Thursday, January 4

Is the message ‘repent’ or ‘God loves you unconditionally’????

John the Baptist began his ministry by preaching in the wilderness the following message:

Matthew 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Jesus began his ministry with the following message:

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Peter’s sermon at Pentecost ended as follows:

Acts 2:37-38 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

At the Areopagus Paul told the men of Athens:

Acts 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

The common message and theme in these evangelistic messages is unmistakable. However, in America today, we will most likely hear the following evangelistic message:

God loves you unconditionally.

I will affirm God's love, but somehow the message that God loves you unconditionally does not seem to offer any urgency or incentive for a lost sinner to repent, believe, and seek God. Rather, it seems to impart a sense of security and a message that it does not matter how you live or what you do. Is this the message that John, Jesus, Peter, and Paul gave?

7 comments:

bluecollar said...

A world, a race in rebelion against its maker, calling sin "good" and righteousness "bad". A race that does not like to retain God in its knowledge, neither is thankful to Him. A race that is by nature "chidren of wrath" and led about by the spirit of this world, completly under the sway of the devil.

Nope, no need to repent found here. No need to preach that men ought to repent in order to receive forgiveness of sins - Acts 26:18-20.

jazzycat said...

Mark,
It is amazing that some would deny the call to repentance that was given by John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, and Paul, as being an integral part of the gospel message.

We mustn't tamper with anyone's self-esteem or put any strings on those get out of hell free cards.

Scribe said...

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:7)

I can't believe that many a church propagate God's love without repentance from sin. The Lord will only have mercy upon a sinner that truly repents from his sin(as per my choice text). No wonder the church is full of unrepentent sinners...they are too busy being told that God loves them in spite of their willful rebellion to God-They are enemies of God, children of satan, and children of wrath. Another good post W( or is it Jazzy?)

-Scribe

Scribe said...

The law was our school master to bring us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith(Gal. 3:24), how dare these so-called preachers of the gospel alter the message? The message hasn't changed, it's still repent or perish.

-Scribe

jazzycat said...

Scribe,
Good points. It is W.H. Jazzy's humble and devoted servant. Check my post on Bluecollar blog....

Craver VII said...

The thing that frosts me the most about this (unconditional love) evangelistic angle, even more than its apparent universal acceptance, is that it is fiercely guarded as a foundational truth!

Too often, an otherwise rational person will reject the tenets of Calvinism, not because of overwhelming biblical data, but because of the conflict with this over-arching "principle" (gag reflex) of God’s “unconditional love.” (blink, blink)

I teach a 4th & 5th grade Sunday school class, and yesterday, I wrote this on the board:
“God is _ _ _ _.” They guessed “holy” before “love.” Aah, my darling little theologians!

jazzycat said...

Craver VII,
That's great. Holiness is Dr. R.C. Sproul's favorite attribute of God.