings were given in the hopes that the people of God would repent and return to God. Also, words of rebuke are mixed with encouragement too. For example, in the messages Jesus had for the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, most of the churches are praised for what they are doing right, not just rebuked for what they are doing wrong.
But that said, contemplate that significant chunks of Scripture are things like…cautions, warnings, and rebukes…reminders to stay on the right path or to get back on the right path if we are wandering away.
I could provide some commentary, but will simply encourage you to consider…how much does this match up with modern day Christianity? I think Christianity as a whole does not make much place for words of caution and warning and challenge in our lives of faith, which really means we must neglect and ignore significant sections of the Bible…and that is concerning and problematic.
Update, a quote: “We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior.” — John Stott
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