What if we began over again on an island paradise . . .?


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. . . And had a fresh start at being Christians in this sinful, sad world. Could we do better than those who went before us if we made a change? 


It’s been more than a week since I read a post that concerns me, and at last I’ve decided to respond. Mel Wild, of In My Father’s House blog, posted about a hypothetical island where we could start again by preaching a minimal Gospel (four passages about God’s love) to the inhabitants and with it build a vibrant Christian community from the ground up. 

Everything you need to know in ten minutes

“What if you only had ten minutes to show a group of people on a remote island everything they needed to know in order to grow into a vibrant Christian community, and you could only give them four Bible verses (they have no Bibles)? What would you share with them?  To keep it simple, we’ll assume these islanders have heard about Jesus and a few popular Bible stories…

“Here’s what I would share. And I believe, if they followed it, I could reasonably expect to come back 2o years later and find a strong authentic Christian community, filled with believers living out a vibrant faith in Christ…”

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)

19 We love because he first loved us.  (1 John 4:19)

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  (John 15:9)

23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:23)

Questions and thoughts. 

Has the Church truly failed? Have God’s children down through the ages failed to win the world because we’ve preached that man is a sinner instead of chiefly stressing God’s love? Did William Carey, pioneer of modern missions, fail because he saw so few converts initially? Did the Apostle Paul fail when Agrippa wasn’t persuaded to be a Christian? And ultimately, knowing how many people rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, did He fail? 

Will more people come to the Lord if we simply major on love? This passage from Romans is the testimony of Scripture about unregenerate human nature, and since it is true of all people, it will be true of the islanders – those Mel would be preaching to.

Romans 3

10 As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

We were all blind to our sinfulness before the Lord drew us to Jesus. How can people be saved unless they learn of their guilt and need for the Saviour? The Cross is our message. It is the demonstration of God’s love to sinners. 

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Corinthians 15

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

To be loving is to preach both our need and God’s Good News, and we can’t do this with a few verses. We certainly can’t make disciples that way because this contradicts Jesus’ command: “19 ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”

So preaching about sin is essential. The Lord commands all men everywhere to repent for He has fixed the day when He will judge us. We must warn others. This is love.

Acts 17

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Again, if all that the people on the island have are a few verses instead of the whole counsel of God, they will not grow up into Christ. In the comments on the post, one reader stated, “Like you said they have no bible and neither did the early church,” and Mel agreed with this. But the early church did have Scripture, the God-breathed Old Testament, and the epistles and Revelation as they were written and disseminated.

Mel is optimistic about his Christian ‘experiment’ that “. . .I could reasonably expect to come back 2o years later and find a strong authentic Christian community, filled with believers living out a vibrant faith in Christ.” But because of human nature – as well as the reality that there will be tares among any wheat – we can be sure that the island community will have the same evils as we have. 

Men will hate love itself when love must be on God’s holy terms, and we need to warn them of judgment and not give them a false sense of security in ‘God’s unconditional love.’ 

Hebrews 12

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

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27 thoughts on “What if we began over again on an island paradise . . .?

  1. The trouble with moving to a new island to start over is we’d have to take ourselves there. I’ve often (halfway) joked that I wish I could move somewhere and leave myself behind. The shallow view that four verses of Scripture is enough to build a “vibrant Christian community” is a sad symptom of the deplorable state of modern Christianity. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clarence, thank you for your humor and insight. I thought and thought about answering his post. Life will remain difficult and very imperfect until the Lord returns – there are no shortcuts, no keys to “success”, just trust. Thank you for commenting, brother!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post-Maria, That’s what you call another gospel. Preach love and security they say but without repentance (changing their minds about the Christ of holy scripture), no one can come to the truth. Repentance is, in other words, the conviction of the Holy Spirit towards the person and the person responding to it. Recognizing Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, being the Son of God, themselves being in a sinful state and in need of forgiveness and Jesus being the only way to salvation. That’s Biblical repentance, not that one has to stop sinning which apart from the Spirit of God cannot be achieved but realizing one’s condition (sinful) and who Jesus is and what He did. In Acts 2 Peter gave a sermon to those who rejected the Messiah and they were cut to the heart (repented) for not believing that Jesus was indeed was their Messiah so they repented of that and got saved by believing that Jesus was the Messiah.
    Without Biblical repentance, one cannot be opened to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and cannot get saved. Just like Joel Osteen, Mel preaches a false gospel that is making one believe that they are saved but never truly responded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repented because it was never taught.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alix, good morning! Thank you for majoring on what is missing in Mel’s post: repentance through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, He Who convicts the world of sin and righteousness and judgment. Today many teachers feel that if they can convince people that they are loved by God, and that if they love Him and others, we will have peace.

