Watered Down

John 6:57–58 (ESV)
“As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

Surprisingly, many that were following Jesus around after He spoke these words fell away and left Him (John 6:66). This serves as a poignant condemnation for many churches and believers today.

Jesus never altered His message to accommodate others. He wanted them to follow Him at every cost, never changing the truth found in Scripture. No doubt that He loved everyone, but He would not compromise on the cost of being His disciple.

Today, we see many TV evangelists preaching a feel-good prosperity gospel, or pastors of mega churches bending to societal norms so as not to upset any of their flock, else the offering plate might not produce as bountiful a harvest as the week prior. The moral ground of many evangelicals has been weakened by overlooking abject moral failures of our political leaders on both sides of the aisle and other high profile individuals in a desire not to offend and seem set apart.

But that’s just it, as God’s people we are called to be set apart. When we strive more to blend into the world, we are drawing further away from the purpose God has for us. Silence on such matters can be perceived as consent.

As much as we want to believe Romans 10:13 is the beginning, middle, and end of our eternal security, it just isn’t so. Do you truly believe the thief on the cross was saved just because of his words if his heart was not in line with such a statement? Time after time in Scripture, we are reminded how God looks upon the heart of His people, not just on what they say (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 33:15; Mark 7:6; John 5:39-40; Acts 15:8; 1 John 3:20-21; Revelation 2:23).

Too many of us are taking advantage of God’s grace. This is warned about in Scripture (Jude 1:4), and is lived out in many lives of those who attend church regularly. We feel we have received the gift of eternal life by believing in Jesus, and feel there is nothing left to do once such declaration is pronounced. True, salvation does grant us eternal life, but if we continue in unliberated bondage of sin, we are living a lie.

We cannot just preach half a gospel which says God loves them and has wonderful plans for them. We must also preach that God hates sin and will punish unrepentant sinners with eternal damnation. We cannot water down the truth to appease people. I encourage you to review the following passages that reiterate this point: Matthew 5:28–29; Galatians 5:19–21; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; Hebrews 10:26–31; 2 Peter 2:20–21; 1 John 2:4; 3:7–9.

Being set apart should equate with an uncompromising belief in ALL of Scripture, not just the feel-good parts. Sorry, Mr. Osteen. "Name it and claim it" will not get you to Heaven.