Discipline is one of the ways God delivers us from committing even greater sins that will mess up and destroy our lives in even greater ways. So deliverance and discipline often come from the same source. Here are three things to remember whenever we face divine discipline.
One consequence of sin is that it damages our relationship with God and our ability to pray. When we sin, one of the hardest things to do is pray. So if you are having trouble praying, the first prayer that can be offered is a prayer of confession and repentance.
Many people believe that Hebrews 10:26 teaches that people lose their salvation for willful sin. But does this verse mean that we can lose our salvation? The same avenue that is available to us today: falling completely and solely upon the grace of God.
If there is one person who should have lost his salvation or proved he never had it in the first place, it is Jonah. But God forgives and loves him. While horrid beliefs and behavior have significant temporal and eternal consequences, final and ultimate condemnation from God is not one of those consequences.
Caring for people is the first step in caring for their theology. We give bad theology because we never take the time to get to know people. I fear that many churches and Christians do not realize the horrible, muddled theology we teach to people in our neighborhoods, at our jobs, and even in our families because deep down inside, we do not really care about the people themselves.
Does God send storms? If so, why? Are storms sent to punish the wicked people of the earth as some pastors suggest? I say NO. If anything, God sends storms upon the righteous who are not following God will in the world. He sends storms because He wants us to get up and go help those who are lost and hurting.
I am not as concerned with Muslim extremists as I am with Christian moderates. Christian moderates are one of the biggest threats to the world today. We are content to practice our religion in peace and quiet. We don’t want anyone to rock the boat, and we ignore the fact that the boat is sinking. We just want to be safe and serene, not bothered by what bothers the world, or concerned with what concerns them. This is what makes us so threatening.
Everyone knows the world if full of bad theology. Most people believe some horribly incorrect things about God. Sadly, much of this is the fault of Christians. We often teach heresy to our neighbors by how we live. Sometimes, by the way we live, we actually begin to threaten the lives of other people around us, which is the worst teaching of all.