“For in many things we offend all…” (James 3:2)
“So be it” the English translation of “Amen”
When one is called by God to be His servant in the area of preaching, God warns him about the response and reactions of sinners and saints. He forewarned Jeremiah about this a number of times. He warned Moses and Joshua of this many times. God puts a boldness in those He calls to His purposes, which are according to His pleasure. James knew this well, as he wrote, “….we offend all.” The man of God will offend sinners; he always has, he always does, and he always will. To be offensive is a job description.
However, one should not seek to be offensive for the sake of being offensive. In fact, truth be told, the man is not what offends the sinner…it is God and His Word. Sinners are offended by the Word and they demonstrate this offense by despising the man. This is what God told Moses. Christ told His disciples that the world would hate them, but know that it hated Him first. We have shown kindness to strangers and they were appreciative …until we offered them a Gospel tract and a witness to Christ. The appreciation died when God or Christ was mentioned.
The preacher learns not to be phased by the sinners glares or words. The preacher is not offended by the sinners hatred anymore than he is offended by a barking dog or a hissing snake. On the other hand, however, the preacher can be jarred at times by the saints or those professing sainthood.
When this preacher states Bible truth like, The Love of God is enjoyed by His elect alone and not sinners or workers of iniquity he is thought to be wrong. When a Bible Truth like- People do not die, go to Heaven, and return to earth is shared, the one who shared is thought to be a downer. A Bible Truth like- Certain holiday traditions are not in line with Scripture are really liked and appreciated…not. If one shares other truths like- “Barney the Dinosaur” is teaching socialism to children and “Dora the Explorer” is meant to desensitize our young people to illegal immigration one is thought to be Looney-toons.
The statements above are not made lightly or meant to incite or provoke anger. We would be able to logically support the truths above with Scripture and examples.
To be Scripturally sound we admit that Paul and John went to Heaven in the form of visions. It could be argued that Paul went to Heaven in his person. However, Paul was forbidden to reveal his findings. John was allowed to reveal certain aspects of what he saw and was forbidden to reveal other aspects. Today there are many people “going to Heaven and to Hell” and they are full of descriptions. These persons are revealing all of what they “saw.” Those in Christendom are delirious over these reports as they betray their ignorance of sound doctrine. Another difference with Paul and John is they didn’t die and return.
One of the persons who “went to Heaven” and wrote a book or had a book written about him, now admits his lie. This person has heard the Voice of the Shepherd in the Word(s) of Scripture and by faith “went to Christ” and found salvation. Due to his conversion to Christ, he confessed his childhood deception. The church should not be angry with this person for he only did what sinners do. The church should usher this person in with the spirit of understanding and acceptance.
We do have a theory about all these fictional “non-fiction” books. This theory extends to the many apocalyptic films and television shows that are popular today, as well as the increase of good Christ-ian films and films depicting demon possession.
Our theory: In the early days of Creation one would look to the sky for one’s weather report and the time of day. The sky also acted as one’s calendar of upcoming events. As time wore on clocks were invented, calendars were published, television brought pictures to life, and then the internet bridged and brought the world to one place. Today, one does not look to the sky; one looks to the television and the internet for one’s information. Therefore, God, we believe, is speaking to the people of earth through the television and internet. This speaks to the eternal mercies of God and to His longsuffering and patient kindness. Some may say, ” NO! God speaks through His Word!” and we would wholeheartedly agree. Although God primarily speaks through His Word, we would ask this question in reply, “Does God use persons to speak to a lost world…does God use Christ-ian tracts to speak to the lost…Did not God use an ass to speak to Balaam…Might God use the television and the internet to speak, also?
Another theory we posit is the “Plagiarism of God’s Word.” If one looks at any written work or any film produced there is some semblance to the “Greatest Story Ever Told.” Whether it be the last “Harry Potter” movie, where the hero dies and rises again or “Godzilla” falling and appearing dead only to rise up with greater strength than before. One could watch “John Wick” and see elements from the Second Coming of Christ as taught in Revelation.
The Christ-ian could and should find Christ-figures everywhere. For example: Sherlock Holmes, prepared to die so that a criminal mastermind could not continue to harm others…thought dead for (3) three years only to return with greater control over himself. John Watson, his biographer, did not recognize his friend at first. Holmes had his arch nemesis, Moriarty, and defeated him in the wilderness. However, Holmes finds Moriarty’s agents still seeking him, whom they want to destroy. Holmes fasts during his investigations, he saves people from danger, he teaches his methods to others and children like to be around him. Holmes recognizes depravity and he know that their is design behind the universe. There is a Christ-figure from literature and film.
Holmes, John Wick, The Lion-Aslan, Harry Potter, Superman, Batman, Thor, the Vision, etc. are all Christ-figures in one way or another. They all share attributes with the Godman. However, these characters are fictional. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Godman is as real as real can get. He is Alive and lives in Heaven, in physical form and indwells His people, in the Person of His Holy Ghost of God.
To be Chrystal Sea clear, I am not putting anyone or anything on par with my Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus. There is none other name under [H]eaven; given among men, whereby we must be saved. Christ and Christ Alone is Lord and Saviour. It is at His Name that every knee shall bow and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is LORD.
An application: Seek for Christ and His Gospel everywhere and ye shall find Him being represented and sometimes where ye least expect. Learn to see God everywhere…in a seed, in a book, in a movie, in other persons, in the daily news, in the clouds; for they declare Him, in the intricacy of a watch, in the wind, in a candle, in a door, in a gate, in a slice of bread, in a drink of water, and in a person rising from sleep. Look at a clock and relate it to Scripture. For example: It’s 3:16 am, quote John 3:16 and dwell on it’s teaching for a while. It’s 5:16 pm, so rejoice evermore as 1 Thessalonians enjoins….it’s 5:17 pm, so think to thyself, I should pray without ceasing , as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 teaches.
God is Omnipresent, so look for Him.