By Love Transformed, by R.T. Kendall

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3 Misperceptions You May Have About God

Lately what we've been hearing from most Christians is, "God is love, God is love" and "It's all about grace, it's all about grace."

But does God ever get offended?

It's an important question to ask. Does your behavior ever offend God? Are there times when what the church is doing offends God?

I think there are many people who don't grasp this. They say, "Wait a minute! But God is love." But does God ever get offended, and if He does get offended, what does He do?

We know what we do when we get offended. We pout, we manipulate with our emotions, we give people a piece of our mind. But what does God do when He gets offended?

1. God can be offended.

"Be angry but do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Do not give place to the devil. Let him who steals steal no more. Instead, let him labor, working with his hands things which are good, that he may have something to share with him who is in need. Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good for building up, that it may give grace to the listeners. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you are sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outbursts, and blasphemies, with all malice, be taken away from you. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you" (Eph. 4:26-32).

The verse, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God" in the Greek literally means "Do not make Him sad. Don't offend Him."

You can offend the Holy Spirit.

2. God can feel rejected.

"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Examine all things. Firmly hold onto what is good. Abstain from all appearances of evil" (1 Thess. 5:16-22).

The verse, "Do not quench the Spirit, in the Greek means "Do not throw a wet blanket on the Spirit."

Why would you throw a wet blanket on something? To put out a fire!

3. God will take vengeance

"Finally, brothers, we urge and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as you have learned from us how you ought to walk and to please God, you should excel more and more. For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you should know how to possess his own vessel (in Scripture means both "body" and "wife") in sanctification and honor, not in the lust of depravity, even as the Gentiles who do not know God, and that no man take advantage of and defraud his brother in any matter, because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God has not called us to uncleanness, but to holiness. Therefore he that despises does not despise man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit" (1 Thess. 4:1-8, parenthetical addition mine).

This is an important message for the church in America today because the church does not understand that when you claim Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, when you say you've been born again and that God is your Father, there are things that will make Him feel rejected! There are things that will offend Him and there are things that will snuff out His influence in your life.

There are things that the church can do as the family of God that have this same effect when His influence is no longer felt in the service because He's offended because you've rejected Him, because you've thrown a wet blanket on His presence.

We need to wake up and realize that the writings that Jesus Himself gave in the first two chapters of Revelation are really true.

The church can become lukewarm because it puts a wet blanket on the Holy Spirit. It offends God.

What am I talking about?

How do we offend God?

It offends God when you're more concerned about having smoke machines, dim lights and the latest sound than you are concerned about His Holy Spirit

When you're more concerned about what looks good, sounds good, the right presentation, being cool, and preening contemporaneity but you're not passionate about the Holy Spirit Himself and the fire and power of God!

There is no amount of presentation that can take the place of the pure and holy presence of Almighty God!

And it offends God.

How do we reject God?

I am grieved to say that the gifts of the Spirit, words given in a spiritual tongue with an interpretation are the exception and not the norm in Pentecostal churches today because we have rejected it. We think that it might be offensive to a guest, to someone who's never been to church before.

But we need to explain to them the scriptural basis for this, because Scripture is clear about the instruction for the use of this gift in public services.

We live in a day when the church does not want the spiritual gifts operating and it offends God and makes Him feel rejected, so He doesn't manifest His presence as He did at one time because He's offended!

How would you feel if you called a friend, but every time he picked up the phone he heard your voice and hung up on you; and each time you called back he hung up every time he heard your voice?

This is what we do to God when we shut down the prophetic word, and tongue and interpretation in our services! We shut Him down and reject Him, and by that we are offending Him!

And He will only take it for so long before He'll stop manifesting His presence because He knows that you don't really want Him.

It's time to wake up, Church!

God is really offended by how we're doing church in America right now.

But there is something else that offends and deeply grieves Him.

Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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