We live in a present evil world. We do not have to conjure up an unknown evil, we live today in social crisis.
During the present pandemic, churches and their doctrine are being challenged. How do they continue their religious practices and hold to their beliefs during the shutdown and present distress?
Are they essential in times such as this? Does their teaching work? What is God doing about this?
Some churches repeat the desperate mantra of the world, “we will get through this setback, and get back to church as normal someday”.
What a shame that Christians have seen the present distress as a setback in ministry, an interruption in the usual broadcast, and “life on pause”.
Church as was normal needs to stop permanently. We need something better. That something is to acknowledge the dispensation of God’s grace.
God’s sufficient grace was given precisely for times such as this.
Grace doctrine excels by preparing us for operating in a present evil world filled with crisis. When evil is present the power of grace abounds.
Here are a few ways grace doctrine works.
Tithing and Money
How are churches supposed to meet their budgets if everyone stays home? Some preachers have shamelessly instructed those that lose their jobs to make sure they continue tithing if they want to find a new one. This is disgraceful.
Grace is better: Tithing puts people under a curse (Gal 3:10). Saints today give as they purpose in their hearts (2 Cor 9:7). Churches don’t operate above their means or by leaps of faith, but as they would their own house: responsibly and with hard work to provide (1 Tim 5:8).
To avoid passing along the virus, churches have stopped passing plates for collection. At Grace Ambassadors, grace taught us not to pressure anyone to give. We have never passed a plate. We were well prepared for the pandemic.
If the Bible commands to keep the sabbath holy, and to not forsake the assembling of ourselves, then what should churches do if they can’t meet?
Grace doctrine has taught us that we are not under the law of the sabbath (Rom 6:14), not to let any man judge us in respect to the sabbath (Col 2:13), and that Hebrews 10:25 was written to covenantal Israel not the body of Christ.
Days nor places are holy in this dispensation. What has always been set apart in this dispensation is you by God’s grace into the body of Christ.
We have never kept church attendance records. Why? Coming to a building or meeting does not make you the church any more than going to McDonald’s makes you a large fry.
Can’t meet in a building? It never was the church anyway. It was only a place the church met. Does grace teach that we should meet? Yes. Does grace give us the liberty to stay home when we are infectious? Yes.
There are no gold stars under grace. You are the body whether in the building or not. Live accordingly as the body wherever you are.
What can “following Jesus”, “loving the Lord”, “accepting Jesus”, or “making him Lord of your life” do to save people from sickness and death? Absolutely, nothing.
All of these watered down versions of non-gospels could not save a sand dollar.
The true gospel of the grace of God requires preaching the necessary and glorious death of Christ and the power of his resurrection FOR YOUR SALVATION!
That is, the gospel of the grace of God gives genuine hope knowing that the power of the resurrection of Christ is now in us who believe, and that death, for the believer, is gain!
What glory to God for his grace!
And Much More
This is just the beginning of how God’s grace prepared us while religions struggle with doctrinal conflict when faced with the evil circumstances this year.
Grace was given to an evil world because of the evil. For grace, nothing has been challenged. Instead, there are abundant opportunities to minister the sufficient grace supplied by God.