One of the hardest things I had to learn myself was this very concept.
One of the main reasons for this in many cases is that it allows people to avoid guilt and conviction.
Many say that we must take the Bible literally, and I fully support this. However, when it comes time to follow this countless actually don’t follow or accept this statement. Also in most cases there are those that love to approach the Bible and more specifically the words spoken two thousand years ago by Jesus Christ, as if He is Confucius. Taking His teaching out of context and turning them into one liners. Taking one sentence out of a lesson on one thing but then applying them as a full teaching with a totally different meaning than what Jesus actually meant when He taught the lesson.
Examples of this is “You shall not judge…” and “Sell all your possessions and give it to the poor…”
The former when read completely and correctly was about hypocrisy. Living in your own sin and most likely the same exact sin and pointing the finger at your neighbor accusing them of the same sin. While the latter is in reference to the corruption of materialism upon the faithful. You see Jesus looked upon the rich man with love for He knew the man believed, but also knew that the man would not give up his earthly rewards. Why? Because like most in this world, they have not been taught that earthly rewards are useless endeavors, for this temporal life is but a blink of the eye compared to our true life to come where our TRUE rewards await us. Be that reward something of wonder or something of horror is what our actions with our faith and truly following the literal teachings of the Bible will determine.
This issue of not truly and fully following the Bible comes from a lack of wanting to surrender, to let go, and have true faith and belief in someone that is not physically present.
Why this is, is because we all have not been taught correctly on how to view what people call “spiritual.”
John 20:24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” 26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
To accept that Bible literally also means coming to accept that even though you at one point did truly accept Christ as your savior that you can lose your salvation.
2 Peter 2:20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life.
This also applies to those that wish to say Jesus is all about love and accepts all. Yes, He does accept you if you truly do ask Him into your heart, but this is a two way street. For if you do truly accept Him you will desire to end your sinful lifestyle. You must also accept that yes He does “love,” but God also punishes. For He does this from His love. For He allows hardship caused by our sinning to awaken us to the truth that only true happiness must come from Him, not ourselves or our selfish desires. You see if you live in sin and have no remorse or sorrow then you love the sin more than you love God. So if you love this sin so much more than your Creator, you in reality love only yourself.
James 2:14 – What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Those that teach ONLY love, which is faith alone, teach of eternal death, for they say: “Yes God loves you as you are. Come to Him and He will take you into heaven as you are.”
Do they not see that those that live in their sin are still naked and in need of the food of God called the Bible? Yet they turn them away in their sin and say to them “depart in love.” Sending them to their damnation.
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”