Perhaps I was only preaching to myself –I think so..here is what I was ruminating on.
Shared with Public 28.6.23
Since AD 500 the majority of preachers and teachers pastors and proclaimers have threatened eternal damnation to those who do not believe in Jesus AND to those who fail to be obedient as Christians. I can honestly say that Jesus Christ has delivered me from such beliefs though I once believed them.
Dear son…I love you unconditionally…but if you disobey me my grace for you stops and you shall be tortured for ever and ever …son. You see son…when you are suffering eternal doom just remember how I love you so much…unconditionally….and remember son that I had the power to grant you repentance but I did not give it to you…even though I said that no one can repent unless God grants them repentance…Never mind son. If you think I am a hypocrite –you are right son. Bye forever..Your loving dad.
When I first came to God I sensed the loving embrace of the Father–Then I went to church and learned their doctrines and began to preach them to others and to my children. God loves you but if you refuse Jesus you will burn for eternity in darkness away from all that is light and good. Could not understand why they did not want my god?! I put a stumbling block before my children with such a perverted hellish message.
Luke 16:28 ‘…for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
The word translated as torment means rather – TOUCHSTONE.
1) a touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal
The so called place of torment is not what preachers have imagined.
For does not every believer go through the fire of His testing in this life? Is not our God a consuming fire? Hebrews 12:29 Yes and Yes!
After dying –the unbelieving and disobedient dead shall be raised at the resurrection to a time(aion/age) of His Consuming fire which shall purify them of all that offended before. Once purified they shall be sharers in His holiness as Heb 12:10,11 says.
What is the Fire? It is God Himself..as we know..saying no inwardly to our fleshly choices, blocking us from going our own way, dealing with us so we ask forgiveness of those we hurt, etc etc..a Father who lovingly corrects us..his children.
It is not pleasant to be dealt with by our Father…but it is for our good.
Do you imagine that all those unbelievers are not His children too?
Jesus died for all…
All shall be saved through fire! God shall save and purify all.
It is very easy to simply roll along believing everything tradition says is the truth…fear stops us seriously searching out answers for ourself because what if we find that the official doctrine is faulty? That means we will have to decide who to follow…Jesus or tradition?
Ten out of twelve leaders in Israel were united in their stand against the testimony of only two men…and then the whole nation joined behind those ten cowards in unity to kill the two trouble makers. But the minority report was vindicated as the truth. Do not be quick to follow the mob view…be of a different spirit and know the Lord on each matter.
It does not even come into God’s mind to burn people in a literal fire to destroy them.
Jer 7:31“And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.
The ONLY fire that God thinks about is a purifying, purging, cleansing fire that leaves the person set free and more like Jesus.
And that fire is not separate from him..IT IS HIM. God is a consuming fire.
You have to go through disillusionment and despair over your own ability to “obey” God…before you can finally really receive Jesus as your ONLY righteousness.
Many so called prophets today encourage the people to dream for success and greatness in being USED BY GOD. What you and I think is ‘success or greatness’ may be the opposite of what God thinks. They allure through the lusts of the flesh. The flesh wants to be great, it knows no other way. So when our loving Father corrects us by giving us a long drawn out wilderness experience to wean that thing off us…we rebuke the Devil for doing it. It wasn’t the Devil friend. It was your Daddy God.
1 In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the voice of God is calling
To the harvest calling you.
Little is much when God is in it,
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.
2 Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own. [Refrain]
3 When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child, well done!” [Refrain]
Author: Kittie L. Suffield (1924)
What a powerful hymn! This is how Father does things with most of us…we are doing what seems like small things, even No Thing! But as Kittie wrote, “if God is in it- it is great!” Being faithful to God means that you stay in that lower paid job, you stay in that lower class suburb or town, you give the money to the one He directs you to, you may even have to sell all and give it away. She wrote–
When the conflict here is ended
And our race on earth is run,
He will say, if we are faithful,
“Welcome home, My child, well done!
There is a thing called “being faithful”…to God. It will mean death to the fake self that always wants to be noticed and to be great. God knows what He is doing! Just say “Yes Lord!”
The spirit of the world says you must have a new car, own a house, be highly paid, etc etc…but God tests the heart of His children. What is it you really want? Fame and wealth or to know Jesus? We have to learn to be content with what we have and do NOT have.
God is not at your beck and call to fulfill YOUR dreams. Read Haggai
This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the LORD’s house should be built.” ’ ”
3¶Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?”
5Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!
6“You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
7¶Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!
Seek first HIS Kingdom and HIS righteousness…not your kingdom and your glory
23¶But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
24¶Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
There will be those who come to you to tell you to “look after number one” “you deserve it” …heheh…dont be moved from where and what God has you doing.
25“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
God is always arranging for you to lose YOUR life…but you can resist Him either by refusing to do the thing YOU KNOW you should do…or…refusing to surrender in it by being thankful.
It can be any number of things God is asking of you….usually it is something you do not want to do or feel you cannot do.
Doing what He wants you to do rather than what you want to do will profit you.