Myth 8: Hyper-Grace Preachers Disregard the Words of Jesus

follow_me

“Hyper-grace preachers say the words of Jesus are not for us. They have no authority and are irrelevant to the modern church.” One of the strangest claims made against hyper-grace preachers is that we are dismissive of the pre-cross teachings of Jesus. In point of fact, hyper-grace preachers are the only ones taking Jesus seriously. When Jesus is preaching law, we say that’s authentic law, not to be taken lightly. And when Jesus is revealing grace, we bow in awestruck gratitude. We would not dare re-interpret his words with qualifiers and caveats. In contrast, those who preach a … [Read more...]

Conditional Acceptance? (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)

grubby kid

“God loves you just as you are and not as you should be.” That’s the gospel of grace in one sentence! Manmade religion says you have to clean yourself up before you approach the Lord, but grace shouts, “Come as you are!” So how do we explain this passage which seems to say something different: Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor 6:17-18) This sounds like conditional acceptance, as though we have to purify ourselves before … [Read more...]

“A.D. 30” by Ted Dekker

AD30

A few years ago someone recommended I read a novel by Ted Dekker. I forget which one it was but I couldn’t finish it. Then a month ago someone suggested I read his latest book, AD 30, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a masterpiece! AD 30 is exactly the sort of book I wish I was good enough to write. It’s an historical novel that follows the trials and travels of an outcast woman as she seeks to save the very people who have rejected her. It’s a gutsy book because one of the characters in it is Jesus, or Yeshua in this story, and anytime you write fiction about the Lord you run a risk of … [Read more...]

Judged by the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:31-32)

fatal_communion

Are you good enough to take communion? To me, this is an absurd question. It is exactly like asking whether you are good enough to hear the gospel. But to many it is not an absurd question. It is a serious question because a wrong answer could make you sick and kill you! From whence comes this ridiculous notion? It comes from misunderstanding Paul’s instructions about communion (see 1 Cor. 11). If you’ve ever done communion in church, you may have heard that you need to examine yourself for sin and that if you don’t you could get sick and die. This is utter nonsense, as I explain … [Read more...]

Believing in Vain (1 Corinthians 15:2)

GC-footer

“How do I know if my belief in Christ is in vain?” When a reader asked me this question recently, she was referring to Paul’s warning here: Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1 Cor 15:1-2) What you look through determines what you see. Read this scripture through works lenses and you will see an exhortation to “hold fast or die!” The message you get will be, “I’ve got to believe and … [Read more...]

Grace Classics – Out Today

Grace Classics for website

There are hundreds of grace-based articles here on E2R. So many to choose from. If you’re new to grace, where do you start? Right here… My new book, Grace Classics, is officially released today. It is a collection of the very best articles from E2R along with reflections and stories about how each was conceived and received. Here’s an excerpt: Christ offers us an unfair exchange; our life for his. God favors us with this exchange. We give him our sinful selves and get everything in return. A law mindset looks at what we give up (nothing you could keep), but a grace mindset rejoices at … [Read more...]

Happy Fifth Birthday (And get a free book!)

Number 5

Escape to Reality is five years old today. If E2R were a child, it would be starting school. How time flies when you’re growing in grace! Five years ago E2R had no articles, no subscribers, no comments, no archives, no shares, no nothing. Now the website has 400+ articles on 700+ scriptures that have attracted 15,000+ comments from readers in 200+ countries. That’s a lot of plusses! I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have visited E2R in the past five years. Whether you’re an occasional reader or a subscriber, thanks for stopping by. I trust it has been as rewarding … [Read more...]

Some Honest Answers for Michael Brown

Brown and Prince

CharismaNews has just published an article entitled “Some honest questions for Joseph Prince.” In it Michael Brown puts 11 questions to “Pastor Prince and those who embrace the modern grace message.” Unlike Pastor Prince, I’m not a busy man. I don’t have to preach four or five times this Sunday. So I have taken it upon myself to respond to these questions on behalf of all who embrace the gospel of grace. Regular readers will know that this is not the first time I have responded to something Michael Brown has written against the grace message. “Paul, why do you keep taking the bait?” Because … [Read more...]

Jesus and Divorce

Second Marriage

In the past year I’ve had a couple of friends go through divorce and each time it has torn our hearts. I won’t go into details, but what has struck me is how some in the church have responded to these divorces. Let’s just say there has been an aroma and it has not been the fragrance of Jesus. Divorce seems to bring out the ugly in some people. In a recent post I asked the question “Can divorced people remarry?” By the grace of God they can! (Whether one should remarry is a separate question.) While some may wag their fingers in judgment, the message I want divorced people to hear is … [Read more...]

Can Divorced People Remarry?

broken_heart_by_starry_eyedkid

Hmm, that’s a tough one. Let me see. Can sinners be forgiven? Can runaways come home? Can crooks get a second chance? Can the broken be made whole? No, it’s not a tough question. It’s an easy question. Of course divorced people can remarry! These questions are only tough because religion has told us that divorced people are unforgiveable sinners. They’re lepers who blight our perfect little churches. As long as they sit quietly and help with our programs, they are welcome. But the moment they start looking for love, they’ve crossed the line. They had their shot at love and they messed … [Read more...]

Husbands Hindered Prayers (1 Peter 3:7)

marriage agro

A man recently asked me about a troubling verse. “My wife says my prayers are hindered because I don’t respect her enough.” He was referring to this verse: Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1 Peter 3:7) What does it mean to hinder your prayers? Here is the wrong answer: “God doesn’t listen to jerks.” The good news is that God does hear the honest prayers of jerks and crooks and thieves and sinners (see Luke … [Read more...]

E2R’s New Scripture Index

Scripture Index badge

Here’s a Christmas riddle for you: What question have I been asked more than any other in 2014? It is this one: “Paul, have you written anything on (insert scripture reference)?” A close second is, “How do I read (insert troubling scripture) through the lens of grace?” In response to questions like these I have written hundreds of posts on hundreds of scriptures. Problem is they’re hard to find. E2R has grown so big that finding past posts has become a chore. Have you noticed? After five years and half a million words, the archives are stuffed to bursting, and many of you can’t figure out … [Read more...]