"For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths."-2 Timothy 4:3-4 The TRUE Gospel: "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" -1 Corinthians 15:3-4
"Not Feeling It: The Gospel for Everyone Else" by Steven Kozar
I know you’re out there. In fact, I know there are untold millions
of you out there.
You’ve heard about the need for “intimacy with God” and
“having a personal relationship with God” and how “it’s not about
religion, it’s about a relationship,” and you're just not feeling it. You’ve maybe even mustered up the courage
to admit to a close friend or pastor that you’re not getting the feelings that
everyone else is getting. Maybe you’ve been reassured that “feelings come
and go but God’s love never changes!” But the unspoken answer underneath that pat-answer
is this: “keep trying and maybe someday you’ll be intimate with God like the rest of
Which is a profoundly sad thought. It’s like God has His omnipotent hands
tied; “He’s trying to be intimate with you, gosh darn it, but you
need to do your part…”
And God’s Word says none of these things. You’ve been taught a pack of
You’ve been taught the latest version of Gnosticism or Mysticism or
Pietism or Semi-Pelagianism or some other “ism” that’s been circulating since
the very start of the Christian church; and it’s been firmly declared as un-biblical
heresy in the first few centuries of church history. But since the modern
Evangelical church usually ignores theology, church history and often even the
Bible itself, it’s no wonder that bad ideas that can be easily refuted are not.
Instead, these (very) bad ideas flourish and grow under the profitable
nurturing of false teachers disguised as pastors (usually with good intentions).
If you’ve been hurt, confused or frustrated by your lack of emotional
experiences with God, this little article is for you. You're the person out in the lobby getting some coffee while the "worship service" keeps going and going... and going. I've been out there with you. You are not the
The Pharisees were rebuked by Jesus for keeping people under a burden-a heavy load-that they would not move. Today, the latest version of a Pharisee is always telling you that you need something more-something bigger and better. Something Super Spiritual. Something Really Deep. The Next Level. A New Secret to really getting close to God...
So here’s the real Good News:
“But God, being rich in
mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead
in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been
saved-and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places
in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable
riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you
have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the
gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 4-9
True Christianity is God coming and rescuing us from sin and death.
It’s God doing 100% and us doing 0%.
Just believe-and be free! (This article is written for Christians, so I'm simplifying a bit; technically I should be mentioning repentance and baptism, etc., but hopefully you get my point)
That isn’t just enough-it’s much, much more than enough! In fact, it seems just too good to be true...
So, in our tiny human brains we feel compelled to “do our part” and
show God we “really mean business!” We actually like it when pastors put us
back under the Law so that we can show how serious we are about serving God. We
actually like it when the pastor gets all worked up and “really preaches it”
about our need to “do more for God.” And our refusal to accept the total and
complete gift of salvation rears its ugly head when we think we can get even
closer to God by our subjective and ambiguous mystical experiences. And,
to make matters worse, we sometimes look down on our fellow believer who actually admits
that they don’t “feel” intimate with God.
Jesus never said: “Someday I’m going to require my followers to muster
up a great deal of emotional fervor so that my love can really be felt.”
Jesus never said: “If you really love me and want to be close to me you will have an
intimate encounter with me during an extended quiet time (or worship service, or special Intimacy Conference...).”
Jesus never said: “It’s not enough to just read my Word; you need to go beyond my
Word and experience me in a personal way.”
Jesus did say: “Take and eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it
to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which
is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of
That’s intimacy with God; instituted
by God; described in God’s Word. Your intense and dramatic feelings: Optional.
You can stop following the teachings of men and be truly free.
It is finished, indeed!
Also, here's a great episode of The White Horse Inn on this topic: