Some people think it is "unloving" to rebuke a person for sin, but what does the Bible say?
The following is an article that the LRF submitted to various Limerick newspapers. It was published in part by the Limerick Post (8 Aug '09, pg. 22).
In a recent Limerick Post article [25 Jul '09, pg. 24], local pastor Jim Schmitt is quoted as saying “we don't try to convert anyone, they could still be going to Mass on Sundays and coming into us as well. I encourage people to stay with their own church if they are regularly attending it”.
The Limerick Reformed Fellowship believes as John's Gospel teaches, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” - (John 3:36), and as Christ Himself warned, “these shall go away into everlasting punishment” - (Matthew 25:46). How then, can we as Christians not try to convert others? Ought we not be like Christ our God and warn people of His wrath against sinners? Ought we not be like the Apostles and persuade people to become Christians?
Also, we believe that the Christ of the Mass, who is sacrificed repeatedly, cannot be the Christ of Scripture, who according to the Bible “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever” to pay for the sins of those graciously predestined to believe (Hebrews 10:12, Ephesians 1:5). Knowing that those who trust in the false Christ of the Mass will perish eternally unless they trust in the true Christ of Scripture, why then would we encourage people to continue attending Mass? Does Pastor Schmitt realise this when he especially encourages those who “are regularly attending it” to continue? He says that God “loves them”, but the Bible says that God, “hatest all workers of iniquity.” (Psalm 5:5)
One can only hope that Pastor Schmitt was seriously misquoted.
Not only this, but the Roman Catholic Church teaches that we are saved in part by our own “good” works, whereas the Bible teaches that it is by grace alone through faith alone that we are saved, which then results in good works of thankfulness (Ephesians 2:8-10). The Apostles and early Christian missionaries opposed those who taught that salvation came by their own good deeds and sought to win them to Christ and salvation through faith alone. We feel it is proper that all missionaries – Pastor Schmidt included – should do the same and persuade men to become Christians. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Galatian church (who had accepted the false teaching of justification by the works of the law ), said “Christ has become of no effect unto you whosoever of you are justified by the law”, pronouncing all its teachers “accursed” (Galatians 1:8, 5:4) and he laboured mightily to proclaim the Christ of the scriptures and salvation by grace alone, through faith alone to as many as he had opportunity.
When asked whether he considers himself a “missionary”, Pastor Schmitt affirms this. Surely the idea of a “missionary” who does not “try to convert anyone” is a contradiction in terms. Seeking to win the approval of men in missionary labours might seem a wise approach, however the words of Christ are most appropriate: “Woe to you when all men shall speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26).
The LRF heartily invites all those who love the Gospel of Christ crucified, risen and ascended for the sins of believers to come to worship the triune God on Sundays at 11pm and 5.30pm in Conradh na Gaeilge, Thomas Street.