Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The False Gospel of 'Nice' ` How Man's 'nice' Limits the Coming of God's Kingdom

The Instruction of the Lord is to pray that His will be done! So that His Kingdom come!

A Warning to a Rebellious People - those who want for and pray for 'nice' things to happen in this fallen world are mistaken; they do not know the true gospel and do not fully grasp the cost paid by the Son of God and the promise of His Kingdom come. And, yet, I am not saying to not want for peace, or not pray for peace, i.e. And, certainly we recognize the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness and faithfulness ~ Gal 5:22. This is what the Holy Spirit in us reveals outwardly to others. Understand, it is not because of our being nice. For we can do nothing.

This is a fallen world; that is why God sent His Son.  He is our blessed hope...waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ ~ Titus 2:13. Which means that we greatly forward to His Kingdom come. Did you know that there are those who have already died in Christ waiting for His Kingdom? What does the Lord tell them?

We know what He tells them. He tells them that they have to wait for all those who have not yet died in Christ to be persecuted as they were.  "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" ~ 2 Timothy 3:12. That does not sound too nice.

"When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been" ~ Rev 6:9-11.

"For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen To the instruction of the LORD;  Who say to the seers, "You must not see visions"; And to the prophets, "You must not prophesy to us what is right, speak to us pleasant words, tell us what is nice, prophesy illusions. "Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel"…Isaiah 30: 9-11.

"I say this so that no one will mislead you with nice-sounding rhetoric" ~ Col 2:4.

"How terrible it will be for you when everyone says nice things about you", ... Luke 6:26.

Many misunderstand the true gospel ~ the Good News. Which is that this world is passing away 1 John 2:17, that there is a greater Kingdom. Jesus our Lord and Savior, the Creator of heaven and earth was more than the nice we can imagine. Was Jesus a 'nice' man? By man's standards He was for some but not for many as we know and that is still a problem today for those who want only a 'nice' Jesus.

No one should attempt to answer that question. Why? Because, as mere humans in a fallen world, we are sinners, filthy rags without Christ, and though we can be born again, we should not assume to know the kind of nice that the true God was/is and will be. Though, one day we will when we rule with Him. But, here and now, our hope is in Him, in relationship with the Word Jesus Christ, and in that, we come to know what He expects from us.

Jesus came to divide people ~ Luke 12:51. His ministry though about love, joy, peace, kindness, and long suffering 'patience' did bring division among people. We can read about that in all the gospels and especially in the gospel of John.  Jesus did not always say 'nice' things in order to be liked by people. He said things that by our standards were not nice. "You unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with 'tolerate' you? ~ Mark 9:19.

The problem with being 'nice' is that we falsely portray ourselves (we put on the fig leaf to hide our sin) in order to be liked, or being nice so that others will want to be like you and not say bad things about you... always compliment you; and being nice to gain favor, being nice so there is no disagreement or tension in the room brings a false calm and has no use in the true gospel. Why? Because, this is a fallen world and our trying to be nice by God's standards is impossible for us and thus likely our being nice is essentially a lie to ourselves and to others. 

The Parable of the Two Sons

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

“ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went."

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

How is this parable an example of our expectations of being nice and how it is false in context of the Kingdom of God? Because, then and now we don't think of those kinds of people as 'nice'. But, even more so today, we apply the 'not nice' to many people. She or he does this and that's just not nice!

We like people who agree with us and tell us nice things; yet, they may never really do anything that is nice by God's standards. They look nice, they say nice things to us and always seem to be in a nice mood and in agreement with us. However, as 'nice' as they seem to be, they don't do anything.

The reason is they know they would no longer be perceived as 'nice' if they disagreed with us or told us what they really think and do.  They won't tell us what we don't want to hear. And, because of that, even when they don't show up, we make excuses for them just because they are 'nice' though they never really do anything.

We don't like people who tell us 'no' or those who disagree with us or those who keep us from feeling nice about ourselves and our nice life style. Yet, those people who may not be nice in our eyes are likely the very ones who come through, those who don't seem nice to us are exactly those that Jesus knows can be counted on.

The first son was not nice but he came through.  He did what was expected! And, he showed compassion for his father by doing what was expected. This is key to the Kingdom, compassion for each other because man is not 'nice' and nor can he be 'nice' for man even one born again in the spirit will in the flesh struggle with sin and the wages of sin is death ~ Romans 7:21.

Again, the greater problem of the 'nice' gospel is that it is really man being wise in his own eyes and that limits the coming of His Kingdom!

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked him. "Only God is truly good." ~ Luke 18:19.

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