Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whatever It Takes!

On the radio today I heard a person exclaim that the Lord Jesus came to the world with the attitude toward the dying that concerning their salvation He would do whatever it takes.

Is this true? Is this really the attitude that the Lord Jesus Himself demonstrated and preached? Is this what His apostles taught? Is this what is recorded in the Holy Scriptures as the way of Jesus and His Church?

“Whatever it takes!”

Is this what the Lord Jesus taught and practiced? Is this what He preached as the perspective from which He came to the earth and was born as a man? Did He declare that He would do whatever it takes to save mankind from his sinful condition, or did Jesus declare that He came to fulfill a specific plan, a plan that was declared from eternity, a plan from which He absolutely refused to deviate?

“Whatever it takes!”

This is what we hear preached by many today as the way of the Lord Jesus. Many also apply this perspective to the activities of the Church on earth, saying that the Church must do whatever it takes to reach people with the Gospel. Is this in fact what the Lord Jesus and His apostles teach?

“Whatever it takes!”

Compromise: is compromise something that Jesus was ever willing to make or do? Did Jesus ever conduct questionnaires or surveys to determine the manner in which He would conduct His ministry and the language that He would use in His preaching and teaching?

Tolerance: is tolerance of diversity in doctrine and practice and worship the way that Jesus and His apostles promote? How many views concerning the purpose and definition of Baptism do they embrace? How many kinds of faith do they define? How much diversity did St. Paul permit in Corinth? How many views concerning the Lord’s Supper does Jesus and His apostles allow?

Styles of worship: how many styles of worship did Jesus tolerate within the temple courts and in the synagogues? What convenient changes did Jesus embrace regarding those who made the offering of sacrifices easier and less bothersome? After all, this is what the merchants and money changers were doing. What did Jesus do when He encountered them in the temple areas? What did Jesus call them?

“Whatever it takes!”

From whom do we observe this mentality being promoted when we encounter it recorded in the Scriptures?

“Whatever it takes” is not the equivalent of “everything that is required.” Jesus without question came to go the distance and to fulfill everything that is required for the salvation of sinful man. He also instituted the extraordinary means by which His salvation is to be administered. He ordained ministers to carry out this administration.

So, when it is proclaimed that “whatever it takes” is the way of the Lord and of His Church, we should stop and ask, “From whom does this proclamation originate?”

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