Win Ten Signed Copies of Paul’s New Book!

Vol4

This competition has now closed and the winners have been notified. Thanks to everyone who entered. In two months my new book Grace Remix will be released. This is the fourth and final instalment in my Greatest Hits series and it’s the best one so far. Well, it’s definitely in the top four. I’ve got TEN signed copies of Grace Remix to give away now! I want to give these books to people who’ve read at least one of the other Greatest Hits books. So if you enjoyed Grace Disco, Grace Classics, or Grace Party, you could be among the first in the world to get your hands on the new … [Read more...]

Are You Lukewarm?

Inigo

Here’s a favorite question of some preachers: “Are you a lukewarm believer?” You’d better have a good answer because if you’re not sure – “Am I lukewarm?” – Jesus may spew you out of his mouth. What does that mean? He’ll reject you, you apathetic Christian! You may think you’re saved, but if you’re not on fire for God, you’ll end up in the fire! What diabolical nonsense. First, you are a part of Christ’s body and Jesus doesn’t spew out body parts. Ever vomited up a kidney? A toe? It’s a ridiculous notion, yet this is exactly what the fearmongers say will happen! Second, being lukewarm … [Read more...]

An Open Letter to Pastors from the Author of The Hyper-Grace Gospel

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Dear Pastor, Over the past couple of years, much has been said about the so-called hyper-grace gospel and the effect this message is having on the church. Apparently the hyper-grace gospel is the deception Jude warned about. According to some it’s a destructive message preached by godless men. Here are some of the claims made against this message and those who preach it: One national broadcaster says hyper-grace preachers dismiss the words of Jesus and are opposed to God’s law. An influential evangelist says hyper-grace preachers will be responsible for the spiritual death of … [Read more...]

Is Forgiveness like a Debit Card?

Forgiveness debit card

Are you completely forgiven or partly forgiven? It’s a simple question that reveals whether you appreciate all Christ did for you on the cross. Recently I heard a critic of the grace message say two contradictory statements: Christ paid for your complete redemption (amen!) but you are not completely forgiven (huh?). That’s like saying you’re saved, but not really. Or you’re holy, but sanctification is progressive. It’s the sort of mixed-up message you get from a mixed-up gospel. Forgiveness like a debit card? Some say that forgiveness is like a debit card. When Christ died he made a … [Read more...]

The Parable of the Dead Rich Man

rich dead man

Jesus told stories to nudge people toward receptive insight. So why did he tell the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)? According to some, it was so that we might learn about the fiery torments of the dead. However, as we saw in the last post, this parable should not be read as the Wikipedia entry for hell. It doesn’t even mention hell. So what’s going on here? What is the message Jesus is trying to convey? Short version: The blessings of God, which Israel had exclusively enjoyed, are for everyone. Who do the characters represent? In this story there are three … [Read more...]

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)

rich man in hell

In Luke 15 and 16, Jesus tells five parables in a row. The first three are about lost things; a sheep, a coin, and a son. The last two are about lost lives; a shrewd manager loses his livelihood and a rich man loses his life. 1. Story of the lost sheep (Luke 15:4-7) 2. Story of the lost son (Luke 15:8-10) 3. Story of the lost coin (Luke 15:11-32) 4. Story of the lost job (Luke 16:1-13) 5. Story of the lost life (Luke 16:19-31) I hope you know these parables are stories, not documentaries. They’re illustrative, not descriptive. Yet many people, including respected Bible teachers, consider … [Read more...]

No Liars in Heaven

Butterfly

With our new identity securely grounded in our union with Christ, we can begin to understand why the Bible draws big fat lines between who we are and who we used to be: Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9–10) This sounds like God hates slanderers and swindlers. He doesn’t. He loves slanderers and swindlers! When Jesus walked … [Read more...]

Is Humanity Righteous? (Romans 5:18-19)

briefcase

If I gave you a million dollars, how would you react? If you were poor, you’d be thrilled. You’d thank me and tell all your friends how awesome I am. But if you were Bill Gates you might say, “Meh. Add it to the pile.” How you react to a gift reflects your need for that gift. Which is why I am dismayed by the teaching that says humanity is justified and righteous. This is a central claim of inclusionism: “All humans are justified through the faith of Christ… All people, past, present and future, are justified already.” In contrast, the Bible declares that the righteousness you and I both … [Read more...]

Tomorrowland and the City of God

tomorrowland-city

The gospel of grace is the happy gospel of the happy God who loves you like a beloved son or daughter. This good news comes from a book that begins gloriously and ends better. Preachers used to say of the Bible, “I’ve read the end and Jesus wins!” Those who love God ought to be the most optimistic people on earth because if his gospel is anything, it’s a gospel of hope (Col 1:23). It’s the emphatic announcement that what you see is not all there is, that fear and death are doomed because Jesus has come! But in many churches the shelves of hope are empty because the good news has been … [Read more...]

Strike Her Children Dead (Revelation 2:23)

hooded woman

Five years ago I began Escape to Reality by looking at Jesus’ words to the churches of Revelation. My question then was: How do we reconcile Jesus’ harsh words with his heart of grace? And there are no harsher words than these: Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit … [Read more...]

Rewarded for their Labor? (1 Corinthians 3:8)

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I have been asked this question again and again: What are heavenly rewards? Or, how do rewards fit in with grace? Some say there are no rewards, yet Jesus spoke about storing up treasure and Paul spoke about being rewarded for our labor. I have a long chapter on Eternal Rewards in my book The Gospel in Twenty Questions. In that chapter I talk about heavenly treasures and how to store them up. The following is an extract: --- The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. (1 Cor 3:8) Rewarded according to his labor? … [Read more...]

The Chief of Sinners

muhammad-ali

The apostle of grace called himself the “chief of sinners” (1 Tim 1:15) and ever since then Christians have been confused about their identity. They say things like “I’m a sinner saved by grace” even though the Bible declares they are a saint (Eph 1:1, Php 1:1). So what are you? A saint or a sinner or a bit of both? “Look at my messed up behavior. I’m not perfect. I’m obviously still a sinner.” That’s not true! Stop speaking lies over yourself. The Bible declares that in Christ you are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). Not an improved person, but a totally new kind of person. “But if I … [Read more...]