A Cause for Concern
What would happen if a king pardoned all prostitutes in his kingdom for past transgressions and simultaneously issued a decree that released all prostitutes from future judgment? A lot of joy among prostitutes and a whole lot more prostitution taking place! Even so, simply telling saints the wonderful news that when they received Christ, all of their sins, past, present, and future, were completely forgiven and that as their High Priest, Jesus has secured their release from future judgment and God’s wrath forever, may in fact lead to a lot more sinning. That is cause for concern.
So what should we do? Not proclaim the truth for fear that it will lead to more sinning? The alternative would be to preach “another” gospel, one based on the law of sin and death, rooted in the fear of punishment, which according to Paul, is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That cannot be the answer!
What then is the answer to this dilemma? It’s simple. Preach the whole Gospel! Tell the saints why God forgives them totally. Make sure they understand who they have become and the future God has planned for them.
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” I John 3:2-3 NKJV
Hope is is a powerful motivator, but Biblical hope is even more so. Biblical hope is more than a mere possibility; it a a definite future reality. It is “the confident, joyful expectation of a certain, desired future.” John declared that everyone who sees the future God has planned for him, and is filled with the hope of what he is destined to be in Christ purifies himself.
Think about it. Imagine that one of those prostitutes the king pardoned above receives a special visit from the king. He tells her the reason he pardoned her was because he loves her and wants her to be his queen. He proposes marriage. She cannot believe this is happening to her, but it is! Then she watches as he puts an engagement ring on her finger and the date for the royal wedding is set. Immediately the servants of the king begin to make plans for the wedding and to prepare her for her new role as the queen, the king’s bride.
How do you think that this woman, now the fiancée of the king, filled with the hope of being queen and knowing how much the king loves her and wants to share his glory with her, is going to live after this? Can you imagine her still wanting to live as a prostitute? I think not.
Now, how do you think a saint filled with the hope of “being like Him” is going to live? And how do you think a saint who no longer sees himself or herself as a sinner but as the “Bride of Christ” is going to conduct himself or herself? Can you imagine that person still wanting to live as a sinner? I think not.
We don’t need to resort to “another gospel” to get the saints to “obey.” What the saints need is a greater revelation of God’s present love for them and the glorious future He has for them as the Body and Bride of Christ.
“And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” That is the truth!