Program#L4—“The Theological Adventures of Johnny Lukewarm andPastor Loophole:  Mercy and Unconditional Love”

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Radio Show Transcript, 2001, Persuade TheWorld Ministries, Gordon James Klingenschmitt, Servant.  Copyingand distribution (without editing) is highly encouraged. 

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<Manymore transcripts and free MP3 radio shows CLICK HERE>

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Opening introduction by MarkMcWilliams…

Welcome and thank you for joining this radiobroadcast of Persuade The World Ministries.  You’reabout to hear our radio production of the book written and taughtby Gordon James Klingenschmitt, entitled “License To Sin,The Number One Reason America Is Losing Its MoralFoundation.”  If you call us in the next hour,we’ll mail you a free cassette tape of today’sbroadcast, which you can copy and give to your friends.  Justcall our toll-free phone number:  866-Obey-God.  That’stoll free, 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D.  Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt is a graduate of the United States Air ForceAcademy, and a seminary graduate of Regent University, holdingboth M.B.A. and Master of Divinity degrees.  He’s alsothe founder and servant of Persuade The World Ministries, a501(c3) tax-exempt religious non-profit corporation in ColoradoSprings, dedicated to persuading individuals in America andthroughout the world to forsake their sins and submit theirhearts and minds to the loving rulership of our Lord, JesusChrist.  And now with today’s teaching, here is GordonJames Klingenschmitt. 

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Teaching by Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt…

Thanks, Mark.  Today’s segment isthe first of several in a mini-drama entitled, “TheTheological Adventures of Johnny Lukewarm and PastorLoophole.”  Johnny Lukewarm, and Pastor Loophole. Hmmm…  But before we meet these two characters,let’s read from 2nd Timothy chapter 3.  “Forthe time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around thema great number of teachers to say what their itchingears want to hear.  They will turn their earsaway from the truth and turn aside to myths.”  Peopleoften turn to counselors who tell them what their itching earswant to hear.  As is the case with our character, JohnnyLukewarm, who turns to Pastor Loophole to get advice…  Solet’s introduce the characters in our little drama. 

Johnny Lukewarm isa non-Christian who calls himself a Christian.  He eagerlydesires forgiveness of sins, but has no desire to submit to therulership of God.  Johnny Lukewarm is your averagecollege-aged student, and he thinks he “got saved” atan evangelistic crusade when he (quote) “accepted Jesus ashis Savior.”  But he never made Christ His Lord.  Hejust wants to go to heaven, He doesn’t want Jesus to be theboss of his life.  He’s not cold toward God, buthe’s not hot toward God either.  He’s justlukewarm. 

           With his itching ears like radar beacons, Johnny Lukewarm sweepsthe horizon for any available excuse to remain in his sins. He searches high and low for reasons to escape absolute obedienceto God.  “There must be some relief from thisconviction and guilt I feel.  There must be some way toavoid obedience to God.” he thinks to himself. 

And fortunately forJohnny, there are hundreds of false teachers out there, tellinghim everything his itching ears want to hear, offering excuseafter excuse, loophole after loophole, on how to avoid submissionto God and keep enjoying his deadly sins.  And that’sOK with Johnny, because he really loves his sins more than God inthe first place.  

           Now the second character in our drama is an older, distinguished,very wise preacher named Pastor Loophole.  (Or so heproclaims himself to be wise.)  Pastor Loophole has a verymodern concept of the gospel, which he learned at a very liberalseminary.  Pastor Loophole believes God is loving andmerciful, in fact so merciful that God forgives without requiringrepentance or holiness!  Pastor Loophole worries aboutchurch-growth, and fears offending anyone who might becoming atithing member of his church. 

           Our opening scene takes place on a Tuesday afternoon.  JohnnyLukewarm has a counseling session in Pastor Loophole’soffice.  Johnny requested the appointment himself, hoping toclarify some Bible verses that make him uncomfortable.  Yousee, God wants Johnny to forsake one of his favorite sins.  Maybeit was prayerlessness, or lack of concern for the lost, ormaterialism, or idolatry, or pride, or lust, or.....maybe Godeven wants him to forsake all of these things at once!  Anywaythe Holy Spirit is convicting Johnny to forsake his favorite sin,impressing Johnny to the point of sorrow, tears, and genuinefeelings of guilt.  Johnny knows he’s wrong, but heabsolutely refuses to surrender.  After all, God wants himto give up his favorite sin.  But in this dangerous state ofunrepentance and resisting the Holy Spirit, he walks into PastorLoophole’s office for advice. 

           (Lower) “Please have a seat, Johnny.  What seems to bebothering you today?” 

