The word ‘distort’ means, one sided, unrecognizable, indistinct, misrepresented, or deformed. One English dictionary says, 1. Alter shape. 2. Give inaccurate report of something. 3. Make something unclear or unrecognizable. 4. Reproduce a signal inaccurately.
Grace means the unmerited favor of God to us. That grace allows us to repent of sin and enables us to live lives worthy of the Lord Himself to which we have been called.
Colossians 1:10 (NASB95) 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
There is a huge error subtly entering the core doctrines of some churches. Yes, I said doctrines! That is not a legalistic term. It refers to the core apostolic teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ. This error is actually a heresy, a distortion of the meaning and necessary response to this unmerited favor, this grace of the LORD so wonderfully given us.
Grace has become so altered by some that it has become unrecognizable in light of the total teachings of the New Testament. The inaccurate report of grace is that grace takes away all accountability for continual un-repented of sin. This misrepresented grace goes to the extreme and says sin all you want with no fear of judgment. Thus totally ignoring Paul, the grace preacher, who cried God forbid how can we who have died to sin continue any longer it! Romans 6:1-2
I, for one, am a grace preacher. We are saved by grace and we are kept by grace. At the same time I am with the apostle Paul who says…
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB95) 5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?
…What test? The test of sin no longer having dominion over us. The test of allowing grace to cause us to sin less and less, not more and more which is the mark of the unbeliever, not the believer!
Grace at its most deformed presentation is universalism. That is, in the end everyone is already saved because of the Cross of Jesus Christ. This heresy nullifies the need for repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Savior that produces spiritual transformation. In effect it discredits any form of judgment. In doing so it totally ignores or explains away Paul’s words in…
Romans 1:18 (NASB95) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Likewise the words of the apostle Peter are not only ignored but also mocked!
2 Peter 3:7 (NASB95) 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
2 Peter 3:10–12 (NASB95) 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
Peter goes on to say…
2 Peter 3:15–16 (NASB95) 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Could it be that the distortion Peter was speaking of concerning Paul’s teaching was that of grace so abundantly provided yet so horribly abused by some?
There is a red line that must be drawn in the sand when it comes to accepting continual sin in us and in the Church around us.
Hebrews 10:26–31 (NASB95) 26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Not to tell people that their sin leads to judgment puts us in opposition to the very gospel itself. Some of the first words we have that Jesus ever preached were…
Matthew 4:17 (NASB95) 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The reason for a nation so backslidden is because of a Church that is so backslidden!
I beg every child of God to examine themselves and their teaching in light of all scripture clearly written. It is one thing for us to be in error. It is quite another to lead others into error with us. It’s not just our blood on our hands, but theirs as well.