Real Truth Leads Us to Repentance–Be Careful of Your Teachers

“We avoid saying things that might make people feel uncomfortable”, the pastor said.  Which is why Sandy loves one of the fastest-growing churches in her area.  She visits both campuses, depending on which weekend she stays with her boyfriend.  (True story, told by “Sandy”, casually, unabashedly, to another Christian.)

There is a new gospel taking the church by storm.  But, it’s not new at all.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires…”  2 Timothy 4:3

Beware, dear sister…we all have “itching ears.”  We want to feel comfortable, even at the risk of walking in darkness.  I read this comment last week:  “I use this as a ‘gauge’ for which blogs I read:  If they edify me and encourage me, I read them.  If not, I stay away.”

And we certainly need encouraged!  I LOVE edification and encouragement.  But that can’t be the end or we stop short of the gospel, we disobey God by living and teaching a lie, and we rob each other of the fellowship that is in Christ–the fellowship that can only come from repentance, a loathing of our sin, a celebration of redemption that makes us a new creature who now delights in the hardest words to fall on human ears:

“If any man would come after Me let him deny himself…”

Deny himself of what? His own lusts, passions and desires. More simply, he should concern himself no longer with what *he* wants.  Now, it’s “all about HIM.”

Jesus most certainly did not make people feel comfortable.  “Lord, this is a hard saying.” And they walked away.  And He let them go without changing the message.  “Go and sin no more…in fact, it’s so important that I’d rather you cut the hand off that causes you to sin.  If you continue in sin, you can have no part with Me.”

We almost romanticize sin when we should be proverbially renting our garments over it.  “Oh be careful little ears what you hear (and little eyes, what you read).”  Measure the message by the Messenger who brought it first.

“The nature of true repentance is clearly and unmistakably laid down in holy Scripture. It begins with knowledge of sin. It goes on to work sorrow for sin. It leads to confession of sin before God. It shows itself before man by a thorough breaking off from sin. It results in producing a habit of deep hatred for all sin. Above all, it is inseparably connected with lively faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance like this is the characteristic of all true Christians.”

~ J.C. Ryle

__________________________________________________________________

37 Responses to “Real Truth Leads Us to Repentance–Be Careful of Your Teachers”

  1. LucyT says:

    AMEN,I just love your blog it helps me to be the kind of christian I WANT to be.

  2. Lori says:

    That’s largely why I read this blog. We have very little in common, other than our Christianity. You’re a work-at-home mom of many kids; I’m an infertile law student who feels the unique call of God on my life to a career in family law. You’re a Calvinist; I’m an Arminian. Your soteriology and eschatology are wildly different from mine.

    But the things said on this blog are important to me because on the one hand, they often encourage and convict me; and on the other, they are so different from what I believe sometimes. Only by considering what others believe can we truly be informed citizens in the world. I have a deep desire to understand others’ perspectives because I think understanding has so much value and potential.

    Yours is not the only blog I read. I read the blogs of other Christians, Catholics, atheists, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, breastfeeders, bottlefeeders, SAH mothers, WOH mothers, fathers (both employed and unemployed), infertiles, professors, students, attachment parents, Ferberizers, Pentecostals, Church of Christers, women who have had abortions, women who have given babies up for adoption, and everything in between. There is a multitude of people with their attendant perspectives, and I want to know, to understand, not just to be edified and encouraged, but to be challenged and stretched. And that is why I read.

    • D. says:

      Sneaking in on your comment, Lori…..if I may share a little. I don’t really think it’s about being a Calvinist or an Arminian, but about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, as the Bible gives credence to. We can have our own opinions; we can sound lofty or foolish (depending on who is listening to us) and we can be well informed on every religion and happening in the world. The point is that we can have true fellowship only through the blood of Jesus Christ and this is why Christianity has remained under attack for centuries. It says there is no other way to God (eternal life) other than through Jesus; it limits how we get to heaven (not through good works or being successful, etc..) and I believe this is why the church remains under attack. It’s that sense that we all want to be loved and accepted no matter how we live and many Christians are falling for the same watered-down Gospel because we don’t want to be view as intolerant or “judgmental.”

      So it’s not about the early church argument of, “I follow Apollos; I follow Peter,” (nor the I’m Calvanist/Arminian) but it’s all about following Jesus Christ and living for His glory.

