Program#L8The Theological Adventures of Johnny Lukewarm andPastor Loophole: What Must I Do To Inherit EternalLife?
Radio Show Transcript, © 2001, Persuade TheWorld Ministries, Gordon James Klingenschmitt, Servant. Copyingand distribution (without editing) is highly encouraged.
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Opening introduction by MarkMcWilliams
Welcome and thank you for joining this radiobroadcast of Persuade The World Ministries. Youreabout 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,well mail you a free cassette tape of todaysbroadcast, which you can copy and give to your friends. Justcall our toll-free phone number: 866-Obey-God. Thatstoll 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
Thanks Mark. Today we continue ourmini-drama entitled The Theological Adventures of JohnnyLukewarm and Pastor Loophole. You may remember ourcharacters, Johnny Lukewarm, and Pastor Loophole from our lastbroadcast. But before we re-introduce these two characters,lets read again from 2nd Timothy chapter 3. For the time will come when men will not put up withsound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, theywill gather around them a great number of teachers tosay what their itching ears want to hear. Theywill turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside tomyths. People often turn to counselors who tellthem what their itching ears want to hear. As is the casewith our character, Johnny Lukewarm, who comes into PastorLoopholes office to get advice
(Lower) Please have a seat, Johnny. What seems to bebothering you today?
Johnnys brow furrows with concern. (Higher)Pastor Loophole, Im very upset about this particularpassage of scripture. It seems as though God is commandingme to do something I really dont 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 dont have to obey God.
(Higher) Oh, thank goodness. For a minute there, Ithought Id actually have to change my behavior and obeyGod! Johnny breathes a sigh of relief. He sitsforward eagerly, with his itching ears searching for some way ofescape from the Holy Spirits conviction. But theSpirit of God is grieved away, and He slowly withdraws hisconviction from Johnnys life.
(Start) But PastorLoophole continues his excuses with Loophole #5, entitledLets not get into legalism. SoHeres Loophole #5:
(Lower) Jesuscame to abolish the laws of God, Johnny, so any preacher who saysyou have to be holy in order to be saved is preachinglegalism. Thats why Paul wrote to the Galatians: Youwho are trying to be justified by law have been alienated fromChrist; you have fallen away from grace.
TIME OUT !! Lets look at thescriptures everybody, and analyze Pastor Loopholes advice. Lets rightly divide the word of truth, and separate thetruth from the lies in the advice given by Pastor Loophole. First, I want to acknowledge the true part.
Its true that Christians are not justified by obedience tothe laws of Moses. The Old Testament laws of Leviticus andDeuteronomy are no longer required for salvation. Wedont have to obey the laws of Moses in order to be savedand going to heaven. But the false part is that Christianscan be saved without obeying any laws of God or laws of Christalso known as the laws of love. The lie is that youdont have to love God with all your heart, and you canstill go to heaven. But heres the truth to replacethat lie. Christians are justified, made right with God,saved from hell, granted entry to Gods kingdom, sent toheaven, given eternal life, by one thing: obedience to thelaw of Christ, or the law of love. You know the ApostlePaul taught salvation by faith, but Jesus taught salvation bylove. Now Im not saying Jesus and Paul disagree, but ifI have faith that can move mountains but have not love, I amnothing. The Bible says Through love andfaithfulness sin is atoned for
Theres a lot of theories out there about how to getsaved and how to know for certain youre goingto heaven when you die. Christian theological giantslike Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Finney, and evenBilly Graham today all have their opinions about how to getsaved. But theres one theologian who has moreauthority than all these preachers combinedHis name isJesus Christ.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to testJesus. Teacher, he asked, what must I do toinherit eternal life? I want you to readthis for yourself, in Luke chapter 10. This is what I callLuke 10 soteriology. He asked Jesus, what must I do toinherit eternal life?
What is written in the Law? Jesus replied.How do you read it?
The man answered: Love the Lord your God with allyour heart and with all your soul and with all your strength andwith all your mind; and, Love your neighbor asyourself.
You have answered correctly, Jesus replied. Dothis and you will live.
