Monday, November 28, 2011

Love Never Fails

The church isn't necessarily a group of hypocrites. I think of it as more like a group of students who are trying to learn. I know that this viewpoint can be tied to Pollyanna, but so what? Jesus told us that there would be tares sown among the wheat and not to try to uproot them while the wheat is still maturing. Why? So that we don't accidentally destroy some wheat in the process.

There has been a long discussion about Jesus' parables. One that is especially interpreted in opposite ways is the one comparing the kingdom to a woman who put yeast into a large amount of dough. Some people see this as explaining the mystery of how the kingdom extends its influence over all society, or, as in some other interpretations, the church as the kingdom growing within society.

180 degrees from this is the view that the kingdom will be rife with false teaching by the end. This is based on how the concept of yeast is used throughout the Bible. Jesus taught that there the yeast of the Scribes and Pharisees was their teachings. Paul even warns us about getting rid of all the yeast so we can celebrate the feasts, especially Passover, with pure hearts.

I tend to agree with the latter interpretation more. I am not surprised or even shocked at the dumb things that Christians do either in word or deed. It is not for me to call them all to account. I believe Jesus Himself will clean up the mess. Paul wrote in his letter 2 Thess 2:11-12 "For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." The great "falling away" or rebellion will be God's way of clearing out all those tares before the harvest.

2 Thess 2:10 "They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." I find that my only way of avoiding deception is to love the truth. So I don't preach against people. Those other people are not responsible to me. I have no authority over them. I help people discern by showing them what a love for the truth looks like. The best way something can be seen as bent is to put a something straight next to it.

It is still true that NT prophets will hold the church accountable to the New Covenant. It is a covenant based in believing Jesus, and thereby believing in Him. We are given only one command in this covenant, to love both God and man. So NT prophets will remind the church of her agreement and urge them to fulfill their part of the agreement through faith in the power of the Spirit to change and transform our hearts.

How this is best done is left to the individual prophets in their relationship to God and to the churches that these people are apart of. Like when Paul wrote that who are we to judge another man's servant? To his own master he either stands or falls. And God is able to make him stand.

Yes, and God is able to make him stand. 1 Cor 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

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