God's word in today's world

No need for Doom

1 Thessalonians 1:6-10

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It upsets me when men of God mess up. They say and do what they want and it seems as if people follow them blindly. But what they preach is so completely untrue.

Like the pastor who sprayed people in the face with the insect spray, Doom, to chase away demons. And yes, we all laughed at the jokes, like the one….

Yes, it is laughable. Or rather ridiculous, because it is so not true. It is the complete opposite of the simple content of God’s message. God does not need shows and noise to attract people to Him. God does not need to be in the headlines on the front page of the newspaper or the evening TV news for the wrong reasons.

God has done what He wanted to do for mankind. And it seems as if we think it is not enough. That’s why people do such ridiculous things like Pastor Doom. Mankind can be really, really stupid. Why do we want to add on to the message to make it easier to understand?

The message is simple: 10… await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.

That’s it! No need to get the spray cans to drive out the demons. No need to build enormous church buildings with giant speakers, screens and flashing lights. Only this simple truth. God raised Jesus, his own Son, from death for one reason only: So that you do not have to pay for your sin. Jesus bore the punishment for sin (which is death) and which you deserved, on your behalf.

Jesus died in your place. The punishment for your sin has been carried out and the court case is over. There is no charge against your name. Even if you sin a thousand times in the days ahead.

You don’t have to fear the day you enter heaven. You don’t have to stress about the court case that lies ahead, because whatever will be said there – and I suspect for all of us it would be: Guilty! – it doesn’t matter. The punishment has been carried out, all fines have been paid.

Maybe this message is too simple and now the church has to make it more complex so that people can believe it. It reminds me of my friend’s dad who wrote an extremely authoritative book. It was not a very thick book and he thought a price of R50 per book would be sufficient. He failed to sell even one.

Then a friend suggested that he increases the price. So he made it three times as much. In a short period all the books sold out. People link the value of something to what it costs.

So we need to ask: Is the cost of the life of our God’s Son not enough for us? Isn’t it enough to make the whole of mankind fall on their knees and give their lives to God within one or two days?

Apparently not. And that’s why some do such crazy things like spraying Doom in other people’s faces.

Do not run after fools. 10… await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.

This is more than enough!

Is God’s message enough for you?
Do you believe it?
Do you live it?

Our Father, it is so sad that we make your message so much heavier than necessary. Thank you for your love and for caring for us. Thank you for your Son who came to die in my place and who bore the punishment for my sin. Please help me to live in a way that will make others experience the simplicity of salvation. Amen.

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