Oh my. Did you hear what Jesus said? Love God and neighbor. Do this and youllinherit eternal life. Now does any theologian in historyhave enough authority to overrule this commanded way to getsaved? Jesus demanded love the Lord your God with all yourheart and love your neighbor as yourself. Do this andyou will live. Now does anybody out there thinktheres a different way to get saved, without obedience tothese two laws?
Let me to labelthese two laws The laws of Christ. These arethe laws of Christ. Jesus said love Godwholeheartedly, and love your neighbor as yourself. Ifyou obey these two laws, youll gain eternal life. Lookthat up for yourself in Luke Chapter 10.
Jesus didnt recite the four spiritual laws, orlead the man down the Romans road. Hedidnt even pray the sinners prayer ortell him to just believe and receive. Jesusgave a different methodalmost never demanded bytodays evangelistsIf you want to inherit eternallife, you must obey the laws of Christ. Love God andneighbor. Do this and you will live.
And Jesus alsosaid, This is love for God: to obey his commands.
Now when Jesus says you have to love God in order to be saved, itcauses great consternation and anxiety in Pastor Loopholesmind. All his lies will come to the surface at once: (Lower)But were saved by grace (tolerance) not by the law. Were saved through faith alone (or mental assent alone). If you require obedience to Gods law to be saved,thats legalism! But Pastor Loopholesargument isnt against me, its against the words ofJesus Christ. If preaching obedience to Gods lawas a requirement of salvation is legalism, then Jesus Christ isthe biggest legalist of all time. Jesus directly madeobedience to Gods laws of love the primary requirement forsalvation. Lets read that passage again. LetChrists words sink in.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with allyour soul and with all your strength and with all yourmind; and, Love your neighbor asyourself.
Do this and you will live.
Now what if you dont love God with all your heart and youdont love your neigbor as yourself, are you going to hell? The Bible says this: We know that we have passed fromdeath to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does notlove remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is amurderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
(Higher) Butwho is my neighbor? asks Johnny Lukewarm. Imean, do I have to love all my neighbors to get intoheaven? Well thats the same question the expertin the law asked Jesus. But Jesus eliminated every loopholewhen he answered with the parable of the good Samaritan.
Why did Jesus tell the parable of the good Samaritan? Whydid Jesus compare the priest (who did not obey the law oflove), and the Levite (who did not obey the law of love),to the Samaritan (who did obey the law of love, byproviding food, shelter, and care to a stranger)? Why didJesus compare these three men? Heres why: Todistinguish those who are saved and going to heaven from thosewho are unsaved and going to hell. People who dontlove God and neighbor are going to hell; but people who love Godand neighbor are going to heaven.
(Higher) So are you saying, that if I dont go outonto the highways and take care of poor people, then Imgoing to hell? asks Johnny Lukewarm.
Well, what if it were true, Johnny? Would it change yourbehavior? How can you claim to love God, whom youhavent seen, when you dont even love your neighbor,whom you have seen? If you dont love Godwholeheartedly, and love your neighbor as yourself, Luke chapter10 says you dont have no hope of inheriting eternal life. The entire law is summed up in a single command: Loveyour neighbor as yourself.
In Matthew 25, Jesus told another parable, the parable of thesheep and the goats. So why did he distinguish the sheepfrom the goats? Why will Jesus say to some,
Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take yourinheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation ofthe world. For I was hungry and you gave me something toeat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was astranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothedme, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and youcame to visit me.
And why will Jesussay to others, Depart from me, you who are cursed, intothe eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. ForI was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty andyou gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did notinvite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I wassick and in prison and you did not look after me.
(Higher) So are you saying, asks Johnny Lukewarm,that if I dont feed the hungry and thirsty, or clothethe naked, or welcome strangers, or visit people in prison, thenIm going to hell?
What if it were true, Johnny? Would it change yourbehavior? Jesus said, Whatever you didnt do to theleast of these, you didnt do it unto me. If youdont love God and love your neighbor, Matthew 25 says youhave no hope of inheriting eternal life. But on the otherhand, Jesus says in Luke chapter 10, Love God and love yourneighbor. Do this and you will live.
Think about that for a moment, while we take a short break.
Middle segment by Mark McWilliams
Thanks Gordon. Hell be back injust a moment. But first, do you know somebody who needs tohear todays message? If you call our toll-free numberin the next hour, 866-Obey-God, well mail you a freecassette tape of todays 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! Ifits your first time calling us, no donation is required! Just call us!) Our toll free number is 866-Obey-God,thats 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D. And please specifyyoure requesting todays program. Do you believeAmerica needs to hear these messages? If so, then we needyou to sponsor us, by joining the Persuaders Club with amonthly pledge of just $15. If you join thePersuaders Club, well also send you an autographedcopy of Gordons book that youve been hearing. Justvisit our web-site at persuaders-club.com. Or call us inthe next hour at 866-Obey-God. Right now, lets returnto Gordon James Klingenschmitt.
Pastor Loopholedoesnt want to believe that loving God and loving yourneighbor are requirements for eternal salvation. (Lower)Oh, no. We dont want to get intoLegalism, here. We cant require thatpeople obey Gods laws in order to be saved. Thatslegalism. But thats a lie. Heresthe truth. Jesus said: Do not think that I havecome to abolish the Law...not the smallest letter, not the leaststroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from theLaw...Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandmentsand teaches others to do the same will be called least in thekingdom....unless your righteousness surpasses that of theteachers of the Law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom ofheaven.
Jesus didntexcuse people from Gods laws, he made them more strict. You have heard that it was said...Do notmurder...but I tell you that anyone who is angry...will bein danger of the fire of hell. And again, youhave heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery.But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully hasalready committed adultery with her in his heart.
When Jesus demandswe repent, and change our hearts, and obey the spirit ofGods law, Pastor Loophole cries (lower) Legalism! Judaizers! Pharisees! Dont put me under thatyoke of the law! But in avoiding legalism, but hepreaches lawlessness. Holiness and obeying the laws of loveare not legalism. If obeying spirit of Gods law islegalism, then Jesus was preaching legalism when he told us tolove our neighbors.
Now Jesus rebukedthe Pharisees for teaching legalism. What is real legalism? Its when you obey the letter of the law, but ignore thespirit of the law. The Pharisees obeyed the details of thelaw, but they didnt love God or love their neighbor. Jesussaid to them: Woe to you, teachers of the law andPharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spicesmint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more importantmatters of law justice, mercy and faithfulness.
These Pharisees didnt love God orlove their neighbors. Sure they looked righteous on theoutside, because they attended church and paid their tithes andthey memorized all the rules, but in their hearts theydidnt love God or love their neighbors. Jesus said tothem, On the outside you appear to people as righteousbut on the inside you are full of hypocrisy andwickedness
You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will youescape being condemned to hell?
Jesus said to the Pharisees, Youdiligently study the Scriptures because you think that by themyou possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures thattestify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to havelife.
Paul taught thesame thing when he confronted the Judaizers. Judaizerstaught that you had to get circumcised in order to be saved. They preached the letter of the law. But Paulpreached the spirit of the law, the law of love. He taughtthat Christian salvation requires a change of heartfromselfishness to love. When you change your heart fromselfishness to love, thats called being born again. Neithercircumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is anew creation.
Legalism, technically, is just expanding the bigger law of loveinto smaller, more detailed laws, like dont steal,dont murder, dont lie. You take thespirit of the law, and you legalize it into specificdetails. This in itself is not a bad thing. Even Godlegalized the laws of love into many detailed pieces,when he gave the Old Testament law to Moses. Whenpeoples hearts are hard and stubborn, sometimes they needmore detailed laws. For example, if people wont obeythe bigger command to love their neighbor, maybe at leasttheyll obey a lesser, more specific law which says,dont kill your neighbor. Sometimes peopleneed more details to help them understand what the spirit of thelaw means. But the problem comes when people say OK,I wont murder you, but I can still resent you. Well,yeah, theyre obeying the letter of the law by not killingtheir neighbor, but they still disobeying the spirit of the law,because they still refuse to love their neighbor.
