Artist Valentin de Boulogne, 17th Century,
rendering of Paul the Apostle
So, I'm reading a bit more on the life of Paul. And I'll show my reason why in a moment. To anyone who follows a Pastoral leader who believes Paul's message is in any way flawed is horrendously wrong and a false teacher of the gospel of Christ.
Here is a summary of what Paul believed and wrote most consistently about:
1) His strongest emphasis was on the death, resurrection, and lordship of Jesus Christ. He preached that one's faith in Jesus assures that person a share in Jesus' life (salvation). He saw Jesus' death as being for the believers' benefit, not a defeat. Jesus died so that believers' sins will be purged.
2) The resurrection of Jesus was of primary importance to Paul as may be seen in his first letter to the Thessalonians which is the earliest surviving account of conversion to the Christian movement.
3) The resurrection brought the promise of salvation to believers. Paul taught that those who died in Christ would be raised when Christ returned, while those still alive would be "caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air".
In other words, the central message of which Paul gives to the Church, as well as newly converted Christians are that--
1) God sent his Son.
2) The Son was crucified for the benefit of humanity.
3) After being dead three days, the Son was raised from the dead defeating death.
4) The Son would soon return.
5) Those who belonged to the Son would live with him forever.
6) Followers are to live by the highest moral standard—"May your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ".
For such a person to denounce and rebuke the apostle Paul, in essence, is saying, "Everyone is accepted into the Kingdom of Heaven. There is no need for repentance." This clearly is a violation of what Biblical teaching says and responds to. For such a teacher to denounce truth and shortly telling us all is that "it's okay to live as you do, God will accept you any way" without mentioning a need for repentance of sin is WRONG!
While the truth is I desire to believe that mankind can be saved, God, even through His prophets, apostles and "watchmen" agree that, "The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil (Genesis 6:5, NLT)."
Here it is in very concise and short-said in my own words: God says we're all sinners, and to do nothing about our sins and how we live is to say we know better about what it means to be "saved." God tells us salvation comes from and through Jesus, His only begotten Son, who gave Himself up so our sins can and will be forgiven. And if we are indeed forgiven, why would we want to continually and habitually desire to still live in it? Either we're going to love and serve one thing or we're going to love and serve the other. You CAN NOT love both a sinful life and God! It is at both times contradictory and insinuating God will not punish evil for what it is.
This is what a different apostle said, aside from Paul, Peter and John: "Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness (Luke 11:34-35)." This is what is on my heart. I believe God called me to uphold Him first, and to also show His love to a fading existence of mankind. We are already in a war, and that is against spirituality, not with flesh and blood or even nation against nation. Either we stand up and denounce sin as for what it is, or we stand for a great and terrible fall! But I'm also saying this in absolute love and truth, for the better of all, not to see anyone condemned through their heart and motives.