Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 25, 2017

Cheap Grace, etc.

One of the main challenges of religion is to make their offering cheap, but not too cheap.  If a religion is too strict, it will have few adherents.  If it is too loose, nobody respects it.  Some religions are spiritual get rich quick schemes.  ‘You can have paradise if you jump through our easy rituals’.  As the tendency is to desire large numbers and the associated income, the rituals aren’t too difficult.  Cheap grace is when believers are offered get out of jail free cards because, “Jesus paid my sin.”  Many Christians believe that their sins are covered, so there is not much to worry about.  The truth is, sins are covered, but only if one repents.  A great example of this:
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matthew 6:14-15   And,

“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”  John 5:6-9

Now notice what Jesus says:

“Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”  John 5:14

This man was an invalid for 38 years.  Yet Jesus says something worse may happen if he does not stop sinning.  Now notice that Jesus doesn’t say, “Stop sinning in this life or something worse may happen to you.”  It is impossible to completely stop sinning in this (first) life.  Therefore the command must extend into the next life.  That next life is going to include demands to repent and forgive others.  Many Christians are going to be surprised.  They thought, “Jesus covered my sin” so I don’t need to change anything.  Jesus admonished:  “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.”  Matthew 5:25

Those courts he is referring to will be in Jerusalem.  It is described in detail in Ezekiel chapters 40-48.  Attendance at the Feast of Tabernacles will be required:

“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.  If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.  If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.  This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.

On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar.  Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord Almighty.”  Zechariah 14:16-21

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