      God bless you in your quest with law. We need more godly lawyers!!! 🙂

  3. Jacinda says:

    I’m almost dumb-founded at how timely this post is! I just spent an hour outside twiddling a pen between my fingers, trying to come up with a respectful response to someone who disagrees with much of what I write. I eventually gave up, after recognizing I was too emotionally charged to jot down anything worthy of note. So I hopped on over to one of my favorite places of encouragement-Generation Cedar ;)- and came across this! Now I just have to decide if leaving a link to this page is a wise course of action. 😉

    Thanks, Kelly. I love your blog forever. I just know it.

  4. “Measure the message by the Messenger who brought it first.”

    That little statement is powerful on so many levels!

    Sometimes, in our flesh, it is so hard to measure the message by the Messenger. We become so polluted by the things of this world, secular thinking, and amusements that we have to dig the Treasure out from the ashes first…

  5. Jennifer says:

    Profound and cleansing, Kelly

  6. Bernice says:

    I find your blog challenging and that is why I read. Thank you for taking the time.

  7. Kristin says:

    So for whom are you writing? Are you ‘preaching to the converted’ with this blog?

  8. Word Warrior says:

    Kristin,

    I should start by saying this post wasn’t meant to “assess why you read my blog”. I think the title may have been a bit distracting–it is simply a quote from a popular movie meant to intrigue the reader 😉

    Yes, I would say I write to encourage other believers, or professing Christians. Even as I began this blog, it seemed there was a tremendous “watering down” of the gospel and the evidence of such in the lives of those who claimed Christ. As I tread, myself, in the Christian walk, clinging to truth in a culture that fiercely opposes it, I simply write for the same reason I believe we are ALL called to speak–to teach the younger women the things of God and challenge them to live in a way that glorifies the Lord.

    There are voices–lies–couched as “truth”, clothed in false light and deceiving many who are “tossed by every wind of doctrine”. We, as Christians, are to be vigilant to help our brothers and sisters walk steadfastly.

    We, not just I, have an obligation to teach what our Lord did. encouraging, admonishing, even rebuking in love.

  9. Jennifer says:

    “Simply a quote from a popular movie meant to intrigue the reader”

    Yup, that’s a great movie that also seriously challenges folks to study true morality.

  10. Rebekah says:

    Thank you for another thought-provoking post. I agree. And there *is* a watering down of the gospel, I think, in part, b/c of all the itching ears.

    Miss you! 🙂

  11. Ginger says:

    I’ve never thought of edification that way. To me, if a friendship is edifying, it is one that draws me closer to Christ, it is a friend who is unafraid to rebuke me when I need it.

  12. Meri says:

    How often do we compare ourselves to others and to “society” to validate our own sinful actions? ‘I am better than _______’ or ‘At least I don’t do ______’. But God calls us to hold ourselves to a higher standard, His standard, as set forth in scripture. Sin is not a popular doctrine in today’s world because to acknowledge our own sin does not make us “feel good” and we live in a society that puts a high value on “feeling good.”

    I think that we all need to be both edified and admonished in order to mature in our walk with Christ. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3.

  13. Mrs. Santos says:

    “Lord, this is a hard saying.” And they walked away. And He let them go without changing the message.

    This was a great point. Sometimes we forget that THE WAY is narrow and few are those who find it. ‘Just me and Jesus’ is a lonely thought to some ~ they don’t know the Joy of that kind of relationship.

    Hebrews says Jesus, who for the JOY that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame…That’s what I want, what a lot of us want…to be able to endure even what we hate for the Joy that is set before us.

    The kingdom of God is righteousness, joy and peace…

    God bless you, Kelly

  14. Kelly L says:

    Such a great post! Holiness, righteousness, our own sinfulness have all gone by the wayside. Here is a good gauge, if you feel church feeling better about yourself than when you walked in, you may not be in a church that is concerned with your spiritual eternity, just their bottom line.
    “Be Holy, as I am Holy” ~ God
    NOT Do what you want as long as it feels good or you are better than the other sinners in your own eyes.
    I pray for these pastors, not enough, as they will be held to a higher standard than we will.

  15. SavedbyGrace says:

    I go away and come back — you’re always hitting on a near and dear topic – Sister!

    We’ve had a traumatic week ( maybe month even ). This topic was on our lips very often. I think it’s like this: we constantly come to Y’s in the road. On 1 side is a nice, wide, easy ( so it appears ) path which Jesus says leads to destruction. The other is a narrow little strip with weeds growing up and around it because it’s so seldom used. We have a choice ( daily if not multiple times daily ) of which path we choose. Wide is the path that leads to destruction and narrow is the path that leads to ever lasting life. We choose these paths with our decisions to obey. (You know my stance – the whole Bible and no interpreting out stuff you don’t like. ) Every time we obey we build our faith just a little more, even when it comes to giving up your daughter if that is required – just plain simple obedience!