           Johnny’s brow furrows with concern.  (Higher)“Pastor Loophole, I’m very upset about this particularpassage of scripture.  It seems as though God is commandingme to do something I really don’t want to do.  Do Ireally have to repent, and stop sinning, and obey God?  Oris there some other alternative? 

           (Lower) “Why, certainly there is, Johnny, you just relax. I can offer you dozens of alternatives, and give you very logicalreasons why you don’t have to obey God.” 

           (Higher) “Oh, thank goodness.”  Johnny breathes asigh of relief.  He sits forward eagerly, with his itchingears searching for some escape from the Holy Spirit’sconviction.  “For a minute there, I thought I’dactually have to change my behavior and obey God!” 

But the Spirit ofGod is grieved away, and He slowly withdraws his conviction fromJohnny’s life.  And Pastor Loophole’s excusesbegin with Loophole #1, entitled “God is a merciful,compassionate God.” 

Here’s Loophole number one: 

(Lower)  “Don’tfeel so bad, Johnny,” says Pastor Loophole, “Godunderstands you with great compassion.  In fact, mercy andcompassion are the strongest part of God’s character.  Jesustaught that we should forgive 70 times 7 times whenever someonesins against us,[1] so it must follow that God forgives you atleast 490 times—even if you delay repentance, or sin manytimes in one day without repenting!  You don’t have torepent, in fact there are no requirements for obtainingGod’s mercy—just believe that you’re forgiven andthat makes it true!  So don’t feel guilty, Johnny, Godwouldn’t condemn you for blatant, continual rebellion to Hisauthority.  God is a very merciful God.” 

 

TIME OUT !!  Let’s look at thescriptures, and analyze Pastor Loophole’s advice.  Let’srightly divide the word of truth, and separate the truth from thelies in Pastor Loophole’s advice.  First, let’sacknowledge the true part. God delights in showing mercy tosinners.  The Bible says Mercy triumphs over judgment![2]  And we all need God’s mercy,because we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory ofGod. [3] 

But here are thelies.  Did you know it’s a lie that there are norequirements for obtaining God’s mercy?  And it’sa lie that God shows mercy to everybody, no matter what they door don’t do?  But here’s the truth to replace theLies:  God shows no mercy to the unrepentant.  Godshows no mercy to those who don’t fear Him, change theirhearts, repent, and submit to His rulership.  Here’swhat the Bible says:  the mercy of the LORD is fromeverlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him…to suchas keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandmentsto do them.[4]  If you don’trepent and do God’s commandments, Johnny Lukewarm, God doesnot forgive your sins.

           Did you know that in the Bible, God gives three requirements forgranting forgiveness of sins?  Three requirements!  Thefirst is Atonement.  The atoning blood sacrifice ofJesus Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross is thefirst requirement for God’s mercy.  The Bible says Withoutthe shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.[5] 

The second is Repentance. The sinner must voluntarily repent from sin, or forsake his knownsins, before God forgives those sins.  Jesus taught Ifsomebody sins against you seven times in a day, and seven timescomes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’forgive him. [6]  And in anotherscripture, Jesus says, Unless you repent, youtoo will all perish.[7]  And again, the Bible says, Repent,then, and turn to God, so that your sins maybe wiped out.[8]  Now like it ordon’t like it, but repentance is in the Bible as arequirement for receiving God’s forgiveness of your sins.

The thirdrequirement for obtaining God’s mercy is Faith in JesusChrist.  Not just mental assent to certain facts, butwhole-hearted submission to the author behind thosefacts—giving Jesus and His words authority over your mind. Righteousness from God comes through faithin Jesus Christ to all who believe [9] Andagain, Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven…Yourfaith has saved you; go in peace.”[10] We’ll define faith in detail in a future broadcast.  Butfor now, let’s just agree that whatever faith is, it’srequired by God before He forgives your sins. 

           So the Bible gives three requirements for obtainingGod’s mercy: atonement, repentance, and faith. 

Now if you’relistening out there, Johnny Lukewarm, how will you respond? What will you do?  The atonement was provided by Jesus onthe cross.  But the repenting and the believing arecompletely up to you. God will never repent for you.  Neitherwill He believe for you.  You must repent and believe, orGod won’t forgive your sins.  How do you accessGod’s mercy?  Repent and believe.[11] 

           Let’s take a break for a moment and pray.  Would youpray with me?  Pray these words along with me to God.  “LordI repent, and I believe.  Lord, please forgive me fordelaying repentance, and right now I forsake my known sins. Furthermore, I submit my heart and mind to the rulership of JesusChrist, right now.  I believe him.  I submit my mind tohim.  I trust him, and receive Him to be my Lord in everyarea of my life.  Especially in those areas where I’vebeen resisting Him.  Jesus, come and rule my heart rightnow.  In your name I pray, Amen.”  Did you justpray with me?  Now if you just prayed with me, I want you towrite to me and get a copy of this book you’re hearingpresented right now.  Here’s Mark with thatinformation. 

