Heresy or Hear-Say!?


It has taken over 40 years preaching to be physically assaulted for what I preached. My Advent sermon on the Advent hope stressed that my hope is in Christ alone and so totally resting upon God’s grace towards me. I did say that if my salvation rested on my repentance, then I would remain lost. I can really mean it one minute, but very quickly become lukewarm. In fact, I can soon be returning to my earlier lifestyle, sins and all! But thanks be to God, I am loved undeservedly and without measure, and I find myself still in the arms of Jesus!

I wasn't expecting that!

I wasn’t expecting that!

This was all too much for my assailant. He was waiting at the door to harangue me with biblical texts that salvation is only possible with repentance. That was enough to begin a good theological discussion. But that didn’t content him, as he would push dialogue into argument that from a human perspective salvation actually begins with repentance. I could have fired back quotations that Scripture clearly points to us being loved first, but I could see I wasn’t going to be heard and he didn’t give me opportunity before thumping me in the chest, declaring me a heretic, and saying I would be one day judged.


i-wasnt-expecting-that-2A week later and in another church, Before the service, I had asked a boy about 8 years old, if he would help me. At the time of sharing the service theme, he eagerly came forward, and I whispered something exciting in his ear. I then asked if he would go down the aisle and tell each person the exciting news, while I would go down the other aisle. This he did, but as he gave the message he placed his hand on the person’s shoulder, as in a blessing, and said what I had asked him to pass on – “God loves you so much He was prepared to die for you.”  That church was really blessed not only to hear a child share this good news, but also to bless them with God’s grace.

An argument over theology, or the blessing of a child with the good news of Jesus? I know which one I’d rather have!

Wishing you a blessed Christmas from Kevin and Alan.

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