The Validity of the Bible and our Responsibility to share it
2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work".
As I have made an effort to share the Gospel. As I have shared what the Bible says regarding sin in the life of believers and sinful lifestyles among believers and unbelievers alike. I have tried to do it in love and from the position of what God's stance in his Word is on how we should live our lives and represent Jesus. In this I have faced opposition from professing believers and non-believers alike.
I can handle opposition from unbelievers. In fact, I expect it. They do not have the spirit of God on the inside of them to bring revelation about God's Word. Therefore, I don't expect them to understand or accept the Bible as an authority on any subject. That does not mean however, that I will not share the Word with unbelievers and give the Holy Spirit a chance to water that seed and make it grow.
On the other hand, professing Christians, are without excuse. IF they are in fact children of God with the Holy Spirit on the inside then not only should they believe the Bible is the authority on what God expects, but they should be thrilled about sharing it with others. They should also be thrilled that a brother or sister in the Lord cares enough about them to correct them if they are out of God's biblical will. So when people who are supposed to be Christians defend ungodly actions or principles and make the argument that it is not loving to share the truth with unbelievers or to share the truth in the correction of believers, I must take issue with that. This argument does a disservice to unbelievers who need to hear the truth and to believers who need correction. Not to mention, the blatant disobedience to God's Word that it suggests. If this sounds like it describes you, I would suggest some evaluation of the validity of your relationship with Jesus.
The bible is God-breathed, infallible and the authority on our eternal life that begins now, if we are a believer. If we do not believe that as Christians then we had better question our salvation because nothing in the bible can be depended on as fact.
As far as our right to share God's Word with others, it is not only our right as Christians to do this, it is our responsibility. Let's start with the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20 says, "Jesus came to the disciples and said, "all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age". That is a command from Jesus himself. In Romans 10:13-15 Paul asks these questions, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? How can they believe in one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent"? Romans 10:17 states, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ. Matthew 18:15-17 tells us how to handle church discipline in regards to a brother in the Lord walking in deliberate sin.
So my questions to anyone challenging whether or not we are to share the word with everyone are these:
How do people believe in what they have not heard?
How do we train new believers to be disciples and make disciples without the word?
How do we hold each other accountable to do what is right in the eyes of God without the Word?
The answer is we cannot!
Now to address the question, Are we showing the Love of Jesus by challenging sin in the world and in the church? This concern has been expressed many times. The idea that we might push people away by challenging sin or sinful lifestyle's. The idea that we are not being loving in suggesting that those who do not accept God's salvation through Christ Jesus and making Him Lord of their Lives are going to end up in Hell, apart from God and suffering for eternity has been expressed many times. Let me just say, that Hell IS a biblical reality. It is not a figment of our imagination. It is not a state of mind. It is a real place that many people will end up in. Anyone who says or believes differently is misinformed and needs to study further on the subject. Neither Jesus Nor myself want to see people go to Hell. God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to die for our sins so that we could spend eternity with Him in Heaven.(John 3:16) Unfortunately, everyone will not choose that path. In fact, Matthew 7:13 states that "wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few will find it. Jesus goes on a few verses later to state that even some of those serving in the church and doing very religious things and thinking that is what Christianity is all about will find themselves unknown by Jesus and spending eternity apart from Him.(Matthew 7:22)
Let me ask you, When did Jesus not speak the truth regarding sin out of a concern for offending someone? When did any of the disciples or the apostle Paul not speak truth or challenge sin because they were afraid of pushing someone away from the faith. The answer is NEVER. Jesus, more than once, after healing someone or delivering the woman at the well from the judgement of her accusers said, "Go and sin no more". He was very clear all through the Gospel's of the sacrifice required of his followers.(Luke 9:23)(Mark 8:34-38) He was also very clear about what kind of fruit would be evidence of a true follower. This fruit would be what was used to separate the sheep from the goats.(Matthew 25:31-46) The apostle Paul's letters were designed for challenging sin and encouraging a faith filled, obedient, loving, righteous, lifestyle. No where did you ever here these guys say, "We know that you are struggling with sin. How can we make you feel better about yourself in this sinful lifestyle". No! They commanded that we pursue change. That, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we leave our sinful nature behind. That we forget what is behind and press on toward the high calling that we have in Christ Jesus. (Philipians 3:13-14) Nowhere does Jesus or anyone else ever apologize for the Gospel.
Ask yourself this, If you were in a building and it was on fire, but for some reason you didn't realize it. Wouldn't you want someone to come tell you it was on fire? And once they did, wouldn't you want them to help you find your way out? Would you really argue for your right to stay and get burned up because the furniture was nice, you had beer in the fridge, a pretty girl by your side and the big game was about to come on your flat screen TV? I hope you wouldn't argue with the person standing in front of you who is trying to convince you that all of that stuff you have in front of you is going to be a pile of ash in a very short period of time. That it is going to be worthless and you are not going to be able to enjoy it anymore even though you will want to. This is the picture of reality you need to understand when you think of eternity.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will make every reader of this post keenly aware that their house is in fact on fire and that if they don't let him pull them out, they are going to get burned for all eternity. I pray that they will be able to realize also that Salvation is not fire insurance. If you truly accept Jesus's salvation that he lovingly bought for you by his blood on the cross, he will change your life. You will be a new creation. The old things will pass away and all things will become new.(2 Corinthians 5:17) Your heart will long to obey God. Your mind will long to think on the things of God. And you will be able to live with the knowledge and the excitement that you get to spend eternity in the presence of God. He will not only be your Savior but he will be your Lord. Not only will you not challenge others on sharing the Word. You will realize that you are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because you will know that it is the power of God unto Salvation.(Romans 1:16) And believe it or not, YOU will not be able to help yourself but to TELL SOMEONE ELSE ABOUT IT!
Love in Christ,