If we’re not careful, our theology may cause us to water down Christ’s warnings in the Gospels. Let me give you two examples. I believe genuine Believers are eternally secure. But that belief can cause me to water down Jesus’ warnings. I believe in dispensationalism with a small “d.” But that belief can also cause me to water down Jesus’ warnings.
In Luke 17:20-37 Jesus answers a question about when “the kingdom of God would come” (v. 20). A strong warning is found in v. 32 “Remember Lot’s wife.” Like all of Luke’s Gospel (cf. 1:4 “that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”), Luke records this discussion about the arrival of the Kingdom of God so we would be sure we will enter it when it comes.
However, it’s possible that our theology might cause us to say to our congregants: “That’s a warning that need not be heeded.”
Over the years, I’ve tried not to allow my belief in eternal security or my brand of dispensationalism to water down Jesus’ warnings. Rather than allow my theology to cancel out the warnings, I’ve worked hard to give the warnings full force while maintaining my theology.
That means the question for me is no longer, “Are we eternally secure?”, but, rather, “How are we eternally secure?” Part of being eternally secure means heeding Jesus’ warnings and not being like Lot’s wife. In order to be ready for the arrival of the Kingdom of God, I must not allow anything in this fallen world to capture my affections.
And, as far as dispensationalism goes, the mindset and faith Jesus describes as necessary for salvation at His Second Coming is the same mindset and faith needed to be ready for salvation-by-Rapture. V. 33 makes this clear: “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.”
Before Sunday, see if your preaching portion contains any warnings and ask yourself if you are giving them full force.
Preach well for the sake of God’s reputation.