Recently I had a dream in which I was sitting at a table with a man who looked at me and said, “maybe you can help me, though I doubt it because I’ve asked pastors and they can’t help”. He said, “I can’t get my son to eat what I feed him!”
I actually saw before I sat down that he was being rough about that with his son. So I asked him, “do you love your son or do you want to control him?”
He got angry and said, “no child of mine is going to make my name look bad!”
So I said, “you are saying that your reputation is more important to you than your child?” To which he got even angrier.
When I woke up I thought about the God of the OT. Let’s think about this for a few minutes.
There are a number of things that we are taught that aren't actually in the Bible. Feel free to look these up, but you won't find them in a scripture anywhere. For instance:
- Pray this sinners prayer so you can be saved.
- Believe in Jesus SO THAT you can go to heaven.
- Get forgiven SO THAT you can go to heaven.
- Confess and admit your sins SO THAT you can go to heaven.
- Ask Jesus into your heart.
Of course heaven is real, but the things we supposedly believe come from the Bible, aren't always there.
Whether you grew up in church or not, there is a good chance you can quote John 3:16 from memory. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him will not perish, but will have everlasting life." (John 3:16) Like most of us, you probably think that this "eternal life" is a synonym for "going to heaven when we die." But that would not be the truth.
One of the great tragedies of futurism is the neglect of history. The book of Revelation was written to a Jewish audience, before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. The Jewish historian Josephus, unbeknownst to him, recorded the fulfillment of many of the apocalyptic images of Revelation. One of the clearest examples is found in the prophecy of the sea turning to blood.
As "prophetic" voices around the USA trumpet the shaking that is coming in September, I think it appropriate to see what the Bible says about God bringing shaking. With such loud voices, passion and seeming authority demanding our attention it might surprise you to know that the shaking that is coming is not what you think, and it is not a cataclysmic event.
A legend is a story that has some historical truth in it but has probably grown bigger than life. You know what a fairy tale is right? A fairy tale is a story with fairies. A fairy tale is a fantasy story filled with mythical creatures with a moral to the story, but it is outright fiction.
I want to tell you about a God who is not a fairy tale. One whose story seems too good to be true… he calls it good news. Gospel. It is not a fairy tale. It has been minimized instead of growing bigger than life that's why I’m telling you it's no fairy tale what God did in the gospel! BUT a lot of the things we believe about forgiveness and the gospel are closer to fairy tales than they are to fact. So let’s look at some of those:
As the TV show Mythbusters does, I want to explore and test the proposition that believers in Jesus Christ should expect him to come like a thief in the night. Is that really true? We are told to expect him at any moment, to watch and pray, and to be ready! Does the Bible really teach that to us, in our generation? Are we supposed to "stay on our toes" in anticipation of a secret sudden rapture?
Trying to do the right things but can’t keep up with the list? Feeling disconnected with God because you haven’t read your Bible lately and prayer is dry? Getting offended because of all the work you do in church or “for God” but things still aren’t going great…in fact life kinda stinks? Are you almost tired of being a Christian but you have enough fear of God that you can’t just walk away?
What if I could show you how to get miracles, answers and provision from God? Would you be interested? What if I could point you to a way of seeing answers to prayer without operating in control or forcing an outcome? What if the mystery of God's interaction could awaken in your heart again instead of feeling like you have to abide by another formula?