Saint or Rebel?

One evening I received a visit by a pastor who had been dismissed from his church. He asked the people of the church why they were letting him go.     He said his church people had told him, “All you preach is obedience.”  I said to him, “I guess they didn’t want to be obedient.”

I understand that preachers can get stuck on certain themes and become one note musicians. It often happens when they stop studying or are having too many demands on their time and cannot study. However, it is a curious thing that professed Christians would dismiss a pastor because he told them that they should obey God.

The Bible tells us, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, ‘I know him’, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” (I John 2:3-5)

Although being accepted with God – “saved” if you will – is by grace through faith and “not of works” (Eph. 2:-8-9), assurance of this is not based in some mystical religious feeling but upon objective facts. One of those objective facts is a willingness to obey God. All I can say about someone who claims he has accepted Jesus and yet has no desire to obey Him is a doubtful and reflective, “Hmmmm!”

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