Brother Michel Lankford
Learning that NOT ALL Things are Free
One of the biggest LIES of the free Grace/Ultra Grace (FG/AG) Movements is the false concept that absolutely EVERY blessing and EVERY benefit in the Eternal Kingdom is allegedly a FREE gift of Grace. According to FG/AG teachers, the Kingdom of God is a gigantic welfare state where everything is free, and no one pays for anything beyond what Jesus did at the cross. The problem with that theology is that it’s complete hogwash. More importantly, such theology calls Jesus Himself a liar. Think about it. IF EVERYTHING in God’s Kingdom is a free gift of Grace, as the FG/AG teachers claim, then WHY did Jesus tell us to COUNT the COST? If everything in God’s kingdom is a free gift of grace, then Jesus told us to Count the Cost that is supposedly nonexistent. Why would Jesus have us Count the Cost that never needs to be paid, (Luke 14:25–35)?
Let’s face it. It’s human nature. We all like to talk about the free stuff. We get all jazzed up discussing the things that are a free gift of Grace in the Eternal Kingdom. It’s fun and it’s exciting to talk about all those great things that YHWH Almighty God gives us as a free gift of His Marvelous Grace. However, the truly mature disciples are the ones who have counted the cost for the things that are not free in God’s Kingdom. The truly mature disciples are the ones who have valued the stuff that is not free so much that they have developed the character where they are willing not only to count the cost, but they have become determined to PAY the cost for the things that are not free because they value God’s kingdom so much.
One of the most critical and neglected disciplines of Biblical Discipleship is learning to count the cost. Part of growing as a disciple and citizen in YHWH Almighty God’s Eternal Kingdom is learning the fundamental reality that there are some things in YHWH’s Kingdom that are given to us as a free gift of Grace. However, NOT EVERYTHING is FREE. Beloved of YAH, please consider this most carefully.
- Growing up, and discernment ISN’T a free gift (Hebrews 5:14). We cooperate with God’s Grace and work together with God to develop these things by practicing His Word.
- Discipleship ISN’T a free gift (Luke 14:25–35). Jesus would not have told us to cunt the cost if it was free. We work together and cooperate with the Grace of God in our lives to grow into His disciples. We grow to value the things of God’s Kingdom MORE than we value our families, more than we value our spouses, more than we value our siblings, and even more than we value our own lives. That takes character development.
- Character ISN’T a free gift. Maturity ISN”T free (2 Peter 1:3–11). We work together and cooperate with the Grace of God in our lives to grow into Godly Character. Scripture goes so far as to say that we should put ALL of our EFFORT into this growth. So, this is NOT effort-free. By any means.
- Overcoming ISN’T a free gift (Revelation 12:11). The Bible says that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony, and by not loving our life even to death. Now, the blood of the Lamb is a free gift, but our testimony with God and Jesus Christ is built by repeatedly practicing His Word and seeing the results in our lives. That’s costly. Reaching the point where you love God’s kingdom more than you love your own life requires all kinds of character, and that’s built with practice in self-control. That’s not free.
- Those things are all partly earned through Obeying God’s Instructions. ALL of THESE things have a COST to pay so that we will develop these attributes which are NOT free in the Kingdom of God. God’s Commandments throughout the Scriptures exist to teach me HOW to COUNT the COST, and HOW to PAY the COST, for these things in God’s Kingdom that are NOT free.
- The reason that we should practice learning and obeying God’s Commandments throughout Scripture is that it disciplines and trains us to be willing and able to count the cost and to pay the cost for those things which are not free in God’s Kingdom. That’s why believers still NEED the Commandments of God in their lives. It’s not about earning salvation through obeying Commandments. It’s about growing up to full maturity after receiving the gift of salvation.
If we look at the Bible very carefully, we will see that all these things are not free. In fact, developing these characteristics can be very costly indeed. Part of growing up as a disciple is learning the difference between the things that are free, and the things that are not free in God’s kingdom. As we grow up it becomes more and more important that we develop the faith to trust God for the things that are a free gift of grace, but that we also developed the fortitude and the willingness to pay the cost for the things that are not free in God’s Kingdom.
Part of growing up in general, but especially as a disciple is to develop the solid understanding that NOT EVERYTHING in, (יהוה YAHWEH) Almighty God’s Kingdom is free. Some things are a free gift of Grace. Some other important blessings and benefits in God’s Kingdom are most definitely NOT free. Some blessings and benefits in the Kingdom can be very costly.
Exploring the Cost, (Luke 14:25–35)
Messiah uses some very strong FIGURATIVE language here. For example:
- He is NOT LITERALLY telling us to HATE our parents.
- He is NOT LITERALLY telling us to HATE our spouse.
- He is NOT LITERALLY telling us to HATE our siblings.
- He is NOT LITERALLY telling us to HATE our children.
- He is NOT LITERALLY telling us to HATE our own life.
After all, there are many other places in Scripture where we are COMMANDED to love, to respect, and to honor all these things. IF Messiah WAS LITERALLY commanding us to HATE these things, then He would be breaking the Commandments and telling us to violate the Commandments as well. Yahshua/Jesus (ישוע) the Messiah WAS NOT LITERALLY telling us to HATE or to REJECT those people and things. He was using extreme figures of speech to get our attention, and to boldly highlight the fact that, while we are to LOVE our parents, Love our spouse, our families etc. we are to LOVE and VALUE God and His Kingdom SO MUCH MORE HIGHLY than these other relationships, that it LOOKS and APPEARS like HATRED when you compare it to HOW MUCH MORE we LOVE God and value His Kingdom.
Yes, we are to Love and honor our parents etc but we are to LOVE and honor God and value His Kingdom SO MUCH MORE HIGHLY, that our love for our parents LOOKS like HATRED when you COMPARE the two loves, you see?
Messiah was Trying to Prepare the Saints
We must not forget that Messiah is a prophet, (Deuteronomy 18:18-19). He prophesied and predicted the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem some 37 years Before it happened, (Matthew 24:1-2). The Romans did indeed destroy the temple in A.D. 70). Messiah also knows how terrible the persecutions can get. He knows that the devil and those who do the devil’s bidding will go to virtually any lengths to destroy those saints who obey YHWH and follow Messiah, (John 16:1-4).
Imagine this scenario if you will. It is not beyond the wicked to use your love for family relationships, or your love for your life, and use that love against you during persecution. It is not inconceivable that the wicked might say turn away from YHWH and reject Christ, and we will spare you or your family further agony; and then once you have surrendered, they could very well turn right around and destroy both you or your family anyway. So then you might lose your family, lose your life, and lose your Eternal Inheritance also.
Brother Michel Lankford