Paul in the book of Romans tells us of people under the Law, “that they have a zeal for God and souls but not according to knowledge.” This is where we find ourselves in the church 2000 plus years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Many who have a passion for souls in this earth find themselves passionate about a Method whose time has come to an end.
The problem is that they are so married to their method i.e. “repent and verbally confess Jesus paid the price for your sins.” They care more about the defense of their method, and then they do souls that need a God-loving relationship. Much of their time and theology is spent defending a method, which they have convinced themselves is the only way to a God relationship.
This method has become in fact a man-made obstacle to the Gospel of Grace, but as Jesus taught, “those who are not against Him are for Him.”
When some in the church started to mix New Wine and Old Wine Skin, they in fact began to preach the gospel according to John the Baptist and not Jesus of Nazareth. Once leaving the work of the Spirit behind for a mixture of Law and Grace, it became necessary to have a motivation for their method. Hence the need for Hell as the motivation, and confession as the means of Water based Salvation.
Even though Jesus taught clearly that a person is not born of the Spirit by the will of man, or of the flesh. John the Baptist preached the gospel of repentance with the emphasis on the will of man, his message was “repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” There was great judgment in his message much like the Prophet Isaiah in the first third of his ministry, judgment, judgment, and more judgment. It therefore makes perfect since that the church’s method from Augustine’s “Original Sin” to Charles Finney’s “hot seat” would be “repent or you will be going to Hell.”
Point of Truth:
Jesus came proclaiming that he came not into the world to judge it, but have no fear the church has taken up the slack.
The Gospel of Grace cannot be proclaimed effectively using the method of John the Baptist, for although John is the greatest man born in the flesh, he is the least in the Kingdom of God. Imagine what the gospel would look like, free from the method of John the Baptist; many are trying with great ZEAL!