Yesterday I referred to a song called Crucify Him of which the lyrics were very poignant. (keenly distressing to the mind or feelings) On Sunday we talked about shouting praises while at the same time shouting crucify Him. This thought should distress you to the point of repentance but will it? The reason I said yesterday the song had good lyrics till the end of the song, was it did not call to repentance; all it did was talk about forgiveness and love. You cannot have forgiveness without repentance. You also can’t talk this way and leave out the wrath of God as Hebrews 10 teaches us. Hebrews 10:26 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  Here is a reminder of the verses; “I sing, "Hosanna!" when I want it all. Then I crucify the Son of God. Cause He isn't who I always thought. It's packaged differently than Pharisees. Wrapped in sing-a-longs and Christianese. Empty hallelujahs to the King. When my heart is loving idols. How could He have the audacity to ask me to give Him my tomorrow? I sing, "Hosanna!" once again Then I say, "Crucify Him!" Sure these are great lyrics but here is where the message of this song fades away. At the end of the song the words forgiveness and love are repeated over and over as if by repeating these words it somehow magically removes our sin without any fear of God or repentance. This is not the gospel message.
                Today’s church has become a “Summer of Love” movement. This movement “was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people, mostly young people sporting hippie fashions of dress and behavior, converged in San Francisco's neighborhood Haight-Ashbury. Although hippies also gathered in many other places in the U.S., Canada and Europe, San Francisco was at that time the most publicized location for hippie fashions. Hippies, sometimes called flower children, were an eclectic group. The song of choice along with many others was “All You Need is Love” written by the Beatles in 1967. “The song captured the utopian sentiments of the Summer of Love era and topped singles charts in Britain, the United States and many other countries.” This song simply says all you need is love and with the help of some psychedelic drugs you too “could explore and, find new ways of expression, become aware of one's existence.”
                 Of course this summer love does not represent the love of God but neither does what the church is selling today. No the drug of choice is not psychedelic but has become emotion. If it feels good then it must be God. How often do you hear God showed up? I hate that saying by the way. Why did he show up? What were the results? Was it because it felt good or did people fall on their faces and repent? (Even in this test the Spirits) The church has emphasized God’s love to the point of distorting His true love. Yes we serve an amazing and loving God. Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” Psalm 105:8 He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, 9 the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. 10 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: 11 “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.” Many teach that the promises of God will happen no matter what. They say God expects obedience but he would never send you to hell is what lies in the background of this distorted love. They always say what kind of a loving God would….? Obviously they have not read their bibles. As this song I talked about above said people crucify him and shout Hosanna but then in the end its forgiveness and love. They leave out repentance and the wrath of God part of His love. The rest of Deuteronomy 7:10 “But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him. 11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.” God’s incredible love and grace does not cancel out his command to us concerning obedience. Yes satan will be right there saying God does not mean what he says. Genesis 2:16 “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Satan comes along and Genesis 3:1 “said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” God then said Genesis 3:11 “And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.” This is true love.
                The teaching on love and grace these days is not scriptural. Saved by grace does not mean you can do anything you like and still be okay. God means what he says.  Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Men and women can teach all they want that there is no hell and God would not send those he loves there, but scripture says otherwise. The deception is caused by a lack of teaching on God’s true nature concerning love and has produced a lack of fear and people in the church just don’t fear God because they have been taught to relax instead of repenting. People love John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” but usually people leave out the rest of this. “17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” Loving God means obeying God’s commandments. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.” “23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
                Many Christians fail to understand God sending his Son for us. They think that because God did this and then raised him from the dead and sent His Holy Spirit that their sins are automatically atoned for and the power of God is in them. They then think it is all love, love, love! They think they are good because they got baptized as a kid or later in life. They think they are secure because they prayed a prayer at some point in their life, yet they continue to stand and sing praise but at the same time shout crucify him and trample the Son of God. 1 John gives us a lesson on love. 1 John 4:9 “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.”13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”       
                Love is much more than a feeling you get when a song is moving or a service has touched you. Love is obeying the commandments of God. Sometimes that feels great others times you are in prison. People do not like fire and brimstone (in the sense of the gospel message) because it makes them feel bad about their sin. Remember the true gospel gets people killed but having said that Paul knew what most don’t as he said in Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Nehemiah 8:10 “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
                If what you know about God’s love does not include His wrath and jealousy (Deuteronomy 4:23 “Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God), you have missed the picture of true love. John 3 goes on to say John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” We reject the Son when we do not obey His commandments. Most Christians do not even know their bibles or even why they are a Christians. They were told they had the Spirit of God in them when they were saved yet there is no evidence of God’s Spirit in them. Not only do they not know the voice of Jesus, they have no idea who the Holy Spirit is. There is no fruit in their lives nor are there gifts of the Spirit. These have been replaced with talents. Paul says in Galatians 5:6 “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Just for a moment look at all the idolatry and witchcraft in the church. Most do not even know how much the New Age and idolatry has infiltrated the church. Then Paul describes the gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:4 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” This is basically non-existent.
                But wow does the church love 1 Corinthians 13. They reject chapters 12 and 14 but emphasize the love chapter, which you can’t have by the way without 12 and 14. Just to show how out of touch this teaching is. 13 ends with “13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” They say we will just focus on love.  But when you turn the page to 14 and the first verse says, “14 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy,” and then Paul continues to describe the gifts of the Spirit. The church has had to fill this empty form of godliness and the lack of power with teaching that makes them feel great about themselves and the way they did it was with false teaching about love. Again while people are listening to these teachers tell them the power of the Holy Spirit is not available in out day, only in the early church, or those who say we don’t focus on the gifts just love, are leading you astray. If you listen to this nonsense you will shouting free Barabbas and crucify Him.
                If this continues in your life and you deliberately keep sinning by trampling the Son of God underfoot, and treating as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified you, and continue insulting the Spirit of grace? It will be a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” This is why true repentance must be preached again no matter what the cost to you is. After Pentecost when the church was moving in the power of the Holy Spirit as we also should be, Peter preached and said Acts 1:14 “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:” He then continues preaching and says, “36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” This is the missing component in the church today. God has turned his face from shining on us because of our disobedience and the disobedience of those who have gone before us. The power of the Holy Spirit is not present to convict. The people realized that they had crucified their Lord and Messiah. Those who shouted Hosanna and crucify him were cut to the heart. 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
                 The message of the gospel is still the same; Repent and the Kingdom will come near. True love and grace is the fact that we are not dead. We do not deserve any of this. Daniel 9:4 “Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. 7 “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you. 17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” Zechariah 1:2 “The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. 3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. 4 Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. 5 Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors? “Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’”
                You cannot continue in your own way whether it is about love, grace, and salvation etc. We must repent before God and turn from our wicked ways. Our repentance must be according to the word of God. If we continue in our sin we will see the wrath of God. 1 John 2:3 “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” 1 John 3:6 “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. 7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 1 John 2:22 “And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”
                All you need is love but just make sure it is the love of God as described in scripture, not man’s emotional ideas about it. As Peter said “save yourselves from this corrupt generation!”