During that time He met all of our needs. I did not have any house church meeting during that time as I had previously, nor did I go to churches or watch TV ministries. I would still listen to preachers on the radio if I was driving, but for the most part I was cut off from the work, world, the social world and even the church world except for my wife and son who were benefiting from all of my study and seeking.
When that “sabbatical,” as I called it was up, I went back to work. That was about 2 years ago. Since I no longer had any church meetings at my house, I ended up going to a prosperity church until I started a house church again. I won’t bore you with how I ended up going to that church. I had never been to a prosperity church or listened to any of those preachers on TV because I didn’t trust them. The pastor is a good man, and I was able to receive a few things from him even though he avoided most negative Scriptures like most of the prosperity preachers. I think most of them have about 50% false doctrine, which I will explain latter in this article.
I noticed a trend when I came back into the world and church scene after that 12-year sabbatical. It seemed most preachers or pastors were preaching from only one set of Scriptures— the positive about God’s love and grace such as the following list:
So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.”
Mark 10:18 (NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:17 (NKJV)
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Romans 2:4 (NKJV)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Romans 6:10 (NKJV)
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.
James 1:17 (NKJV)
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:8 (NKJV)
I also noticed most preachers I was hearing on TV, internet, and even radio were almost totally ignoring any Scriptures that had to do with God’s judgment, wrath, or anger. One pastor I heard went so far as to say that all Scriptures in the New Testament that speak of God’s judgment or wrath are concerning the future and not the present. When I searched that out in the Greek tenses, I found it not to be true. For example, many preachers avoid Scriptures from the following list:
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Luke 12:5 (NKJV)
"I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” Luke 12:49 (NKJV)
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18 (NKJV)
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36 (NKJV)
And Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind." John 9:39 (NKJV)
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Romans 12:19 (NKJV)
that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2 Cor. 5:19 (NKJV)
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Eph. 2:3 (NKJV)
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Eph. 5:6 (NKJV)
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Heb. 10:26-31 (NKJV)
For our God is a consuming fire. Heb. 12:29 (NKJV)
Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. Romans 11:22 (NKJV)
The above verse says let us consider the goodness AND severity of God. Most today leave out the severity part because it is unpleasant. This is why I say many prosperity preachers have about 50% false doctrine: not necessarily because they are not preaching from the Bible, but because they only use the positive list of Scriptures and not the negative ones. This is true for many of the preachers I have heard since my time in seclusion. No doubt many preachers have done this for decades, but I just never noticed it so sharply until after that 12-year period. These types of preachers have been dubbed “hyper-grace” preachers and teachers, which I think is a good description. Therefore, I am going to do some articles on balance. This is the first of that series. Grace and love are part of the nature of God--but He is also a God of judgment, wrath, anger and severity. When preachers and teachers just teach only the positive attributes of the nature of God, they have created a god in an image that they wish and not the image that the Bible portrays. They have created an idol.
I have also noticed that the hyper-grace movement seems to lead to two major false doctrines. One is Once Saved Always Saved and the other is Ultimate Reconciliation (which I call Ultimate Wreck) where everyone in the end gets saved . It does not take much of an imagination to see why the hyper-grace movement leads to these two doctrines of hell. How many will end up in hell because of the hyper-grace movement and they have only heard of a God of love, grace and forgiveness?