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Middle segment by Mark McWilliams…

Thanks Gordon.  He’ll be back injust a moment.  But first, do you know somebody who needs tohear today’s message?  If you call our toll-free numberin the next hour, 866-Obey-God, we’ll mail you a freecassette tape of today’s broadcast, which you can copy andgive to your friends.  All our tapes are copyable and free,but please remember we need your donations to stay on the air andto give away these free tapes.  So please pray and obey,then send us your best possible donation, after you receive yourfree cassette.  (Gordon:  Hey time out!  Ifit’s your first time calling us, no donation is required! Just call us!)  Our toll free number is 866-Obey-God,that’s 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D.  And please specifyyou’re requesting today’s program.  Do you believeAmerica needs to hear these messages?  If so, then we needyou to sponsor us, by joining the Persuader’s Club with amonthly pledge of just $15.  If you join thePersuader’s Club, we’ll also send you an autographedcopy of Gordon’s book that you’ve been hearing.  Justvisit our web-site at persuaders-club.com.  Or call us inthe next hour at 866-Obey-God.  Right now, let’s returnto Gordon James Klingenschmitt. 

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Teaching continued by Gordon JamesKlingenschmitt…

Thanks again, Mark.  Let’sreturn again to Johnny Lukewarm, who’s getting advice fromPastor Loophole.  Remember, Johnny Lukewarm was reading hisBible, and came across a command of scripture he didn’t wantto obey.  So he turned to Pastor Loophole, who tells himwhat his itching ears want to hear.  And loophole number twois entitled, “God loves you unconditionally.” 

           “Don’t you remember my sermon last Sunday?” PastorLoophole reminds Johnny Lukewarm, as he gives Johnny anotherexcuse to delay repentance and remain in his deadly sins. 

After reading halfof the Bible, and ignoring the half he didn’t like, PastorLoophole prepared his favorite sermon on God’s“unconditional” love. 

(Lower) “Godloves you unconditionally, with no strings attached.  Youdon’t have to change to be acceptable to God, because Godloves you just the way you are.  In fact, the Bible says Godis love.[12]  So Johnny, youdon’t have to repent, and God still loves you!  Nothingcan separate you from God’s love!” 

           “Oh yes, God loves you.  God doesn’t hate anybody,and He never will.  God may have been wrathful in the OldTestament, but that was before Jesus came.  Now God lovesyou so much, He gave His son for you, to forgive you of yoursins, even if you don’t repent!  God loves you so much,that He can’t hate you, or be angry with you, or be wrathfultoward you, or punish you, even if you continue to enjoy yoursins! 

Pastor Loopholespins out his message of cheap grace, and Johnny Lukewarm leansforward in his seat, his itching ears eager to hear every word. (Lower) “Jesus loves sinners! He ate and drank with sinners. God isn’t angry with sinners.  So don’t worryabout your sins, Johnny, just soak in God’s love.  Godwill never hate you, even if continue to enjoy your sins.  Youdon’t have to repent or be holy to be loved by God.” 

           Johnny Lukewarm breathes a big sigh of relief.  (Higher)“Oh thank goodness,” He says.  “I feel soloved by God!  Before I thought God might be angry that Ienjoy my sins, but now I know better!  God loves meunconditionally, even while I continue to enjoy my sins.” 

 

TIME OUT !!  Let’s sort out thismess, and look at the scriptures, and rightly divide the word oftruth.  Let’s separate the truth from the lies inPastor Loophole’s advice.  First, I want to acknowledgethe true part.  God is love.  God shows love tosinners.  He is patient with them—God is kind to theungrateful and wicked.[13] Godso loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[14]who died for us, while we were yet sinners. [15]  This is all true.  Amen.  Butthe lie is this:  God never hates sinners. The lie is thatGod tolerates sin.  The lie is that God doesn’t requireholiness, and He’ll never punish unrepentant sinners.  That’sa lie!  But here’s the truth to replace those lies: Did you know the Bible says God hates certain kinds ofsinners?  Some people today preach that God “loves thesinner, but hates their sin.”  That’s a cutephrase, but it’s not in the Bible.  God doesn’tjust hate sin, sometimes in the Bible God actually hates sinnerstoo!  Think about this for a moment: God isn’t justgoing to throw sins into hell, someday He’ll throw entiresinners into hell, eyes and teeth and everything.  Itwon’t be sins gnashing their teeth in hell, it will beactual sinners who gnash their teeth in hell.[16] 

           The Bible says, “The LORD detestsmen of perverse heart, but he delights in those whose ways areblameless.” [17]  The Bible says, “The LORDexamines the righteous, but the wicked and those who loveviolence his soul hates.” [18] The Bible says, “The LORD detestsall the proud of heart.  Be sure of this:  They willnot go unpunished.” [19]  Now these verses, in your Bible,directly state that God, the God of love, who gave his only Sonfor us, personally hates or detests certain types ofsinners. 

