India were within sniffing distance of a famous Test win in the first Test of the 2018 England-India series in Edgbaston, England. A flurry of boundaries byHardik Pandya made them and the Indian spectators believe that they could win that Test! That’s when Joe Root, England’s Captain threw the ball to Ben Stokes. Virat Kohli got a little carried away when he played across the line to an in-cutter from Ben Stokes and he was out leg before. Mark Nicolas wrote the following about that match-result changing moment: “But at 11.47 this Saturday morning Ben Stokes trapped Kohli in front of the stumps he had protected so vigorously and successfully since he first arrived at the wicket during the first session of play on Thursday (2 Aug 2018).” With Kohli gone, India’s hopes also evaporated and they lost the Test by 31 runs, their fourth narrowest Test loss when you considered the runs by which they lost. Kohli cannot be blamed for India’s defeat. Other Indian batsmen – Vijay, Dhawan, Rahul and Rahane – had to chip in. But they did not.
But the question remains: Why did Kohli play across the line, instead of playing with a straight bat, when India needed him to stay at the crease till the job was done? This was no ODI or T20 match chase with the asking rate climbing up! This was just the Day 4 of a 5-day Test! Potentially 150 overs were remaining to get those 50-odd runs and sew-up a sensational Test win! There was no compulsion whatsoever to play across the line. He could have waited for the loose ball to come to score. Did Kohli get carried away by the way Pandya hit those boundaries and tried to step up the gas to close the contest quickly with an eye already on India’s champagne-bottle celebrations post the Test, a Test that could have well been called “The Kohli Test” (given his innings of 149 runs in the first innings and 51 in the second)? Possibly.
India needed 53 runs with two wickets in hand after Kohli got out to get what could have been the most famous Test wins ever! Hardik could have continued his aggression and boundary flurry after Kohli left. Scoring 20-runs in an over is no big deal for Hardik Pandya. That would have been a wise thing to do after the dismissal of Kohli with just two tail-enders to give him possible company. But Hardik switched off his aggressive intent the moment Kohli got out. India eventually lost this totally thrilling Test match as Hardik got out last, 31 runs short.
From the Cricket Field to the Bible doctrine, let us make a switch. The Bible warns us that we must not get not “get carried away by all kinds of unfamiliar teachings” (Heb. 13:9). There are teachings popular today which I put in the category of getting ‘carried away’. One of those is the hyper-grace cult. It came when a Singapore Pastor got carried away by the teachings of Grace in the Bible. Even during Apostle Paul’s time this happened. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church this: “Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you!” (I Cor. 4:8). This statement of Paul was indicative of Paul’s concern that the Corinthian church believers had got ‘carried-away’ and landed-up in an “over-realized eschatology” which basically meant the blessings that could be theirs only after they reached heaven, they felt they already had them here and now or felt that they must have it here and now. For example, since the Corinthians believed this, they said, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman” (I Cor. 7:1). They felt as spoke in the tongues of angels they were like angels in heaven, who do have sex, perhaps! Gordon Fee, noted New Testament Scholar explains this further: “Corinthians seems to have considered themselves to be already like angels, thus truly spiritual needing neither sex in the present (I Cor. 7:1-7) or a body in the future (I Cor. 15:1-58)”. But Paul believed there were some things that would only happen on the Final Day. That’s why he wrote this to them: “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes” (I Cor. 4:5). Basically Paul was telling them: “Don’t get over-board!” Because when we go over-board, we fall into error. And when we fall into error in doctrines that affect salvation, we land up in hell. It is that dangerous!
Another example of an over-realized eschatology is the wrong teaching that we will be immortal here and now on this side of eternity. A Chennai based pastor quotes I Corinthians 15:26 which says “the last enemy to be defeated is death” and teaches that until a generation of believers beats death here and now – that is becomes immortal now, that is, does not die at all while we are still on earth – only then Jesus will come back to the earth! Till that happens, Jesus would NEVER come back, he says! What a heresy! The plain teaching of the Bible is this: “Man is destined to die once and after that face judgment” (Heb. 9:27). In the same chapter quoted by this Chennai pastor – I Corinthians 15 – we have evidence to know that death will be finally defeated only when Jesus comes back the second time and not before that. In I Corinthians 15:52 he writes that the transformation of our body into immortal, imperishable bodies will happen when the “trumpet” will sound. “In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and the mortal will immortality,” that verse reads. I Thessalonians 4:16,17 Paul clearly writes when the trumpet sounds Jesus would return again the second time to this earth. When this happens, death will be defeated, by Christ-followers when Christ returns (I Cor. 15:54-56). So, we believers, in case we are alive when Jesus returns again, will become immortal then! The Christ-followers who have died will be raised from the dead during that time and join those Christ-followers who are alive! Both these categories will be given immortal bodies that will not die ever, when that happens (when Jesus Christ returns). Not before that!!! Let us not fool ourselves!!!!
This teaching was made famous by a South African preacher who died after preaching this very thing – “You will not die on this earth here and now, if you believe in Jesus!” One of my preacher friends said, “Only if the guys who teach these bizarre things die, only then their followers will get some sense!” I would say, “I don’t want that to happen. God forbid! But even it that happens, it is unlikely some of these folk will repent from teaching hell-taking false doctrine – they are so sadly sold to it totally! That’s very sad! Articles like the ones you are reading are more to stem the tide of more people following such rubbish, than to correct these false teachers/cult leaders!”
I believe such heretic, cultic teachings are passed on because this generation does not like to hear these very biblical, yet unpopular messages: “Where will go if you died tonight?” (based on Luke 12:20, Luke 17:32). So the cult false teachers and pastors want to teach in-effect: “Why worry about death – you will not die at all!” What a deception! What a tragedy!
Let us steer clear of all such teachings that go ‘over-board’ because that will mean a “loss” – as it was the case for Virat Kohli and his men in the first Test of 2018 Series versus England in England. For us believers, ‘loss’ would mean loss of eternal life, ultimately and a life in hell, ultimately. Let us escape these strange false teachings and embrace sound doctrine from the Bible!
(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. Find out more about this reader supported Indian ministry at www.dukev.org)