What Will the Church Do With Such A Man?
Suppose, for a moment, that there is a preacher who is teaching that after Christ Jesus comes again, you will have time for repentance and you can be saved from the eternal, and just, wrath of God for rejecting the Gospel offered through His Son, Jesus Christ.
What would you think of such a man?
If it were in your means to do anything, what would you do? Would you tell others about this preacher? Would you warn others that what he is proclaiming is not in accord with the Word of God?
Or, would you admire and praise him and his books, and laud him with praises for his long-time service to the Church?
What should the Church do with such a man? There’s a question.
The Bible is quite clear that repentance has a time limit, specifically, that opportunity for repentance and salvation ends the very moment Christ Jesus appears. In fact, Scripture stresses that today, quite literally, is the season for repentance, over and over again.
Here’s a few:
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. – Proverbs 27:1
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. – Isaiah 55:6-8
For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. – 2 Corinthians 6:2
Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” – Hebrews 4:6-7
Since before the canon of Scripture was closed, it has been a clear message from God, to man, that today, the present moment, is the day of salvation, and there is no later time promised. You may die tonight. If that’s the case, it’s too late for repentance. Scripture is clear.
In the New Testament, it’s made clear that when the Son of God, Jesus, returns again, it is too late for repentance and salvation. There will be none to be had. Only a fearful expectation of judgment.
So, back to the original question, what would you think of a preacher who promises people otherwise? What would you think of a man who basically says, “Don’t worry about the second coming of Christ. When He comes again, you’ll see the error of your ways, you can, and will, repent when you see the Lord coming, and be saved from eternal punishment”?
Would you cry out? Would you label such a man as a heretic? Would you warn others that this man is to be avoided? Would you call this man a liar? A false prophet? Or should we, as the Church bring him to correction in love and concern, not only for himself, but for the glory of God and His truth, as well as the souls of men?
What would you do with such a man? Where does your loyalty lie? – with God, or man?
It is a twisted exegesis that concerns the very souls of men. We are not dealing with some theological nuance here, nor partaking in a futile exercise of hermeneutical nit-picking. We are talking about redemption of the souls of men by faith alone in Christ before His return, the central focus of the entire record of Scripture.
So, what will the Church do with such a man?
Here’s just one case for you to consider; the following quote is from John MacArthur’s study bible:
God, in His own perfect time and by His own power, will sovereignly act to save Israel…Israel’s repentance will come because they look to Jesus, the One whom they rejected and crucified, in faith, at the Second Advent. (emphasis mine, ed.)
– from John MacArthur’s comment in his footnotes on the passage of Zechariah 12:10 in the MacArthur Study Bible.
In a sermon on Zechariah 12:1-14, he states this concerning the Jews:
While their spiritual eyes are up and they’re thinking about God and how He has delivered them, they’re going to see God incarnate, Jesus, coming. They’re going to look on Him….they recognize that the very one who came back as their deliverer, was the same one they killed and they pierced when He came the first time. That’s why they mourn. And now that’s the anguish of true repentance, beloved.
He goes on:
And then Israel is going to receive salvation, look at 13:1, “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” God’s going to wash the nation from its sin.
First, they’re going to cry “My Lord and my God,” when they see Jesus. They’re going to realize it was God they pierced. And then God’s going to turn the fountain loose and wash them and pour out His Spirit.
What ever happened to Sola Fide?
Well, what will you think now Christian?