Todd Bentley: Punishment or Grace?
What is the heart of the Father toward His children who have sinned? What is His attitude toward His children who have repented?
This is what many in the church seem to think should happen to Todd Bentley:
But is this the heart of God? Is this how the Father treats His children? This is what the Father says:
7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity [a] and will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’
When the Father forgives, He not only forget the sin, but He chooses to rebuild His fallen child as they were before. Is that an expression of “greasy grace?” No, it is so they can bring Him “renown, joy, praise and honor.” It is all about Him. Restoration brings Him joy and honor.
Bill Johnson made a fabulous point in his sermon on March 22. He spoke at length about Todd and his restoration. This is actually an incredibly meaty sermon and covers a lot of points. You can see the entire sermon below:
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What he said that was so fabulous was if Todd’s repentance is false and we accept it, God is not going to be angry. Todd will still have to answer to the Father for his sin, but we will have obeyed the word and extended mercy. If, however, Todd’s repentance is genuine and we do not accept it, he will be fine, and we will fall under the judgment of God for our sin.
God has made it abundantly clear in His word that if we do not forgive others, He will not forgive us. He hasn’t given us the option of judging whether a heart is repentant or not because He alone knows the secrets of men’s hearts.
Pastor Johnson also talks about the Political Spirit and the Religious Spirit, both of which oppose Grace. The Political Spirit washes its hands like Pilate did in order to appear righteous. The Religious Spirit takes up stones to kill the sinner, forgetting their own sin and need of mercy, in order to appear righteous.
The Spirit of Christ stands with the sinner and gives grace because, as Romans 2:4 says, “God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?”
Titus 2:11-14 makes it abundantly clear that grace is what empowers us to live holy.
11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The passage above makes it abundantly clear that godliness and purity are processes. Grace teaches us. It is impossible to learn the lessons of grace without mistakes, just as it is impossible to learn mathematics without making mistakes. You do not destroy children for their failure to perfectly master the lessons of mathematics. You do not destroy college students for their failure to master the concepts of Calculus I. In the same way you do not destroy the Father’s children for their failure to master the lessons of grace.
Does this grace lead to compromise? No. Those who have been forgiven much, scripture says, love much. That love expresses itself in gratitude to the Father for His amazing grace that you have no desire to repeat the offense.