“It’s Complicated” is the latest sermon series by Potential church. Yes, the name was taken from Facebook. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be relevant and people may not come. Ironically, this sermon was complicated. In this particular sermon, you will hear 40 minutes of psychology. If you took the amount of time the Bible makes an appearance, you will find yourself counting the minutes on one hand. Pastor Troy is teaching his audience how to forgive other people, because unforgiveness “robs you of your future.” And you don’t want your future stolen. It’s really just another lecture about how you are a victim, and you need to forgive others. Could it be that you are the wicked sinner who needs forgiveness? He mentioned that Jesus prayed for God the Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him, and we should do the same. He also mentions that because Jesus had forgiven them,
“Even in the midst of His hurt an His pain, He was doing what He came to earth to do. He was living out His mission.”
And what would that be?
“He was reaching into other people’s lives, even in the midst of pain. Why? Because He wasn’t carrying around unforgiveness.”
Jesus came proclaiming repentance and the forgiveness of sin. He was proclaiming that the kingdom was at hand. His mission wasn’t to heal puppies and stroke kittens. And the reason He didn’t carry unforgiveness is because HE IS GOD. But Troy is telling us that Jesus came to become sin on the behalf of His people. He then gives an illustration of Christ showing what He might say if He wasn’t so forgiving:
“You want me to forgive you? Do you see what everybody’s done to me? I’ve never done anything but love people and heal people and be there for people.”
Again, Mr. Gramling implies that Christ was like some big hippie that was just putting flowers in gun barrels. Christ told His disciples exactly why the world hates Him:
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.” [John 7:7]
Notice Christ didn’t say, “The world hates me even though I’ve only tried to love.” No. Christ knew He would die because He was telling people they were wicked, and sons of the devil, and blind guides leading blind people, and serpents. Stuff like that.
He ties it all up at the end, saying that the ultimate result of our forgiving others is experiencing God’s blessings. Hmmmmmm. Obedience for blessings? Why do I smell wolf? So if you have unforgiveness as a Christian, you won’t get God’s blessing in that area of your life.
“You and I receive what God wants so desperately to pour into our lives. There’s so much that God wants to give you. There’s so much that God wants to pour into your life… Joy, success, peace, a future, purpose, destiny… But He can’t.”
Poor God. He really, really wants to. But you won’t let Him. Be forgiving and then He can do what He wants. Until then, His hands are tied. He has painted God to be weaker than a man. Nothing but a slave. He gives an altar call for those who want to “stop, drop, and roll” toward God. No mention of the gospel.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” [Ephesians 1:4]
Obedience doesn’t get God’s blessings. We aren’t rewarded for our obedience. We are rewarded for the obedience of Christ. The only reason God would even regard my voice is because of Christ. Every spiritual blessing is already a reality for the believer EVERY DAY because of the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ, and His propitiating for our sins on the cross.
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” [Galatians 3:1-3]
Troy, thanks for the psychology lesson, but I’m afraid I don’t need to go to a church for this. I could hear this message at a Unitarian Universalist church. Do the job of a pastor, and preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.