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The Danger of Abusing God's Grace

by Jim Drago

There is no greater travesty in the church today than the misuse and abuse of God’s grace. It is nearly constantly intimated that because of grace….we no longer have a responsibility to pursue righteousness, to obey God’s precepts. Having excepted Christ at one time in our lives is not a license to continue in a behavior that is said to be sin, some magic moment that somehow renders God’s right to judge as sinful those things that He has clearly said are sinful: Nor does it negate our obligation to obey His precepts, nor does it force Him to accept and ignore disobedience. You see there is a mandate that mainstream Christianity seldom mentions as a precursor to the forgiveness of sin that grace provides, but it is imperative. We must repent from sin.

On any given Sunday a person can go into any one of a 100 churches and the likelihood is that in nearly all of them one will hear a teaching on God’s grace and that because of His love and mercy you are forgiven. Thankfully His grace and mercy are indeed boundless. However there is a prerequisite to them, and in 1 or 2 churches, usually the smallest congregations in the area, you will hear a message from a pastor who isn’t afraid to solemnly teach the rest of the truth, that repentance is critical to forgiveness, that if we want to experience God’s grace and mercy we need to turn from sin and pursue what is Holy; regardless of the cost. That God is to be held in fear and reverence. This pastor puts his own comfort and popularity behind the importance of helping his sheep understand that choosing to willfully continue to disobey God’s precepts will have eternal ramifications. I believe God would rather see a pastor lead a congregation of one to repentance, than see congregations of thousands coddled and led to believe that compromise will be overlooked.

You see we each play a major role in our own forgiveness. Oh Christ made the supreme sacrifice, He made the way, but we must also choose to sacrifice, that is what picking up our cross daily means. That is what the Word means when It tells us that we must work out our  salvation with fear and trembling. Salvation is not something that God owes us just because we had an emotional or even a true spiritual response once upon a time when we said the "sinner's prayer". We must strive to walk daily according to ALL of His precepts. That one incident though foundational does not in and of itself guarantee salvation.

We all sin, anyone who says, or thinks they don’t is either incredibly foolish or extremely arrogant; but no more so than someone who confesses they sin yet believes there will not be consequences for continuing to. That is not faith- it’s foolishness. Christ didn’t die so that sin could continue to reign over us and we could be free from it’s consequences while continuing in it. To think that is not faith in His sacrifice, it is mockery of it. He died so that through His power we could stop committing a given sin and therefore not suffer the consequences for it. Confession in and of itself does not lead to forgiveness, we must also repent. If we rebelliously choose to continue in what God calls a sin; the consequences stand regardless of Christ’s sacrifice. Grace does not cover willful disobedience. Grace is not a license to sin; To the contrary, His grace is what empowers us to choose not to.

If the Word tells us that a given behavior will bring judgment, or stop us from being forgiven, or make us enemies of God, or prevent our inheriting the kingdom of God, then it most assuredly will….God is bound by His own honor to follow through on what He laid forth as His precepts and the consequences He said would be the result of not obeying them. That is the only way He can be trusted to be a fair and righteous judge. His precepts have remained unchanged since spoken; man does not determine what is or is not sin, God has set those boundaries. Any other definition or interpretation regardless of its origin whether the government or the church means nothing in regards to whether or not a behavior is sin.

The Word tells us that it is appointed once for man to die and then comes judgment. I assure you when that time comes God will not leave us at the gate with St. Peter while He comes down to discuss with our pastor how He should judge us. He will judge us according to the truth of the behavioral choices that we made, and the consequences we experience will be those He set forth for the disobedience of His precepts. We will not be judged according to what we thought was truth, or what we were told was truth, on the contrary we will be judged according to what is truth. HIS truth, and ours for He surely knows even our most secret sins. Please don’t believe you can take His grace for granted, before you know it, it might be too late to repent…and from that split second on, for all of eternity, your eternity is set.


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