But What About…?

Grace 101

In the parable of the sower, Jesus spoke of three primary enemies of the sower’s intention for the seed.  I have used this little story as a structure for teaching about the enemies of grace.  First, there was the trodden ground, the hard path, where nothing could grow.  Then there were the predators, the birds of the air that swoop in to devour the seed before it can grow.  Finally, there are the distractions, the thorns that grow up and choke the life out of the new growth.

One of the most common things we experience once we begin to understand this amazing message of grace is that we forget.  It seems so easy to be distracted and to fall back under the shame and pressure of performance.  Fortunately, the Lord reaches in and reminds us from time to time.  But wouldn’t it be better to avoid those distractions?  Wouldn’t it be nice simply to walk in the light of grace?

Maybe thinking through some of these distractions will help.  At least we might know a little better what to watch out for.

I suspect that most heresies and unorthodox ideas begin with the words, “But what about…?”  Years ago I took the training of a popular evangelism program.  They taught us that we should be prepared to pull the discussion back to the gospel when we heard those words.  I have experienced this often as I have shared the good news of salvation.  People will say, “But what about my loved ones who have died?” or “But what about the dinosaurs?”  or “But what about politics?”  These might be worthy questions or discussions of their own, but they are distractions from the main point.

Lately the grace message has been greatly distracted by the universalist debate.  Before that it was the demonic debate.  Before this it was the charismatic debate.  Before that it was the Calvinist/Arminian debate.  Some of these things are never settled.  They are still distractions from the wonderful message of grace.

And the result of the debates is that those who love the message of grace are divided and discouraged.  In spite of all we know to be true about the unconditional love of God in Jesus, we still add things to the message.  “Grace is nice, but you have to see it from xyz perspective.”  The distractions choke the life out of the message.

Don’t let yourself get distracted and discouraged by these debates!  If you know the message of grace, proclaim it boldly and cleanly.  Tell people of the love of God and put the debaters into a room where they can only distract each other.  There are too many people who need to know the truth of love and grace.  We don’t have time for distractions.

2 Comments

Filed under Grace 101

2 responses to “But What About…?

  1. Fellow Survivor

    And the answer is? Who cares. So what. Does it matter. Dave, this may be one the most important discussion points of all. My 17 year old daughter and I were having this discussion because she was studying Evolution in school. Does it matter if the world is 10,000 years old or 5 billion years old? NO. Were there dinosaurs? Maybe, Maybe not. Who cares. (I personally think yes)The real question is, have you felt God’s Spirit in your heart? Have you witnessed his mighty works in your life. Do you understand that he created all things and he has total power and control over all things. If you are reading this and you are not sure, go outside and look up in the sky. Look at the trees and the grass or go visit the ocean. Or better yet, hold an infant in your arms and look at that most awesome creation, a baby. He created it all. Unfortunately our little pee brains can not comprehend the majesty of it all but its there. What is his plan? I really don’t have a clue but I trust that God knows what he is doing

    2000 years ago some poor guy started walking around talking about God’s plan and purpose for our lives. He didn’t have wealth, or earthly power, and yet here we are still talking about what he did. He died a horrible death as an example of what real love looks like, so does anything else really matter? For me, no.

  2. UnForsaken

    At church every Sunday we are used to hearing “Grace, plus…” , so the Word has become a constant refuge….along with the writtings of C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer, etc. Still, I need to hear a present voice on the subject , and I am continually reminded to listen to the Great Comforter by the fellowship here!

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