By Bradlee Dean, Sons Of Liberty
"I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves." - Unknown
As many now know, just this last week, co-founder of TBN Jan Crouch died of a stroke. The Crouch family issued a statement on the passing of Mrs. Crouch:
Laurie and I have just watched the transition of our precious Mother from this world to the next; watched her step into the presence of Jesus and into her heavenly reward. Jan Crouch, known around the world as Momma Jan, has gone home. Jan Crouch loved many things, but most of all she loved Jesus, and now has seen Him face to face and has experienced His grace in fullness. She has taken a piece of our hearts with her, but it's so wonderful to know that Paul and Jan Crouch are together again, in the arms of Jesus.
Now, with all due respect to those who should know better, what Jesus are these people talking about because it is not the Jesus of the Bible in any way, shape or form when it comes to what these charlatans preached (1 Timothy 6:5). What does the Scriptures say about these individuals?
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. -Matthew 7:13-23
Therefore, let me show you Scriptures in which Mrs. Crouch left off and the scriptural process of leading someone to The Lord...
In Proverbs 20:6 it tells us "most men will proclaim every one his own goodness..." That means when you ask someone if they think that they are a good person, most everyone will say yes. I have not met a person yet who said no. I often meet lots of people and I will engage them by asking, "Let me ask you some questions to see if you really are a good person. Have you ever told a lie before?"
They'll answer with, "Yes."
"What do you call someone who tells lies?" I continue.
"A liar," they answer.
"Have you ever stolen anything before, irrespective of its value?" I will ask.
"Well, yeah I guess," the person will say.
Then I'll ask, "So, what does that make you?"
"A thief," they will say.
I will then add that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, and the 7th commandment tells us "Thou shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20), but Jesus came along and intensified that Law in grace and said that even if you look upon a man or a woman to lust after them, you have already committed adultery with them in your heart (Matthew 5:28). When I ask if they have ever done this, the answer is always, "Yes."
I then point out that by their own admission, they have admitted to being a liar, thief, and an adulterer at heart. I also ask them where do they think God will send them when they die and stand before Him on Judgment Day. Heaven or Hell? In most cases, they answer, "Heaven." When asked why that is, they respond, "Well because I've been told that God is a loving God and He'll forgive my sins" (Psalm 9:16).
Well, try that in a court of law. Let's say that someone raped your sister, burned down your house, and stole your car and then stood in front of the judge and said, "I know that I am guilty of all these things, but I have been told by many people that you are a loving judge and I believe that you'll just forgive me of my crimes."
Suppose the judge said, "You know, you're right. I am a loving judge, so I think I'll just overlook your crimes. You are free to go." Would that be a good judge? Of course not, that would be a bad judge. A good judge and a loving judge will not overlook a person's crimes. A good judge will bring down justice upon crime. In fact, it is because the judge is loving, that he must punish evil doers (Jeremiah 9:24).
In the same way, it is because God is loving, good, and just that He must punish evildoers who violate His Law and commit crimes against Heaven. Isaiah 13:11 says, "And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity..." Only an unloving judge would overlook crime and let criminals off scot-free. A criminal deserves to be punished and so should you and I. However, the good news, is that Christ stepped in and paid the price for our crimes against God and His Law by spilling His own blood and dying on the cross for our sins (John 3:16). That is why the Gospel is called "Good news."
The Law showed us our transgressions and proved that we are the guilty criminals (Romans 3:20). Rightful Judgment comes down upon us, the guilty criminals, and justly gives us the sentence of death and hell. However, the good news of the Gospel is this: Jesus Christ stepped in between (1 Timothy 2:5) the wrath of God and us and took our punishment upon Himself and made a way for us to escape Judgment and to be forgiven through His death on the cross and the atonement of His own blood. Leviticus 17:11 says, "...it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."
The Bible says in Romans 5:8 that "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." However, until you are made to see your guilty state, you will never see your sin against God or your need for a savior.
If I gave you a vile of medicine and said that I sold all that I had, every possession in the world for you to have this, you would say, "That's great, but I'm not sick" (Matthew 9:12). Yet, if you had just been told that you have only days to live because of a deadly disease that was destroying your body, and then, after receiving the diagnosis and the surety of death, I came in and told you I sold all I had for you to have the cure, then you would be overjoyed because of the good news of receiving the cure that would save your life, and accept the cure willingly and gratefully.
In the same way, the fact that Jesus Christ suffered and died for you on the cross will not mean anything to you, until you are made to see your true sinful state. For the Gospel to make sense it must be delivered in the order it was intended:
1. Judgment - The punishment you deserve which is death and hell for breaking those Laws - Taking you through the Ten Commandments (Psalm 19:7; Galatians 3:24; Ezekiel 18:20)
2. Mercy - Christ stepping in and paying the price for your crimes or sin against God (1 Peter 3:18)
3. Faith - Which is the faith of the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself for you (Galatians 2:20)
Simply put, The Law detects, grace conquerors (Romans 5:20).
Therefore, to whom the Son makes free, is free indeed (John 8:36).