           Some people listening out there may think these Bible verses arehate speech.  But they’re not hate speech ifthey’re true.  If they’re true, they’re wordsof love, not hate.  I love you enough to warn you.  I’mnot trying to be your judge.  Only God can judge you.  ButI’m called to be a messenger sent from the One who willjudge you someday, and I love you enough to warn you.  JohnnyLukewarm, forsake your sins before they destroy you in hell. That’s not hate speech, that’s love speech.  ButPastor Loophole has twisted the words “love” and“hate.”  Love is not the same as tolerance andsilence.  And hate is not the same as rebuke and warningabout danger.  Better is open rebuke than hidden love.[20]

           So let me ask you Bible scholars out there:  What’s theone characteristic of God, most often mentioned in the Bible? What do you think?  What’s the one characteristic ofGod, most often mentioned in the Bible?  Is it God’slove?  Actually, the word “Love” is attributed toGod’s character 150 times in the King James Bible. But the word “Wrath” is attributed to God’scharacter 155 times.  The Bible describes God 150times as loving, and 155 times as wrathful.  The Bible says Godis a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day.[21] 

           “But that’s in the Old Testament.” argues PastorLoophole.  “God is more loving in the NewTestament.”  Wrong again.  Did you know the NewTestament book of Romans attributes “love” toGod’s character 7 times, but “wrath” 9 times? And if you count the number of times Jesus taught about heaven,it’s 90 times, but the number of times Jesus taught abouthell, it’s 88 times--virtually an even split, even in theNew Testament.  The Bible says God is angry with thewicked every day. [22] 

Some people like topretend God’s wrath is subdued, but God’s infinitewrath is just as strong as His infinite love.  The Biblesays God’s wrath is just as great as the fear that is dueHim.[23] Now in eternity, unrepentant sinners will know God’sinfinite wrath in all of its terrible fury.  But those whorepent will know God’s infinite love.  So JohnnyLukewarm, if you’re listening out there, will you repent andreceive God’s love, or delay repentance and receiveGod’s wrath? 

           Some people think there’s no such place as hell, that evilpeople will just sort of be vaporized.  That’s not whatJesus taught.  Jesus said in hell there will be weeping andgnashing of teeth.  It’s hard to gnash your teeth whenyou’re vaporized.  People in hell won’t merely beseparated from God, God won’t just disappear, but He’llbe present forever in your private hell, in your face forever, inall of His infinite, furious wrath. Unless of course, you repentand forsake your deadly sins. 

(Higher) “Butthat’s not fair,” Johnny Lukewarm complains, “howcan our tiny sins deserve eternal punishment in hellfire?” That’s easy.  If God is infinitely worthy of ourobedience, then our slightest disobedience makes us infinitelyworthy of His wrath.  When the “tiniest” of sinsis magnified by the infinite amount God didn’t deserve thatsin, then one “tiny” sin becomes infinitelyincriminating.  Apart from God’s infinite mercy whichcould forgive our sins, excruciating eternal torture in theflames of hell is the very least we deserve.

Yes, God lovessinners for now, but there’s a time limit on that love, ifwe don’t repent and forsake our deadly sins.  If youcontinue to enjoy your sins, your clock is ticking.   Yourtime is running out.  God’s Spirit will not strive withyou forever.  For the time being, God is patient withyou, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come torepentance.[24] For the time being, God shows His love“unconditionally.”  Today He sends rain on boththe righteous and the unrighteous.[25]  But not forever.  SomedayGod’s patience will run out, and he will separate the sheepfrom the goats.  Someday God will display unconditional loveto the righteous, but unconditional wrath to the unrighteous. The unrighteous will go away to eternal punishment, but therighteous to eternal life.[26] 

           Now Pastor Loophole, if you’re listening out there, Godwants people to forsake their sins, and enter God’s kingdom. Are you going to open the door to them, by teaching aboutrepentance, or slam the door in their faces by telling them theydon’t have to repent and live a holy life?  Help peoplesubmit to God’s rulership.  I plead with you tolovingly warn them to forsake their sins.  

