Propitiation At The Heart Of The Gospel

Rom 2:5-10 NLT
“… For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. HE WILL GIVE ETERNAL LIFE TO THOSE WHO KEEP DOING GOOD, …BUT HE WILL POUR HIS ANGER AND WRATH ON THOSE WHO LIVE FOR THEMSELVES, WHO REFUSE TO OBEY THE TRUTH and instead live lives of wickedness…”

If we preach only expiation, which is just the covering or putting away of sin that obstruct the fellowship of man with God, that is only half the story. For propitiation, which is the appeasement of God’s wrath against all unrighteousness of men, is at the heart of the gospel.

The wrath of God is still operative till the final judgment of all sin. If we do not preach the true gospel including the understanding of God’s wrath and propitiation, the repentance of sinners to accept the Lord Jesus as both Savior and Lord will be found short. That is, unless the sinner understands he has sinned against God and God alone which David Pawson called it the “God dimension” of repentance,  repentance will be found short.

Till we understand and fear God’s wrath, we will not appreciate how just He is and His amazing grace towards us. We will fail to understand His eternal will for us (a PURIFIED people for Jesus zealous for good works) and we are likely to trivialize obedience and doing good works in our training journey on earth. Eph 2:10.

(Jesus) who gave himself for us to REDEEM us from all lawlessness and to PURIFY for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for GOOD WORKS. – Titus 2:14

The hyper grace false gospel twists the gospel at its heart by saying repentance is just a change of mind and not the heart (Rom 10:9-10),  So it is not surprising that this false gospel trivializes obedience and doing good works.

The Christian Hope

Rom 5:3-5 NLT

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident HOPE of salvation.And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Titus 2:11-13 NLT

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with HOPE to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

The Christian Hope is not wishful thinking but confident expectation that God’s promises will definitely come true. As some incredible prophecies have been fulfilled beyond our imagination, we can trust future prophecies will be fulfilled just the same.  It is rooted in faith in the salvation of Jesus Christ and culminates in His Second Coming.  Because of this Hope, the Christian is zealous for good works for the love of his Lord.  And it also brings peace and joy to him or her through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Christian looks forward to this heavenly city built by God and lives as an exile because nothing on this world can satisfy his deepest desire and he is sensible enough to give up all worldly pursuits in exchange for this greatest treasure of the Kingdom of Heaven.   Heb 11:13-16.

The non believers can laugh at the “silly” belief of ours imagining heaven as a place where angels play harp or just whiling the time away flying around.  We should ignore such detractors and not to take such imageries of Heaven literally.  Otherwise when our Lord tells us to be like doves, we have to lay eggs (in CS Lewis’s words).

Heaven will realize our greatest aspirations and we can handle all such aspirations then as sin is no more.  Science, art, culture and technology will be limitless because the new “kairos” earth is a resurrected glorified earth.

 

Power Ambition Of The NAR Prophets

“The lust for power has always been a characteristic of the human story, at least since Adam and Eve were offered power for disobedience. Still today the three major human ambitions (the pursuit of money, fame and influence) are all a concealed drive for power…Unfortunately we see the same power hunger in the church…I confess to being frightened by the contemporary evangelical hunger for power, even the quest for the power of the Holy Spirit. Why do we want to receive power ? Is it honestly power for witness (as in Acts 1:8), or power for holiness, or power for humble service ? Or is it in reality a mask for personal ambition, a craving to boost our own ego, to minister to our self importance, to impress, to dominate or to manipulate ? “
– John Stott

I see this same madness of Christendom falling for the deception of the NAR prophets today very much like the Corinthian Church falling for the ruse of the “super apostles” in St Paul’s days.  Like these “super apostles”, the NAR prophets try to dominate the church and the world through power and utterly ignore the words of our Lord that His power is only made perfect in weakness.  This sort of display of power and worldly wisdom are sadly the basic idolatries of the fallen world.  God has made it clear that it pleases Him to save believers through the FOLLY of the gospel so that none can boast. 1 Cor 1:18-21.

These false prophets try to realize their ambition by teaching all Christendom to submit to their authority as prophets and apostles so that they can usher in a glorious kingdom now and NOT till Christ comes again. They are effectively usurping the supremacy of our Lord. 1 Cor 1:12-31.

How amazing that the same history as in the days of Paul at the Corinthian church repeats itself today !  The NAR prophets always tried to deliver their messages in conferences with high sounding rhetoric and with a display of eloquence. Both of which Paul denounced as the Corinthian church did fall for the ruse of the “super apostles” who came displaying power and eloquence.  1 Cor 1:17; 1 Cor 2:1; 2 Cor 11:5,13; 2 Cor 12:11.

It takes two hands to clap.  The Corinth Church also deserved blame.  She was self sufficient.  She was living in luxury, comfort and ease.  She had this tendency to follow human leaders and tried to form parties following Paul or Apollos, and later the “super apostles”.  She prided herself with abundance of spiritual gifts and believed she was already reigning in power.  Paul said the following in sarcasm to admonish rather than to shame (1 Cor 4:8-14) :

You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. 11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. 14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

The Believer’s Bible Commentary has this commentary on this same passage concerning the Corinthian Church :

“The Corinthian Church had become self sufficient, they were already full.  They prided themselves on the abundance of spiritual gifts in their midst; they were already rich.  They were living in luxury, comfort and ease.  There was no sense of need.  They acted as if they were already reigning, but they were doing so without the apostles.  Paul states that he could wish that the time to reign had already come so that he might reign with them !…Christians will reign with the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes back and sets up His Kingdom on earth.  In the meantime, their privilege is to share the reproach of a rejected Savior.  HP Barker warned, “It is positive disloyalty to seek our crown before the King gets His.  Yet this is what some of the Christians at Corinth were doing. The apostles themselves were bearing the reproach of Christ.  But the Corinthian Christians were ‘rich’ and ‘honorable’.  they were seeking a good time where their Lord and Master had such a hard time.” ”

How strikingly similar are the affluent churches today submitting to the lordship of the NAR apostles and prophets to usher in the glorious Kingdom of Heaven with this Kingdom Now mentality to “invade” the world.

(For further reading on the “super apostles” mentioned in 2 Cor 11 : https://www.gotquestions.org/super-apostles.html)