    No, most people don’t want the truth and they can’t handle it. How many of us take offence when corrected by someone else? I know I’ve suffered that particular illness and it’s called pride. 🙂 But we should be like the Bereans and study the scripture to test whatever we hear. When someone does correct us, scripture should be our standard. “Lord, may we take correction with the correct heart, test it with Scripture and apply it to our life when it’s correct. May we not be as white washed tombs in your eyes. Amen”

    God bless,

  16. Diane says:

    Right at this moment I am struggling with how to respond to and “live in love” with a dear,dear sister in the Lord who is casting aside many of the truths we know about sin and Godliness. She has convinced herself that premarital relations and even living with her boyfriend (an unbeliever) is just fine, and that “correct interpretation” of scripture allows such things. It seems that sin and morality are antiquated notions. So… yeah.. this post really struck home with me today♥

    And on another, completely unrelated note! I am hostessing a giveaway on my blog this week for an entire headcovering wardrobe. It’s to kind of kick off the opening of my own little headcovering shop- each day I’m featuring a new cover design, so it’s really pretty fun. At least for me;-) I just wanted to let you know, as you have been a real inspiration and role model to me in the whole home business thang!
    Love ya Kellz♥

  17. Word Warrior says:

    Diane,

    Many well wishes with your home business! You’ve embarked on a fun/interesting/challenging journey 😉

  18. jen in AL says:

    great post! it is truly a blessing to have fellowship with other believers not afraid to challenge me, encourage me, rebuke me if necessary! Carry on! blessings, jen in al

  19. Tawny says:

    Kelly,
    What an eye opening post! Wow! Thanks for reminding us what The Bible really says!

  20. Katie Grace says:

    Kelly, what a great post. There are Christians who only want to be encouraged but not challanged. As my family walks down this narrow path, we look around and there are fewer and fewer people going the same way we are.

    We’ve been dealing with this issue this week. People finding out we are expecting our third child, making it 3 under 3, and coming to the defense of a church friend who has decided to homeschool next year (being attacked by the Christian public school teachers in our church) has shown us how many Christians like to omit the parts of the Bible that may make life more difficult. Many Christians are content to stay self-centered not Christ-centered. We are striving to be Christ-centered and that has ruffled some feathers!

    Thanks for saying the hard things!

  21. Michelle says:

    This post is on a subject dear to my heart. After walking in darkness IN the church for years, God tries my heart and mind daily to find His Truth. It is a road that is long and hard…but praise God for His abiding Spirit that leads me in the right direction. (Well, at least I hope… 😉 )

  22. Clara says:

    Thank you for this! I like reading your blog for its encouragement and your challenging posts, like this one. I need these reminders for self-reflection: how am I doing on my walk with the Lord, who am I learning from, am I focusing too much on myself, am I too comfortable? Great post!

    Praise God, He challenges us to keep walking in His Truth! I feel like I get nudges from Him, big or little nudges. to stay on the narrow path.

  23. Dawn says:

    What movie does ever keep mentioning!?!

    • Ha ha–so the original title of this post (which I have changed) was “You Can’t Handle the Truth” from A Few Good Men. 🙂 Sorry about the confusion! This post was buried way back in the archives, without an image (which makes it hard to share on social media) and so I resurrected it and reposted it.

  24. Vicki says:

    AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

  25. Carla says:

    Outstanding post! God bless you always. I love love love your post. I look forward to them. All the fulness of God to you and your family.

  26. D. says:

    I’m quite saddened that at times it is easier to find true fellowship by reading your blog than it is within my home church or other Christian friends! So few want to take the conversation to the nature of spiritual matters – it’s always centered around earthly measures (new house, vacation, goals for the next 20 years!!!). I find your blog a place where I am both challenged, yet affirmed that the narrow path may (will) mean standing out as a bigot, not compassionate enough or too old-school.

    My greatest challenge then is to speak the truth in love and with the seasoning of grace to my hearers. How to stand firm and ruffles feathers, yet remain completely pure before the Lord in my motive and delivery. Keep on keeping on, Kelly. I know and I’m sure you get lots of flack and even hate mail, but you’re a true encouragement to the rest of us. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Dissenting comments are welcome only in the spirit of "iron sharpening iron"; hateful or angry responses will be removed at my discretion. You may add your gravatar (image) at Gravatar

WordPress Themes