When did we stop trusting God to save people? When did we start to mark Him incompetent and unable to jump over the speed bumps people encounter on their path to Him? You know, the path that He put them on. This is a trend that is dangerous and it is one of the reasons I took nearly 6 months off from writing. I was sick and tired of people calling God incompetent.
Before I explain what I mean let me say this. The Bible is the final authority and it is God alone who saves. Not teachers, not theologians, not professors, not shareable pictures on facebook and surely not bloggers! There are false teachers, false churches and multiple heresies that have deceived many and we as believers should avoid them and caution people against things. But I repeat again…. God alone saves.
Time after time I see movements, movies, teachers, books and much more pop up and there is always a trash session of some kind. Even if I see 99% of people love whatever is being talked about there will always be at least 1% that hates it. Again, I am seeing the mudslinging pop up with 2 new movies, Son of Man which released today and Noah which is being released soon. My feed is inundated with posts about how horrific these movies are. I want to offer a different perspective.
God is being talked about! Can we celebrate that? Yes, I am sure both movies lack something, get facts wrong, etc (since they are NOT the bible we would be fools to expect otherwise!) but you know what, God CAN use them to call people to Himself! I don’t know about you but I have sat through some great teachings only to go back and relisten a few years later and have my stomach turn at the fact that message ever fed me. I sat in a church for 3 years and grew exponentially only to have a major church split. I walked away feeling like I wouldn’t be able to grow anywhere else and now I wonder how I ever heard God’s word from that pastor, a man whose life was woefully in disorder and his theology shady at best. God used him for a time. I heard what God needed me to hear and once God was done I was gone. God uses anything! Sometimes that includes bad teachers.
I had a young man I was witnessing to once tell me how he came to the Lord. He watched a TV pastor who spoke of the need to repent and turn to Jesus. He said he dropped to his knees in his living room, sobbing in repentance and feeling the weight of his sin only to have God reach down and lift that burden. He knew he was saved in that moment and said he had run after Jesus ever since. I asked who the preacher was and he told me… Joel Osteen…. seriously. (I will confess I quizzed him harder just to be sure that he was really saved, I couldn’t believe anyone could hear the Gospel from him!) I have never heard JO say anything about repentance and faith, turning from sin, etc. but God opened this man’s ears to hear the Gospel even through a man that most find a false teacher. God can use anything…
I was saved reading a book many people hate, Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl. God called me out of false conversion in chapter 3. I studied in an NIV for years until I found out about the issues with the translation. The first time I ever even thought of following Jesus was after secretly reading a bible for 9 months, not after hearing the Gospel from anyone. I watched a lot of bad teaching on TV…. and you know what happened…. God called me to Himself through His people, even the ones who have theological issues, and saved me!
So I have a challenge. I am not telling you to encourage people to continue to listen to bad teaching. Correct when God prompts you to correct BUT at the same time TRUST HIM! He has this whole salvation thing covered. He knows how to reach around sin and error and bring people to Himself. He knows how to work around fallen humanity and save people. In fact, it’s all He ever does because none of us have it right. So yes, Son of Man may not be the best movie ever but that doesn’t mean God cannot use it. Pray for God to use it in spite of its shortcomings! People have been saved reading the Jehovah Witness version of the bible. People have been saved without a Bible present. People have been saved in more crazy ways than any of us realize. Why? It is simply because it is God who saves, not a method or teaching but God alone. He makes blind men see. It is time we have a little more faith in Him.
Now, again, please don’t stop correcting error when needed but please remember who is on the throne. The Creator of the world, the One who authored salvation, the only One who is able to save and He can use anything, at any time to rescue souls from a destiny in Hell. He alone is faithful.