I told an online friend that I would do another post, explaining my reasons for disagreeing with what Joel Osteen teaches, and back it up with scripture. We must be sure we always back up our positions with scripture.
Rom 3:23-25…..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. NIV
Rom 5:8…..8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. NIV
Those scriptures are pretty plain…we were sinners in need of a savior.
John 3:16-18…..16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. NIV
God sent that savior in the form of his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus took all the punishment for every sin ever committed, upon himself, and paid the price for it, so that we would not have to.
Then we are given the great commission:
Mark 16:15-17…..15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. NIV
We are to tell everyone about what Jesus did for us. Simple as that. We are to spread the truth. But in doing that, we will be exposing false teachers.
But there are preachers, pastors, of churches, that are teaching something different from what the disciples taught:
Gal 1:6-9…..6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! NIV
Did you catch that? Paul is saying that anybody who changes up scripture to teach what they want to teach, in contradiction to what the disciples taught, will be eternally condemned. God does not take it lightly when someone decides that they have a better plan than God. That’s exactly what Satan did. And Satan will pay the price in the end.
Here, taken from the interview in the previous post, is something that is extremely different than what Jesus and the disciples taught:
KING: What if you’re Jewish or Muslim, you don’t accept Christ at all?
OSTEEN: You know, I’m very careful about saying who would and wouldn’t go to heaven. I don’t know…
KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They’re wrong, aren’t they?
OSTEEN: Well, I don’t know if I believe they’re wrong. I believe here’s what the Bible teaches, and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God will judge a person’s heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don’t know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don’t know. I’ve seen their sincerity. So I don’t know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.
Remember that scripture above? If anyone teaches something different, let them be eternally condemned. That’s pretty clear.
John 14:6-7…..6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV
It doesn’t matter how sincere they are. If they don’t believe in Jesus, they will not get into Heaven. But Joel doesn’t want to say who will get into Heaven and who won’t.
Acts 2:21…..21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved .’ NIV
How about this from page 6 of his book?
• “You must conceive it in your heart and mind before you can receive it.”
1 Cor 2:9…..“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”- NIV
Sounds contradictory to me. And there are many other examples.
James 3:1…..3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers , my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. NIV
There are many people who teach something contradictory to God’s word – the scripture. And God’s word says that teachers will be judged more strictly than those who don’t teach. Those who attempt to tell others what God’s word says, better have it right. It is God who judges more strictly.
Matt 18:2-6…..2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. NIV
Wouldn’t it be sin for someone to reject the teachings of Jesus, and believe something else? That’s what happens when they are not told the truth: that we are sinners in need of a savior, and that Jesus is that savior. If you are a pastor of a church, and you don’t tell people that truth, then they will not obey God’s word, because they didn’t understand the truth. It was not presented to them. It was twisted from what scripture says, so that it didn’t even resemble the truth.
This is from the article by Brannon Howse, in the previous post:
Osteen now travels the country, packing out stadiums with his happy-talk. But I’d like to see Osteen pay a visit to China, preach his “your best life now” drivel, and see how Christians there respond. Let Osteen look into the eyes of Pastor Lei who has been repeatedly arrested and beaten for preaching the Word of God in his church—a church not licensed by the Chinese government. How would the American’s best life work out for Pastor Lei and his congregation? Perhaps their jail time for the Gospel would give them time to assess Rev. Osteen’s claims.
Have these and countless other persecuted Christians been beaten, jailed and murdered because they “received what they believed,” or did these terrible things happen to them because they did not “develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness”?
Luke 21:17-18…..17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. NKJV
Matt 5:10…..10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. NIV
2 Tim 3:12…..12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
1 Thess 3:4-5…..4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted . And it turned out that way, as you well know. NIV
2 Cor 4:7-9…..7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted , but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. NIV
Looks to me like those Christians who are being persecuted are fulfilling the scripture, even if they aren’t living their “best life now”.
2 Peter 2:1-3…..2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. NIV
2 Tim 4:2-5….. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. NIV
We are not to “condemn” people in the sense that they are bad people and will never be worth anything. But we are to tell people that humans are sinners and are in need of Jesus Christ as their savior. That’s not condemning people….that’s offering them a chance to have their best life later.
John 8:31-32…..31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” NIV
Updated 3:00 p.m…..I have added a few thoughts to the post. This is from the previous post, an interview with Joel Osteen. Joel is afraid to tell people that what they have done is sin:
KING: How about issues that the church has feelings about? Abortion? Same-sex marriages?
OSTEEN: Yeah. You know what, Larry? I don’t go there. I just …
KING: You have thoughts, though.
OSTEEN: I have thoughts. I just, you know, I don’t think that a same-sex marriage is the way God intended it to be. I don’t think abortion is the best. I think there are other, you know, a better way to live your life. But I’m not going to condemn those people. I tell them all the time our church is open for everybody.
KING: You don’t call them sinners?
OSTEEN: I don’t.
Same sex marriage is not the way God intended it to be? I’ll say! Here’s what God says:
Lev 18:22…..22 “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. NIV
Abortion is “not the best?” He’s afraid to say it’s murder, because it will offend a very large part of his congregation.
Ex 20:13…..13 “You shall not murder. NIV
See….God sees us as humans before birth….not a blob of cells or a “product of conception.”
Ps 139:13-16…..13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. NIV
Ps 22:31…..1 They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn — for he has done it. NIV
Ps 127:3-5…..3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. NKJV
Tell them that if you accept Jesus, all those sins are forgiven. Every single one of them.