      Liked by 1 person

          • John Arthur, it seems that he has been assigned to me from the enemy because all he does is scan through all of my post and picks one to start the attack. Now he’s in my “Spiritual Landmines: Being Gay is OK”

            I truly believe that when you are a threat to Satan he will assign a demonic agent to you which he did to me through John A

            Liked by 1 person

              • I guess when you shake the devil’s cage he will take notice. lol. To me that’s a good thing because my posts are making him (the enemy of our souls) uncomfortable thus John Arthur. All Christians posts should make the devil uncomfortable because we are proclaiming the truth in Jesus Christ. As Christians we must always be wearing the full armor of God because you don’t know when the devil is going to send you an attack through a person. We have to be ready for the spiritual fight. We are in a big war and it should be expected.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Alix, this may be a lack in me that I almost never think about the Devil unless reading about him in God’s Word. And I used to go through the actions of putting on each piece of armour, but believing this wasn’t what Paul meant I stopped that. I still think a lot about faith protecting us, shielding us, and that God’s Word is the sword of the Spirit and our weapon. I don’t think about the Adversary sending people to me. I can see him blinding people and deceiving them. Your comment and your blog motivates me to study this further.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • I understand but Maria you have to understand that our fight is not against flash and blood but against the evil spirits. Satan doesn’t want you to think that our fight is again him because that means that we would be fighting the wrong enemy. People are not our enemy Satan is. You should read my testimony and my full armor of God series.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Thank you, maria for reading it. I read a few paragraph, it’s pretty long :).

                  So far what I read seems pretty good even though I haven’t read the whole thing. Satan wants us to believe that we are not fighting him that he isn’t our enemy.

                  When a Christian believes this, they are in grave danger. I say this because our focus will be on the physical person and we will try to analyze him instead of seeing past him to what’s behind him.

                  Once we know who we are fighting then we can know exactly how to defeat him. The holy scripture reveals Satan’s tactics and schemes and the best example we have on how to defeat him is Jesus Christ.

                  Remember when Jesus faced Satan in the wilderness? Jesus only used the scripture to defeat him and He knew how the Devil worked. In the same way, we must know scripture with prayer so that when the enemy of our soul comes to attack us we will be ready.

                  Satan is not going to come visibly but he will attack you through a false teacher or someone to throw you off the tracks of your faith.

                  2 Corinthians 2:11
                  I have done this so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.

                  Like

                • Alix, tonight my husband is watching History Channel’s program “Forged in Fire,” a show about forging weapons. The competitors are making a “gladius” in this episode, the Roman sword you spoke of in your series. A neat “coincidence”!

                  Right! We are not fighting flesh and blood, though the Adversary does work through His children and emissaries. I believe the Lord Jesus defeated Satan, crushing his head, and that the battle is the Lord’s. I treasure my armour Jesus gave me, and know He commands me to put it on, but also know that I don’t fight Satan directly – even Michael told him, “the Lord rebuke you!” We are to:

                  James 4
                  7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Alix, I enjoy time with Tom but to be honest TV discourages me.

                  There is a lot of good counsel that you give in your comments – especially the need to be strong in the Lord’s mighty power, but I want to focus on the Lord and what He did for us and does for us, not warfare, though I know the battle is severe. For a few years I was entangled in Charismatic things, you see.

                  Lord bless you, your dear wife, and children!

                  Liked by 1 person

                • I understand why you chose to stray from spiritual warfare and I’m sorry to hear that the Charismatic denomination played a role in that decision.

                  My family and I attend a baptist church and I never attended a Charismatic church. I try not follow anyone’s theology or beliefs in curtain passages. I try not to read the Reformers or any other material that would taint my understand of scripture that the Spirit of God gives me.

                  All that I explain in my posts come directly from context, references from other passages and prayer to the Lord for understanding. I try to keep it like that so I won’t adopt someone’s understanding.

                  I’m not saying that what they know is not sound but I like to get there (knowing the scripture) not by reading the Reformers but by reading the Bible myself and letting myself get taught by the Source Himself, the Holy Spirit.

                  My counsel to every believer in Jesus would be to read the Bible without any other interpretation and ask the Lord for understanding. We are in a real spiritual battle if we want to believe that or not (Ephesians 6) and we need to be prepared or else how can a believer survive?

                  God bless you Maria and may the Lord continue to bless you and your husband. If you and your husband ever need anything (prayer, encouragement or exegesis on a passage don’t hesitate to ask me).

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Yes, we must read God’s Word carefully, praying for the Lord to teach us! I benefit from reading the commentary of Christians from earlier times, just as we tday are blessed by one another’s insights. But we must ALWAYS check what is written as the Bereans did even with the apostle Paul.

                  Thank you! I know you mean it, Alix, about help. Tom is going to a cardiac specialist in a couple hours. Please pray! We were in the ER on Friday – everything checked out fine but they must follow up for a possible stress test. Hi, to Caeli!

                  Liked by 1 person

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