The Glorious Baggage of the Love of God
November 21, 2013
Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
The following is by Pastor Buddy Smith, Grace Baptist Church, Malanda, Queensland --

One of the most neglected texts that speaks of the love of God is Rev. 3:19, " As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous, therefore, and repent." Our Lord's letter to the Laodicean church contains strong reproofs. He exposes their lukewarmness, their wretched condition, their miserable state, their poverty and blindness, their nakedness and its shame. And then He tells them why He rebukes them so strongly; IT IS BECAUSE HE LOVES THEM AND REQUIRES REPENTANCE, ZEALOUS REPENTANCE, FROM THEM!

There is a new softness pervading churches that once called themselves Fundamental Baptist churches. It is a hybridized and artificial fruit pastors are grafting on to our old roots. It is characterized by a new atmosphere in our churches, an atmosphere that wafts down the aisles from the pulpit occasionally. Maybe you have sniffed this new "parfum" and didn't realise what was being preached.

It comes across something like this, "We mustn't be so confrontational in our sharing of the gospel. We must not tell people that they are sinners and on the way to hell. We just need to love them and let God do the work in their hearts, and just be longsuffering with them. After all, what is sin to you may not be sin to them. We must not tell them that certain music is bad or that long hair on men and short skirts on women are sinful. It is not our job to spy on their FaceBook entries or their computer websites and TV programs."

This is the new image of Independent Baptists, not only in Australia, but all over the world. And we got it from Evanjellyfish!

How does this match up with the words of Jesus in Rev. 3:19 (as above)?

He says He chastens and rebukes those He loves and requires fervent repentance from them! Do you see the disconnect here? Our dear Lord and Saviour preaches one thing and we practice another? There is a word for that. Actually, there are a number of words in the Bible for that. Rebellion, disobedience, lawlessness, sin, iniquity, and others. Jude describes it as "turning the grace of God into lasciviousness." He says it is a mark of apostasy.

Consider for a moment the proofs of Rev. 3:19. Did the Lord Jesus Christ ever rebuke and chasten those He loved?

1) He rebuked Simon Peter on more than one occasion. Because He loved him.
2) He reproved the unbelief and self seeking of all His disciples. Because He loved them.
3) He stripped bare the hypocrisy of the Pharisees on several occasions. Because He loved them.
4) He confronted the Samaritan woman's adulteries. Because He loved her.
5) He cleansed the temple twice and drove the crooks out the door. Because He loved them.
6) He preached on Hell more than Heaven. Because He loved sinners.
7) He identified religious movements and named the wicked. Because He loved those ensnared by them.
8) He taught His apostles to do the same and commanded them to teach their converts to do so as well. Because He loves the souls of men.   

  There are many more, but you see the facts. The Love of God has its glorious baggage. It comes equipped with rebuke, chastening, and solemn warnings of judgment. It has at one and the same time, a tender heart and thunder on its brow. God's love is confrontational.

It's not tough love. It is God's love.

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