I wish you all my readers a very happy new year 2020. May the good Lord bless you and your family as grow in his Word.
What is the Difference between a Red Letter Church and a Grace based Church?
The Christian Church has Jesus as the Foundation. It is built upon the Red Letters of the Bible, the words that Jesus Christ Spoke Himself. Build upon that, are the many pillars of Scripture, revealed through Prophet’s, Apostles, Kings, Priests, ETC
The Pillar of GRACE
The Pillar of RIGHTEOUSNESS
The Pillar of JUDGMENT
Altogether these pillars build up the teachings of the Church.
But in many Churches, a problem arises when, the Red letters of Jesus are removed as the foundation of the Church & the Pillar of Grace, is set as the new foundation.
With GRACE being the new foundation of the Church, Some pillars fit nicely on that.
Love & Mercy
Forgiveness & Blessing
Peace & Joy
But other pillars don’t fit so nicely on this Foundation. Therefore those subjects need to be de-emphasized, and rarely brought up.
While other pillars of Scripture don’t fit at all on this foundation.
The Fear of God
Those subjects need to be ignored, disregarded or just briefly mentioned. Those subjects were from the God of long ago, who no longer exists. (Edit: This part as per hyper grace teachings is basically saying the Lord has changed his behaviour in the New Testament times, but reality is that the Bible never says the Lord God has become permissive of sin because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ)
The Sermon topics of the Grace based Church are VERY important topics, that need to be thoroughly covered. But as many people have discovered, it wasn’t that those topics were being covered, it was that other topics were just being ignored. The problem is that anytime you ignore parts of Scripture, it distorts the image of God.
The Grace based church presents the congregation with a Path of Salvation, and a Doorway to go through. The problem is that the path presented is Wider than the Narrow path depicted in scripture. This will result in a rude awakening for some people, who feel secure, yet are not on the RIGHT path.
Jesus taught that the House built on ROCK, does not fall. Therefore if we ignore parts of Scripture when building the Church, then the Church becomes less stable, because it’s missing part of the foundation.
Because Jesus is the Cornerstone of our Faith, His teachings demand greater focus over the teachings of any other. As Jesus even said, “My testimony is weightier than John’s”
But in many churches we see that the Greater Focus is given to the Teachings of the Apostle Paul, over that of Jesus. Which Paul even warned us NOT to do.
In scripture we are told to behold the kindness and severity of God, and God is revealed as both a Lion and a Lamb.
But in the teachings of many Churches, we see this Principle is changed to. Behold the Kindness of God.
The LION is de-emphasized, and most sermons only reveal God as the Lamb. And this causes an imbalance in doctrine.
Put back the Words of Jesus, as the Foundation of the Church. Where the teachings of the Apostle’s and Prophets are built upon the ROCK. Not ignoring any portions of scripture. This is the Church that Jesus Built.
– By Robert Brownell
My note about teachings/letters of the Apostle Paul (call it a disclaimer if you wish):
Generally I wouldn’t put in a note at this point but I felt since the above quote somehow makes a distinguishing mark between the teachings of Jesus Christ and those of the Apostle Paul, so I felt it’s best to clarify this out for you.
To be clear enough; the letters of St. Paul in the Bible are fully part of the Holy Scriptures and are fully inspired by the Holy Spirit. However some people have tried to use that justify elimination of certain key doctrines of the Bible, in fact the very things that Jesus taught! The teachings or letters of St. Paul are not of his own but are of the Lord God who spoke through the Holy Spirit and inspired his letters.
Like I said the letters of St. Paul are inspired by the Holy Spirit, this means that they are to remind us of things which Jesus Christ taught during his ministry on earth and even more revelations of God without undermining the truth of the Gospel.
25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14: 25-26)
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” (John 16:13-15)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
The grace of God will never allow you to disobey the Lord. Any one saying that once you say a prayer of salvation you never need to refrain from sinning in the future, is actually deceived. I strongly exhort you to keep away from such people.
having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:5)
Now obedience is not the same as grace. Plus you cannot earn God’s grace. But at the same time it does not mean you deliberately refuse to honour the Lord Jesus by disobeying. Like it or not, those who don’t do the will of God won’t enter the kingdom of heaven.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
Your good works don’t earn you into Heaven, but your bad works CAN disqualify you, if not repented of. From Scripture we know that grace comes to those who repent, and God’s love comes to those who are surrendered to Him (the cross). Teaching people that Grace can come by other means than repentance is irresponsible, and it’s a dangerous doctrine to tell others that God’s love is not dependant on surrendering to Him. (quote by Robert Brownell)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)
Is there another book greater than the Bible? No, but the Bible speaks of a great book both in the Old and New Testaments. While the Bible is the written word of God that no one must add or subtract from, the Book of Life still gets updated by the Lord Jesus. Now the Book of Life is a record of all those righteous before the Lord God who will not be punished in the Final Judgement and will therefore escape it. The Book of life and the Bible do NOT compete with each other but rather they complement each other. The main difference is that the Bible teaches us the principles of the Christian faith while the Book of Life is the record of those who are faithful to the Lord God.
The church in the current age must keep reminding itself that the Book of Life is to be held with great honor. I’m surprised that not many people in the church are aware of it. If you honor the teachings of the Bible then you automatically honor the Book of Life, even if you never knew of it’s existence till now. There’s nothing too mysterious about this. All you need to do is to search for it in the Bible.
Is the Book of Life a new teaching?
No, as the Book of Life has been mentioned even in the Old Testament. Let’s read the following:
So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. (Exodus 32:31-33)
For they persecute him whom you have struck down, and they recount the pain of those you have wounded. Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from you. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous. (Psalm 69: 26-28)
The Lord God records the life and struggles of his people in the Book of Life. He remembers them all.
You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8)
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. (Malachi 3:16)
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:16)
Jesus himself spoke of the Book of Life even when he was on his mission on Earth and also later he spoke of it in heaven.
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17-20)
The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)
The context of the Book of Life is related to being faithful to God despite the tribulations of life.
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)
The Book of Life is linked to prophecy and the Final Judgement
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come. (Revelation 17:8)
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
Only those who have their names written in the Book of Life will be allowed in the new Jerusalem of the future, which is the inheritance of those who believe in the Lord God.
But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:27)
Those who add or remove from the Scriptures are warned very clearly about their status in the Book of Life.
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
What to do so that one’s name always remains in the Book of Life?
You need to believe in the Lord Jesus and repent of your sins if you still into sinning. Romans 6:23 says that; For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36)
You need to realize that you can either remain in Christ or remain in sin but never be in both. Ephesians 5:5 says that; For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
You cannot earn the grace of God, you simply need to believe in the Lord Jesus for your salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that; For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.