I apologize for being away from my “post” for a few days. My father-in-law passed away a week ago today and it has been a very difficult and busy week. I left off in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and, as usual, God's timing is perfect. There are some things that happened in the last week that tie in to some points I wanted to make about this chapter.
On Wednesday my son and I were the last ones to leave the funeral home after the wake and as we walked out my son was crying and asked, “why did God have to take him?”
I said, “I don't know, son, but He knows, God knows, and He has a reason.”
As we turned the corner to go down the hallway my son continued crying. As we walked I had my arm around his little shoulders and a well meaning, kind hearted woman that works at the funeral home said, “Grandpa's in a better place now and he is looking down on you smiling.”
This is something that our society has been programmed to say and it is unbiblical. This comment seems harmless enough, but are we at liberty to speak unbiblically as it relates to eternity just to make somebody feel better. Isn't that what is wrong with the American churches today, “feel good Christianity.”
My son told me about 2 years ago after I had told him something (I can't remember what we were talking about), but he said, “Dad, we always know you tell us the truth.”
That sounded so funny coming from a little 7 year old, but it made me feel good that he knew that I would always tell him the truth. His sister knows that too. I think that is why she waited until her and I were alone the night her grandpa died and asked, “Dad, can people in Heaven see us, can Grandpa look down right now and watch us?”
I said, “Paige, our source of Truth is The Word of God and as far as I know, there is nothing in The Word of God that suggests that they can. God may allow it, I don't know, but there is nothing in The Bible that indicates that they can see us from Heaven.”
Why do I point all this out as it relates to 1 Thessalonians chapter 4? As some of you know, after my father-in-law was diagnosed I called the church that my father-in-law had been a member of for several years to set up a meeting with the pastor who was ministering to him in the hospital. I wanted to make sure he was telling my father-in-law the Truth. That conversation is in an earlier post if you want to read it, however, the point today is that he asked me if I have ever heard the term “carnal Christian”? In my head I was thinking, “yes I have, it is a term unrepentant sinners like to use to pretend they are Christians yet keep on sinning and it is completely unbiblical.” But in an effort to make sure the conversation stayed gentle and respectful, I simply said, “yes I have.”
My point today is, are we at liberty to speak unbiblically as it relates to eternity? Let's take the pastors term “carnal Christian” and see if it sounds Biblical:
1Thessalonians 4:1-8 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
I ask you again, does the term “carnal Christian” seemed Biblical. Can somebody deliberately continue in sin and say they belong to Jesus Christ? This pastor thinks so, and he preaches it from the pulpit. He preaches it to those who are looking to him to hear the truth. There are only two doctrines in the world as it relates to eternity; the doctrine of Truth and doctrines of demons, which one is he preaching?
1Thessalonians 4:7-8 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
1Johnn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.