Have you ever had a conversation with someone who would not listen to what you said, but who decided what you meant, without discussion, and then went on to blast you with all kinds of false accusations?
Did this person attack you personally, making false assumptions about your intentions, your character, and the meanings of your words? Did this person misconstrue everything you said, and then stoop to name calling? And, did you try reasoning with this person, kindly and thoughtfully, trying to answer his or her concerns, and yet he or she still went on the all-out attack?
Well, if you have experienced this in your relationships with others, know that the Lord understands how you feel, because they did the same thing to him, and they are still doing the same thing to him. And, who are “they”? They are those within the family of God or those within the gatherings of the church who declare faith in Jesus Christ but who deny him by their actions, and who deny him, too, by how they respond to His Word.
For, they are those who are spiritually void or on a spiritual decline. They are living in violation of God’s standards, in open defilement against his instructions to us, his church. They have sunk low down in their blasphemies against God’s holy Word and against his gospel of salvation.
They have broken through his barriers which he set up for us for our protection, without conscience, and with little to no regard for his holiness and righteousness. Thus, they live in a spiritual vacuum with a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ which is hollow, and which is self-fulfilling and self-sufficient. For they want to have it their own way, not God’s way.
*Note: This is not describing anyone in particular. So, this is not an attack against anyone’s character. This is just saying that there are people like this who are treating God in a similar manner as we are sometimes treated by others, and it is because they are living in open defilement against Him.
Hebrews 10:28-31 ESV
Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
This morning the Lord is paralleling the situation described above with the relationship that some (or many) people have with him. They are not listening to what God is saying through His Word, because their minds are already made up. They have already decided God’s intentions and his character, but what they have decided comes from their own minds, their own prejudices, and from their own lifestyle choices, too.
So, they are misconstruing his Word to their own advantage, to meet their own requirements or their own selfish desires. They want to continue living in sin and so they twist the scriptures to give themselves permission to keep on in their sinful practices, while consoling themselves with God’s love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, and promise of heaven when they die.
They give the impression or they say directly that one can believe in Jesus Christ, have the promise of heaven when he dies, and yet keep his sinful practices. For, they say it is now all covered under God’s grace. Some go so far as to actually state that we don’t have to repent of our sins, we don’t have to obey Jesus Christ or submit to his Lordship, and to even falsely identify such submission to the Lordship of Christ as works-based salvation.
So, the Lord has stopped communicating with them, for they refuse to listen to him, for they are choosing to go their own way, instead. For, they are blaspheming the Word of God by twisting what it says to satisfy their own sinful cravings, and by attacking the truths of scripture and assigning to them false notions, which are of the flesh of man. So, the Lord is going to bring judgment upon them for their actions which are against Him.
Hebrews 10:19-25 ESV
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Nonetheless, God’s plan of salvation for us is not merely forgiveness of sins and a promise of heaven when we die. It is not free license to continue in sinful practices, without guilt, while claiming heaven as our eternal home.
God’s grace, which brings us salvation from sin, instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions (fleshly desires) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. For, Jesus Christ, God the Son, gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Tit. 2:11-14; cf. Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).
We are not saved from our sins and have the hope of eternal life with God via a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ, either. Our faith must be present tense. It must be continuous. And, it must remain steadfast until the end of time. For, we were saved (past), we are being saved (present) and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns to take us to be with him. It is then that our relationship with Jesus Christ will be consummated, and our salvation will then be complete.
For, scripture teaches, with regard to our salvation from sin, that we must walk (in practice, in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God, and not according to our flesh, if we want to have eternal life with God. Over and over again in the New Testament it states this. And, it says that if we walk according to the flesh, that we will die in our sins, without hope of heaven, no matter what we profess to believe with our lips (Rom. 8:1-17).
Scripture also teaches that faith in Jesus Christ is God-given, and it is God-persuaded, and thus it submits to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and it follows him in obedience to his will and to his ways. For, when we believe in Jesus, with genuine faith, we die with Christ to sin, and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu. 9:23-25; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
So, we need to be spreading the message of the true gospel of our salvation, and we need to not be teaching “gospel lite,” or a “cheap grace gospel” absent of true repentance and walks of surrender and obedience to Jesus Christ. For, many people are going to come before God, fully convinced that they deserve heaven only to hear, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
So, we need to be telling them the truth, and first and foremost, we need to be living the truth before them so that they can see that we live what we say we believe, and that we are not all talk, but that our walks match our talk.
For, when Jesus died on that cross, he delivered us from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin. He died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. He shed his blood for us that he might buy us back for God, so that now, by God’s grace, we might honor God with our lives, and no longer live to please ourselves (1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21).
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.
Thursday, September 26, 2019