           And to Johnny Lukewarm, if you’re listening out there, ifyou haven’t forsaken your known sins, don’t callyourself a child of God.  The Bible says there’s oneway to know who the children of God are and who the childrenof the devil are:  Anyone who does not do what is right isnot a child of God.[27]  Don’t be fooled.  These maybe the most loving words you ever hear.

           Let’s pray together.  Would you pray with me?  Praythese words to God with me:  “Father in heaven,I’m so sorry for taking your love for granted.  I’mso sorry for delaying repentance.  I want to receive yourlove, God, not your anger or your wrath.  So I repent, rightnow, and forsake my known sins.  Come and rule my heart,right now, and help me receive your eternal love, not youreternal wrath.  And as I forsake my sins, Lord, I receiveyour forgiveness right now, through the sacrifice Jesus made forme on the cross.  Thank you Lord.  Amen.”  Didyou pray with me just now?  If you prayed with me, would youjust raise your hand up to God?  Wherever you are, ifyou’re in your car, or your home, or in front of otherpeople, it’s OK.  Just raise your hand to God as a signthat you prayed with me and gave your heart back to God.  Someof you are receiving a physical healing in your bodies right now,as God’s loving rulership takes over your heart.  Ihope you’ll write to us and tell us about that.  But ifyou prayed with me, I hope you’ll write to us and get a copyof this book you’re hearing.  In this book and in ourfuture broadcasts, we’ll answer the questions you may haveabout God’s love versus wrath, or faith versus works, oreternal security or eternal salvation.  And you’ll hearmore theological adventures of Johnny Lukewarm and PastorLoophole.  So I hope you’ll write us tune in again nexttime.  Now here’s Mark with information on how tocontact us. 

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Closing trailer by Mark McWilliams… 

Thanks Gordon, and thanks everybody forlistening. Do you know somebody who needs to hear today’smessage?  If you call our toll-free number in the next hour,866-Obey-God, we’ll mail you a free cassette tape oftoday’s broadcast, which you can copy and give to yourfriends. All our tapes are copyable and free, but please rememberthat we need your donations to stay on the air and to give awaythese free tapes.  So please pray and obey God about howmuch these teachings are worth to you, and return to us your bestpossible gift after you receive your free cassette.  (Gordon: Hey time out!  If it’s your first time contacting us,no donation is required!  Just call us!)  Our toll freenumber is 866-Obey-God, that’s 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D,and please specify you’re requesting today’s program. Now do you believe America needs to hear these messages?  Ifso, we’re specifically asking you to join thePersuader’s Club, and to sponsor this radio broadcast with amonthly pledge of just $15.  If you join thePersuader’s Club as a monthly partner, we’ll send youan autographed copy of the book you’ve been hearing, writtenand taught by Gordon James Klingenschmitt, entitled,“License To Sin, The Number One Reason America Is Losing ItsMoral Foundation.”  Just visit our web-site atpersuaders-club.com.  That’s persuaders-club.com. It’s the monthly donations of our Persuader’s Clubpartners who keep this program on the air.  Now if you havecomments or questions about today’s broadcast, you can emailus at  “persuadetheworld@yahoo.com,”   Or youcan always call us toll free, at 866-Obey-God.  And if youremember, please tell us the call sign of the radio stationyou’re listening to.  May God bless you, and thank youfor supporting Persuade The World Ministries.  Knowingtherefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. 

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<Manymore transcripts and free MP3 radio shows CLICK HERE>



[1] See Matt 18:22

[2] James 2:13 (NIV)

[3] Romans 3:23 (NIV)

[4] Psalms 103:17-18 (KJV)

[5] Hebrews 9:22 (NIV)

[6] Luke 17:4 (NIV)

[7] Luke 13:3 (NIV)

[8] Acts 3:19 (NIV)

[9] Romans 3:22 (NIV)

[10] Luke 7:47-50 (NIV)

[11] Mark 1:15 (NIV)

[12] 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

[13] Luke 6:35 (NIV)

[14] John 3:16 (NIV)

[15] Romans 5:8 (NIV)

[16] See Revelation 20:15

[17] Proverbs 11:20 (NIV)

[18] Psalms 11:5-6 (NIV)

[19] Proverbs 16:5 (NIV)

[20] Proverbs 27:5 (NIV)

[21] Psalm 7:11 (NIV)

[22] Psalm 7:11 (KJV)

[23] Psalm 90:11 (NIV)

[24] 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

[25] Matthew 5:45 (NIV)

[26] Matthew 25:46 (NIV)

[27] 1 John 3:10 (NIV)