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Proclaimers of the Gospel vs. Spiritual Gatekeepers

So I have had many conversations lately, all centering around people who’ve been hurt by the church, who’ve been told they’re going to hell by Spiritual gate keepers who both place themselves on the judgement seat and use no scripture to support their reasons for making such declarations, who’ve had spiritual teachers, who I’m going to assume were sincere and had good intentions, basically say “If you don’t do this thing I say, you’re violating God’s word and condemning yourselves to hell.” I’m going to stop for a second and make a few declarative statements: I believe in the inerrancy of the Scriptures and what they say about sin and salvation, and I do not believe we need to stop preaching and teaching on such things. I believe that Jesus is the only way to change and be saved, and I believe that too many of us prize our personal belief systems over scripture and what Christ commanded us to do.

Why is it the Apostle Paul could confidently say: Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

The Apostle Paul was never soft on sin, but the same sins we deal with today existed in his time and place, and what drew people out of them? The proclaiming of the Gospel, the Word of God, the Holy Spirit convicting of Sin, and people casting their sins aside for the sake of Christ Jesus. So why do we say things that Jesus or the Apostles would never say? Sin condemns us to hell, yes, but we call things “sin” that are sin by our traditions, or by our culture, or by our particular branch of Christianity’s creeds. WE condemn people to hell, instead of trying to, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through the love and Grace and mercy shown to us by our Lord, plead with them and seek to draw them to the same Christ who transformed us.

For all of us have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. But by His mercies, He sent His Son, who lived in the flesh, but was not condemned by it as we are, who lived according to all of God’s righteous requirements, and offered Himself to be crucified to atone for the sins of many, and on the third day after His death, He rose again, conquering the consequences of our sin. This is the message of the Gospel of Liberty: we are enslaved in our sin, but Christ has died to set us free. Let us, then, become proclaimers of the Gospel grounded on the Word of Christ, rather than Spiritual Gatekeepers, self-condemned and bound up in our own tradition.

Romans 3

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,

“That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

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