[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]My wife and I really don’t watch very much television. Partly because our lifestyle and schedule of commitments don’t allow for much of it, and partly because there is very little television programming that is worth using up the free time that we have to watch it. Consequently, most of the programs that people get all worked up about and even addicted to, we have never even seen. And I’m okay with that.[/x_custom_headline]
However, as I write this, my wife and I are on the road, and we decided to schedule ourselves so that we could watch the most recent Presidential debate. Either during the debate, or during the interviews with the candidates following the debate, a commercial came on that I had never seen before. And quite frankly, I can’t even remember the product that was being advertised. But it is the content of the commercial that got my attention and started me thinking.
In this commercial we see a father and son leaving an awards ceremony, evidently for the football teams of a city-league. As they are walking back to their vehicle, we hear the voice over giving us the father/coach’s thoughts as he examines the lame trophy he received with the word “participant” on it. His thoughts are something to this effect: “Why were we given the exact same trophy as the teams that we beat.” He then pulls the engraving with the word “participant” off of the trophy, and writes in its place, “Champions.”
I guess the reason that commercial caught my attention is because of much of the false teaching that I am hearing nowadays impacting the Body of Christ, that says that your works don’t actually matter. It is now being taught that what you do or don’t do as a Christian does not matter, because Jesus loves you anyway.
Of course Jesus loves us! But that was never in doubt in the first place. So lumping that statement in with such an unbiblical teaching is truly ridiculous, and is leading many people into error.
[highlight]The whole “Jesus loves me anyway” idea, is a false narrative, and is being used as a pathetic excuse for disobedience to God and His Word. It’s just that plain and simple.[/highlight]
Another part of this false teaching is wrapped in the statement that says, “We don’t have to work for our salvation.” And my response to that once again is, of course we don’t. Jesus paid the price for us to be saved. And anyone who ever spends any time at all reading their Bible should already know that.
However, the issue isn’t now, nor has it ever been, doing good works to receive salvation. It’s about doing good works because we are saved, and have received salvation through Jesus Christ. Don’t confuse the two.
[highlight]So make no mistake about it: Doing good works because we are saved is found throughout the Bible, and is one of the themes of the New Testament, along with receiving rewards for those good works, or losing rewards for getting off track with God.[/highlight]
And the only possible way to deny this is to get a razor blade out, and start cutting out the Bible verses and portions of scripture that teaches us these things. And based upon some of the teaching going around these days, I think a number of preachers have already done just that.
Perhaps it would be good for each of us as believers to return to the Bible and to examine for ourselves exactly what the Word of God states in this regard. For example, look at this verse below:
[x_blockquote cite=”1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV” type=”left”]“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”[/x_blockquote]
If the scriptures instruct us to be steadfast and abounding in the work of the Lord, then doesn’t it stand to reason that the Lord is expecting that of each of us? And if that is so, and it is, then all teaching that contradicts this is out of line with the Bible.
In fact, what I find especially sad is that much of the teaching on grace today implies that God’s grace trumps godly living and doing the good works of the Kingdom of God. However, the Bible is extremely clear that this just is not the case at all. Just look at the passage below as one example of this.
[x_blockquote cite=”Titus 2:11-15 KJV” type=”left”]“11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”[/x_blockquote]
The true grace of God is a teacher. And it teaches us to deny ungodly living, meaning to not allow it in our lives. And it also teaches us to be zealous of good works. So any teaching on grace that says otherwise is simply false teaching.
Perhaps this false grace teaching assures everyone that they will get a trophy with the inscription “participant,” just for showing up. I’m sorry, but I can’t find any politically correct, “let’s make sure not to offend anyone” participant rewards listed in the Bible.
The good works that Christians are to be doing includes things such as, faithful church attendance, daily Bible reading and prayer, presenting God with our tithes and offerings, soul winning, involvement in the Ministry of Helps in our local church, just to name a few. Are you telling me that these things that enhance your life, cause you to be a good disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, and serve to advance and increase the Kingdom of God, don’t really matter? Seriously?
[highlight]If good works don’t really matter, then explain to me why in the book of Revelation, Jesus tells each of the seven churches listed there, “I know thy works”?[/highlight] These seven churches are representatives of the Body of Christ just before the rapture of the Church. This means that Jesus’ message to them is His message to us today, and you will find Jesus talking to them about their works in Revelation 2:2, 5, 9, 13, 19, 23, 26; 3:1, 2, 8, 15. Our good and righteous works sure do seem to matter to Jesus, even if they don’t matter to the false teachers of our day.
The righteous do righteous works, and the ungodly do ungodly deeds. So then, the works we do is a true indicator of our spiritual condition, and the depth of our relationship with Jesus Christ. And in the final chapter of the Bible Jesus states the following:
[x_blockquote cite=”Revelation 22:12 KJV” type=”left”]“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”[/x_blockquote]
I, for one, think it is highly unlikely, that Jesus will be presenting us with “participant” trophies.