We would like to take a brief moment to offer our condolences to anybody who has lost friends, family or property in the recent outbreak of local fires. In past times like these I have heard teachers in various churches preaching that events like this are the judgment of God for insufficient tithing, or that if someone had taken spiritual command or “dominion” over the fire (or tornado, or hurricane), they could have stopped it. Please know that teachings like this are false, and are intended to bring about manipulation and control through guilt or false hopes. The simple fact is that we live in a world that is groaning under the weight of mankind’s sin, and disasters like this are a part of that groaning. Those who are soundly saved (having thrown themselves at the feet of Christ for mercy and are trusting in His work on the Cross to save them) are in no way exempt from experiencing trial or tribulation.
However, it is often times like this that make us reflect on our standing before the Holy and Sovereign Lord. If in reflection or self-examination (a healthy and biblical thing to practice, see 2 Corinthians 13:5) you find yourself convicted or concerned about your standing before God, please read on. There are many false teachers in this modern world delivering messages focusing on man rather than God. They claim to be Christ-centered, but deliver teachings that sound more like formulas or equations resulting in a blessed or successful life. After tragedy strikes, these teachings are often seen as what they truly are… shallow, self-centered doctrines with Scriptures references given only in an effort to add a religious flavor. The true Gospel is this… Adoption into the family of God through the work of Christ on the Cross. This comes about when we put all hope and trust concerning salvation in Christ alone and repent (change our view and intentions) of all sins, even our “little” or “favorite” sins. The Lord is able to take the most vile of sinners, and change them into new creatures through the blood of Jesus Christ. This is a miracle of God and becoming a new creature, or a Christian, is not something that can be done on your own, no matter how hard you try. Such is the love of God to shed His own blood to rescue us!
If you are currently sitting under a teacher who is using tragedy to control you or your dreams of success to mislead you, please take time to prayerfully examine the Word of God so as to distinguish what the good news of salvation really is. Remember, if what you are hearing is about what you have to go do, then it really isn’t good news (nor is the result a gift), is it?
For now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:22-23