Join us this Sunday as we discuss the topic of Heaven
1 Peter 1:23-25
Something happened somewhere along the way. At one time the Word of God was the pinnacle of our society. Nothing was welcomed that did not align itself wholeheartedly with the Word. We used to cherish it as the seat of wisdom. We read, memorized and implemented it daily. Our decisions were governed by it. Our choices were influenced by it. Our children were taught it, both by voice and deed. We would never even consider questioning it’s authority. Today we regard it as questionable at best, if it’s even regarded at all. What was once treated as sacred is now thought of as sacrilege to our intellectually elite society. To believe that
And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Romans 6:1, 2
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
God is the creator of all. He is justified in His jealousy over His creation turning from Him to anything else. He is justified in not being happy with the way we treat ourselves (mind, body and soul), the way we treat others and the way we treat Him.
He has rescued us from a life of sin and death. He has given us purpose, he has given us a reason to live and not merely exist. Whenever He sees anything taking us away from Him and leading us into a life of sin He is indignant. He is jealous over us. He loves us with an everlasting love.
We have become so conditioned by the world to abhor anything that calls our character or commitment into question. We despise anyone or anything that we feel is “attacking us” or “judging us”. We have insulated ourselves against the conviction of God in the name of grace, a false grace that the enemy taught in the garden. It is the lie that God did not really mean what He said. His Word is to be questioned and run through our scanners to see if it passes the feel good test. If it makes us uncomfortable then it cannot possibly be from God.
The law is a mirror that reveals to us just how dirty we are. If we cannot see our need for cleansing then how can we come to the fountain of God and be washed? This is exactly what the enemy intends to keep us from. The moment we admit our great sin and the great price it exacted from Christ, that is the very moment that we are converted. That moment we acknowledge our sin and His holiness. That moment we accept the amazing grace of God and turn from who we were to who we are to be. We commit to following Jesus, walking in the Spirit and living in unity with the Father.
God is sovereign. He does not need to explain Himself to us. We are beneath Him. We do not belong in His presence, yet by His amazing grace He calls us to Himself. Somewhere along the way we shed our conscience and began to believe the lie in the house of God. We traded the humility of Christ for the arrogance of the world. We decided that we did not like the pressure of standing out from the world so we just modified the message of the Gospel and began to blend in. We traded our heavenly identity for worldly indemnity.
We have become slothful and numb. We are offended by the truth and comforted by a lie. We scoff at the thought that God would judge us. We have been told that He is love and that He is not mad at us. He loves us they say. It’s ok, He knows you are flawed. He loves you as you are they tell you. The truth is that if we have been converted we no longer identify with this world and all it’s ways. We have a new identity, a new name, written down in Glory. We have our slate wiped clean and we are empowered with the Holy Spirit to live this new life that frees us from the bondage of sin. We were not saved to stay where we were. This is not just a idealogical, philosophical change. This is a complete body, soul and spirit renewal. Dead becomes alive. Far from perfect, but definite evidence of a change.
The only way for us to truly embrace the great love of God is to understand and admit that we are unworthy of anything that He may offer us. This is the beginning of restoration to the Divine. We are so busy trying to fix people’s sin problems through their perception of themselves. We cannot counsel someone to conversion. The mind cannot be manipulated into salvation. We end up causing more damage. We fail to properly inform them of who He is and who we are. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. Humble yourselves in His presence that He may lift you up. We enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts because we recognize that we are unworthy to do so on our own, but by Christ’s death and resurrection we may now enter His courts with praise.
Have you allowed the way someone has treated you to separate you from God? Have you used the excuse that because you were hurt you turned away and blamed God for your pain? Have you used the excuse of your circumstances in life? There is no justification for your sin. God is God regardless what happens to us in this world. We all have moments of question and difficulty in processing the hits we take in life. That however is not an excuse to engage in and continue in outright rebellion to God. He will not pardon you for the pain you endured. Consider Jesus. He never blamed His Father. He simply said if there be no other way to redeem mankind than the cross then so be it. He glorified the Father through His suffering. May we do the same.