Or heres another example. Lets imagine that ina particular city the crime rate is really high, and a thief isstealing car stereos. So an outraged lawmaker begins withthe spirit of the law Thou shalt not steal. Butsince hes a lawyer, he legalizes it, and writes a moredetailed, more specific law. Anyone caught stealingcar stereos in our city will spend 30 days in jail. Hetakes the spirit of the law, and legalizes it into aspecific detail for a specific time and place.
So the thief thinks to himself, well, I dont want to go tojail for 30 days, so Ill steal truck stereos instead of carstereos. Or I steal them out in the country instead of inthe city. So he obeys the letter of the law, butbreaks the spirit of the law. He stays out of jail, but inhis heart, hes still a thief. The local authoritiesdont punish him, but God casts his soul into hell. Thatshow legalism can deceive you into thinking youre safe, whenyoure really not. If you obey all the rules in theBible but you dont love God with all your heart,youre still a lawless rebel bound for destruction in hell.
So what about you? Do you follow the details of the law, but ignore the spirit ofthe law? The commandments, Do not commitadultery, Do not murder, Do notsteal, Do not covet, and whatever othercommandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule:Love your neighbor as yourself
Therefore love isthe fulfillment of the law.
(Lower) Dont put me under that yoke of Godslaw, says Pastor Loophole. But he refuses to submitto the authority of Christs command to love. Hethrows out the baby with the bath water. He throws out boththe letter AND the spirit of the law. He thinks hesmoving away from legalism into grace, but hes really justmoving away from legalism into lawlessness.
You know, preachers of legalism andpreachers of lawlessness have one thing in common? Neitherone wants to love God with all his heart.
Jesus said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart,and, Love your neighbor as yourself.
Do this andyou will live.
(Higher) Soare you saying asks Johnny Lukewarm, that if Idont love God with all my heart, and love my neighbor asmyself, then Im going to hell? Yes, Johnny,thats exactly what Im saying.
Lets pray for a moment. Would you pray these wordswith me to God? Stop what youre doing for a moment,and pray these words with me to God. Father inHeaven, Im sorry I havent loved you with all myheart. Ive been selfish, and Ive loved myselfmore than Ive loved you. I havent loved myneighbors either. I repent, right now, Lord. And Ire-dedicate the priorities of my heart, to loving God with all myheart, soul, mind and strength. And I re-prioritize my timeschedule to going out into the highways and the byways to showlove to my neighbors. I love you Lord, and I choose to lovemy neighbors too. I receive your mercy, and your eternallife. In Jesus name, Amen.
Did you pray with me just now? If you prayed with me, sayAmen. Go ahead, say it out loud. Amen, Lord Jesus. Some of you are receiving a physical healing in your bodies rightnow, as Gods love takes over in your heart. But ifyou said Amen just now, I hope youll write to us and get acopy of this book youre hearing. Ive been veryfortunate and blessed to have this book read and endorsed bypeople like C. Peter Wagner, and professors Tony Campolo and JonMark Ruthven, Pastors Ted Haggard and Floyd McClung, and JoyDawson and Bill Hamon.
So you know its trustworthy. Inour book and in our future broadcasts, well answer thequestions you may have about faith versus works or eternalsecurity, and youll hear more theological adventures ofJohnny Lukewarm and Pastor Loophole. So I hope youllwrite us tune in again next time. Now I love you, and Icare about you. So heres Mark with more information.
Closing trailer by Mark McWilliams
Thanks Gordon, and thanks everybody forlistening. Do you know somebody who needs to hear todaysmessage? If you call our toll-free number in the next hour,866-Obey-God, well mail you a free cassette tape oftodays 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 its your first time contacting us,no donation is required! Just call us!) Our toll freenumber is 866-Obey-God, thats 1-866-O-B-E-Y-G-O-D,and please specify youre requesting todays program. Now do you believe
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