I don’t have a link for this. I was watching Christian show “700 Club” about a week ago. There was a testimony by a guy on there who said he grew up with his family taking him to church and presenting an image of God as a violent jerk who predestines for you to suffer and have misery.
As this guy grew older, he had some tough times. I don’t recall his exact life story – I think he became a hard core drug addict, robbed little old ladies, was in a gang, and so on. I don’t remember the specifics.
I also don’t recall the exact context of how he heard Jeremiah 29:11 for the first time – I think he said he was invited to church by a friend, and the preacher quoted Jer 29.11 from the pulpit.
This guy had never heard Jer 29:11 before, but this verse really clicked for him.
He said for the first time in his life, he said he understood God’s character better: that the God he had been taught (probably in Calvinist or Reformed churches) is not the God of the Bible.
That is, when bad things happened to him in his life, he realized that those bad things were not God’s plan for him or his life (which is what he had been taught at a previous church in boyhood).
Here is Jeremiah 29:11:
- 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Reading or hearing that verse for the first time revoluntionized that guy’s life. It shifted his whole paradigm of who God is and gave him a sense of hope for the future. He became a Christian.
I am bringing this up because I keep seeing Christians online yell and scream that Old Testament verses are not, in their opinions, meant for Christians today – a view that does not completely make sense to me.
If they don’t get cranky about it, some of these Christians mock and ridicule Christians who use such Old Testament promises for themselves today. And these are usually the Christians who claim to be “sola scriptura.”
Assuming God exists: who is to say that God does not harken a certain Old Testament verse written specifically for Joe- Bob- the- Jew back in the year 3,245 B.C. for a Christian reading that verse today? I believe some Christians call this a “Rhema” word?
Just because a verse was written in first context for Edna the Hittite back in 4,893 BC does not necessarily mean that God does not think it cannot or does not apply it to a Christian today who is going through a particular circumstance.
It’s strange how hyper sola scripturaists continue to limit the Bible and its applicability; they make half the Bible null and void for anyone who is a Christian today.
Hyper Sola Scripturists, biblicists, whatever term they should be nailed with, tend to think that the Holy Spirit does not do miraculous works today (such as healings), and they think that the Old Testament is only for ancient Jews. Which leaves them with what, a weak, Deist God who refuses to intervene directly in his creation today and half a Bible that is dead, largely irrelevant, and moot?
I find it fascinating that a man who was lost said it took hearing Jeremiah 29.11 to turn his life around today, in 2015 or 2014, or whenever this pivotal point happened.
Some Christians will argue that Jer 29.11 (which is in the Old Testament) applies only to ancient Jews in their particular historical context of the time and not to Gentile believers today, but a man today, in or around 2015, found healing in that very verse. So, is Jeremiah 29:11 really only for ancient Jews when God (if he exists) is using it to reach Gentiles in 2015?
October 6, 2015 Update.
And I just saw this in my Twitter feed, via Crosswalk:
(Link): Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out of Context! http://buff.ly/1VqwGC4
See? Christians are still debating if Jer 29.11 is applicable for Christians today or not. I can guarantee you that in several months time, there will either be a Christian on TV or in a blog post arguing the opposite of this Cross walk page – that Jer 29.11 is in fact applicable for believers today.
(Link): Does God’s Plan to Do You No Harm, Prosper You, And Give You Hope and A Future Involve You Dying In a Fiery Plane Crash? Regarding Jeremiah 29:11
(Link): Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God (May 2017)
(Link): Unanswered Prayer and Diversity of Doctrine and Interpretation (podcasts)
(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything
(Link): Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article