We are used to speaking positive words of encouragement from scripture to bless others. But out of politeness or fear of upsetting good relationships, we are afraid to use the Word to correct or rebuke. Have we made a titanic mistake by not correcting?
“Not even God can sink this ship.” That’s the incredible strength of the ocean liner, the Titanic, in the words of the crew.
So its passengers told themselves: Let’s rearrange the deck chairs for a better view. Let the good times roll. Let’s dance to the delightful strains of waltz music. Let’s eat, drink and be merry.
But what was critical—the ship’s course or direction—was not given due attention. When it hit a massive iceberg, its hull was badly damaged. That which was apparently indestructible sank.
In the spiritual realm, we also have the “feel good” factor. “Feel good” teachers assert that once believers are saved, they will remain saved; confession of sin is not necessary; in fact, they teach that we should put the ‘sin issue’ behind us and banish ‘sin consciousness’ from our lives. When God looks at us, all He is going to see is Christ’s blood, not our sins whether it is past, present or future. We merely rest in the ‘imputed righteousness of Christ’.
We are used to speaking positive words of encouragement from scripture to bless others. But out of politeness or fear of upsetting good relationships, we are afraid to use the Word to correct orrebuke.
We tell ourselves, “It is better not to rock the boat.” Let the status quo remain. Let sleeping dogs lie. Let us not ruffle some feathers.
It is sad but true that those who teach God’s word often fail to use it for correction or rebuke—whereas its instruction is meant to be positive and negative.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage –with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
Love is not all soft and mushy. It is not all candy floss. Unless truth is upheld, we are just beingwishy washy with our faith, fearful of confronting error or sin—whether it is in us or others.
God is love. He is slow to anger, quick to forgive and chose us while we were yet sinners. He loved us so much He sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.
But He is also a God of justice and righteousness. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you” (Psalm 89:14).
We ought to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) so that error or sin will be exposed for what it is and set aright. Eventually the whole body of Christ will attain maturity.
The first blunder is failure to acknowledge that we are in need of correction *. And that often stems out of pride or spiritual blindness: “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked”(Revelation 3:17).
The second blunder is refusing to allow God’s word to “perform heart surgery” on us:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
In other words, we are not willing to let scripture expose our innermost thoughts, intentions and desires.
If we merely espouse “feel good” teaching—which dwells on “safe” areas and fails to expose sin or error—then we are heading the wrong way.
Like the Titanic, we will be making a colossal error of judgment if we continue to move full steam ahead towards the iceberg.
“Faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood it can and often does lead to eternal tragedy.” – A. W. Tozer
* We can only make significant progress in our spiritual pilgrimage when we acknowledge we are spiritually impoverished in God’s eyes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3).
A prominent teacher made a bold statement in his book: “The bottom line is that the Holy Spirit never convicts you of your sins. He NEVER comes to point out your faults. I challenge you to find a scripture in the Bible that tells you that the Holy Spirit has come to convict you of your sins. You won’t find any.”
HOW TO QUICKLY ACCESS PORRIDGE
ABOUT Author: Dr Lim Poh Ann is a medical practitioner. He was the former editor of Asian Beacon magazine (December 2008 – October 2011). He can be reached at his blog, Porridge for the Soul
For a quick overview: http://bit.ly/1ijiXHp
For the source article, go to: http://limpohann.blogspot.my/2013/03/titanic-blunder.html
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