Jesse Duplantis is a popular American televangelist and recently a left-wing news site shared a video of Duplantis speaking at a fund-raising event for another prominent televangelist, Kenneth Copeland.
In the brief clip, Duplantis appears to make the outrageous claim that one of the reasons Christ hasn’t returned yet is because believers are not giving enough money.
If Christians just gave more, Jesus would come sooner.
I am not exactly sure the full point Duplantis was trying to make as the video seems to be cut off before he provided further explanation on what he meant.
But as it stands, I don’t recall the Lord listing an increase in Church giving as one of the birth pangs leading to the Lord’s imminent return in Matthew 24.
Though embarrassing for many Christians, these type of stories are a good reminder of one of the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
As we read the Bible, we see time and again, that it does not hide the failures of the men and women of God.
David, who was called a man after God’s own heart, committed adultery and then tried to cover it up by arranging a mafia-style hit killing Bathsheba’s husband.
Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of his disobedience. As we move into the New Testament, we see Peter’s public denial of Christ.
God doesn’t hide the foibles and sins of our Biblical heroes, because it demonstrates that our actions, however abhorrent, do not change our identity or position in God.
The Jews were God’s chosen people and basically the Old Testament is a story of their endless failures, as they rejected God time again. Though those actions had consequences, it did not change their identity.
And in the New Testament, that theme continues and takes on a more personal note as we are called children of God.
Again, no matter our actions, we are still a child of God because of adoption (Ephesians 1:5).
That doesn’t change, even when we embarrass God.
Despite their actions, God still loved and accepted David, Moses, Peter, and Duplantis.
And though our actions may not be as public as a televangelist, it doesn’t change our identity either, because you were not chosen because of your great accomplishments and perfect lifestyles.
You were chosen because of God’s love.
At His baptism, God called Jesus His beloved Son, in whom He was well pleased (Matthew 3:16-17).
And when Satan challenged Jesus to prove He was the son of God by turning stone into bread four verses later, Christ responded that He did not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeded from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:3-4).
In that moment Jesus was referring back to the words that God spoke at the Lord’s baptism.
Jesus understood that His identity as the Son of God was not based on how many miracles He performed, but solely on who God said He was.
In a recent teaching video, Pastor Mark Driscoll explained it this way:
“Jesus worked from His identity, not for His identity. You need to know this, you achievers, God didn’t create you to be achievers, He created you to be receivers. Your identity is not something you achieve, it’s something you receive.”
The key to the Christian life is first recognizing your identity in Christ. You are child of God, every day, not just on the good days.