(December 16, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this concerned believer…
Dear Dr Robert
You mentioned in your article this month that ‘people, especially Christians, are looking for reality, for truth, not loud music, meaningless worship and hyperfaith! Churches that are attracting followers are those proclaiming the gospel that Jesus Christ is Saviour and Lord and through him a relationship with God is now possible!’ I’m one of those Christians, looking for down-to-earth reality and am really concerned that although I regularly hear consoling messages about the blessings that God gives but never about what it costs Jesus and our responsibilities. Am I missing something or somehow confused? Kelvin.
This reminds of ‘hammered preaching’ (that you referred to before when you expressed other concerns, and that the Acts 20:27 ‘whole counselling of God’ was not being taught).
You mentioned quite a few scriptures that are repeated regularly, highlighting what God must do for us in terms of ‘Giving to get’ such as the often-quoted Malachi 3:8 coming across as ‘You give your offerings, and you’ll get blessed. If you don’t you won’t.’ And that our responsibilities such as our being willing to give not only to our local church but to needy neighbours (whoever that pans out to be) and other worthy causes and wanting to honour Jesus are never mentioned.
About ‘hammered’ Holy Communion coming across as ‘Partaking will ensure blessings and that needs will be met.’ But the tremendous sacrifice that Jesus made us on Calvary’s cross isn’t highlighted, remembered, or honoured.
Or the like of 1 Peter 2:24 (a favourite scripture of mine, one I claim, praying in faith and trust, but do not demand as some do). It’s often quoted as a guaranteed promise when an invitation goes out for any wanting prayer for healing… but what those stripes cost Jesus is never mentioned. The reality here is that it’s been hammered before and, although many have been healed, there has been times when people didn’t get healed, some even died and oh how the disappointments that followed hurt so deeply, even turning people away from God. By his grace, God does work miracles, but we must honour him and ask humbly in believing faith, not demandingly.
And so, it goes on, Kelvin. But I understand your heart here. You’re acknowledging that Jesus is being underplayed in such hammered claims and sermons. That we owe him so much for all he’s done for us, that even though he has forgiven us so much, we must still act responsibly in honouring him verbally, meaningful worship with sound choruses and old hymns, and although we can never repay him, really treat our Lord as Lord, eg the boss!
And you’re right… many churches ae not honouring Jesus in worship nor in sermons. Yes, it’s a day when the Holy Spirit wants Jesus lifted high, fully honoured, and declared in churches and we must pray that this will become the norm as in ‘days of old’ (Now you’ve got me preaching!).
Just keep remembering, as you already do, Kelvin, that Jesus willingly accomplished so much for all of us on Calvary, that your sins are forgiven on repentance, that as you trust him, that while none of us can ever repay him and don’t have to try, you (all of us, including myself!) should do whatever he requires. Keep on having an open mind to the Spirit, and you won’t be blinded spiritually. You honour your Lord and will be pleasing him!
So… as the old Helen Howarth Lemmel hymn goes, ‘Keep eyes on Jesus, his perfect salvation to tell!’
Got a question for either Dr Robert or Pr Maureen McQuillan? Email to OnlinerConnect@gmail.com
Robin Mark wrote the song All for Jesus. Some of the words say ‘All of my ambitions hopes and plans I surrender these into Your hands… for it’s only in Your will that I am free.’
Dr Robert, whom I’m blessed to call my friend, I just wanted to say thank you for your support and prayers over the years. I am encouraged by your commitment to find the lost sheep and nurture him/her with compassion and grace. Blessings from heaven to you and Maureen your faithful partner in this life, a wonderful wife. From Stephen
Appreciate this very much, Stephen. God bless you too.