Mar 10

Dilution and Delusion

The gospel is so very frequently diluted in America.  And when it is, people end up deluded in the worst possible way.  The travesty is twofold – not only are people believing lies and living in false comfort while putting their eternity at risk, but also people are living within the limits of false boundaries and empty religion – there is so much more!  God’s reality for you is beyond your wildest dreams, but so often we settle for a diluted, deluded substitute…

Here are some examples:

Just pray this prayer and you will be saved. Dilution and Delusion.  Why?

It is not about a prayer.  It is about belief – a belief that continually and literally changes everything in your life.  It is about believing in Jesus, the Savior, and God our Daddy.

Please, oh please, don’t dare to put your faith in a prayer.  Put your faith in the One to Whom we pray, and not some iconic representation of Him, but the real, living, speaking, empowering, leading, loving Savior.  Even if you put your faith in some partial image of Him, you are in idolatry – instead you must know Him personally!  If you don’t know Him personally, you do not know Him at all… and you have put your faith in faith, or faith in a prayer, or faith in your leader, or faith in some creed.  That is not saving faith!

Either your faith is placed securely in a living, knowable, known Lord and Savior or it is a diluted believing that is not really believing at all.  And not believing at all is delusion and death.

Did you know that being saved is not a one-time happening?  Here is a Scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB 18For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Many of the other places in the New Testament where the Greek is translated “be saved” it would be more accurately translated “be being saved.”  The Savior keeps right on saving us, as we know Him, know Him better, and keep on knowing Him better!

You see, it is not a magical incantation that saves us.  A perfectly worded prayer just does not do the trick.  Salvation is the portion of the one who believes in and interacts with a real person – not one who believes in a religion about Jesus.

Just believe in the Scripture and try to live accordingly and you will be saved. Dilution and Delusion.  Why?

It is not about the Scriptures, but about the Person Who is the Focus of the Scriptures, even of life.

John 5:39-40 NASB “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

These days, many supposed Christians know the Scriptures better than tons of true Christians.  They look good, sound good, speak confidently, and sadly are going to hell.  Knowing the Scriptures never saved anybody.  Having figured out good doctrine never saved anybody – hell will be littered with good doctrine.  Even living “good doctrine” is not good enough.

Galatians 3:22-24 NASB But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Often, you pastors out there, it seems that you may be more worried about how your people act in some specific dimension than whether they know the voice of the Savior.  If your people think you are more worried about what they do than Who they know, then they are missing the point!  Dealing with sin in our lives is important.  Good doctrine is helpful.  But without the voice of the Savior in each person’s life, none of that matters!

John 10:14-16 NASB “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

Every sheep of His fold hears His voice.  Every sheep in His flock knows Him even as He knows His Father (i.e. is ONE WITH HIM!).  Your job as pastor is to disciple people, to lead people, and to train people to hear His voice and to know Him. Themselves.  Personally.

Ever notice what the Apostle Paul did with people having poor doctrine?  After writing extensively to his audience, he said,

Philippians 3:15 NASB Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;

See, he is not so worried about imperfect doctrine as he is about not living in a real relationship that is ongoing, ascending, vital, life-giving… REAL. Unfortunately, most American “Christians” don’t know that you can actually know a real living Savior Who talks with you and walks with you and is more interested in real relationship with you (like, a better relationship, and more personal and intimate and real than with your best friend, your spouse, whoever).  Instead, they have a diluted notion of relationship that is no more than religion… reading and studying the text, believing the text, being right… dilution and delusion!  And this delusion is every bit as dangerous today as it was in the day of Jesus’ conversation with the Pharisees – it is death to those “believers” – no matter how good they look.

Just swim in the emotional current of worship to know God. Dilution and Delusion.  Why?

Many who think they have faith have dead faith.

James 2:17-20 NASB  Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

There are many who want to worship and love the wonderful lift of emotional worship, but don’t understand that a key element to worship is obedience… belief and obedience are absolutely intertwined – and worship is fundamentally more an expression of the Savior’s Lordship than joyous praise and song.

John 3:36 NASB “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Believing changes the Lord of your life, and a trading in for a new Lord means that your life is not your own and your world will be forever altered – by the power of God in you.

John 14:12 NASB “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

If you think you believe and you don’t do the greater works, either you are deceived about your believing or Jesus was wrong about those who believe.  Argue if you want, but your argument is dilution and delusion… and ultimately death.

Now, I love to pray, and frequently pray for salvation.  I love to read the Scriptures, because they lead me to the Word, Jesus Himself.  And I love to worship God with all of who I am.  But the center of all of life is knowing Daddy and knowing His Son, our Big Brother, Lord, and Savior Jesus. True faith and true prayer and true knowledge and true worship emanate from true personal revelation of God.

No dilution.  No delusion.

1 comment

  1. Quen

    Glad to see you back! You are beautiful, witty, and I enjoy eiadrng your posts. My neighbor told me once, that we can’t stop doing what’s good, because of negative people! Separation from your husband must be hard. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

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