Don’t Just Say “Here”

2 Peter 3:1-7 ESV

“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.

“They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’

“For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”

Roll Call

Many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ live as though they don’t believe what the Scriptures teach with regard to sin and judgment and hell and Christ’s return. They see their faith in Jesus more like raising their hand in a school classroom during roll call to indicate that they are present.

But “present” or “here” doesn’t mean that you are really there mentally or spiritually, and it doesn’t indicate that you are actively participating. It just means you exist, which we all do as humans, but it is no indication whatsoever that you are involved in what is going on in the classroom.

Merely being “present” is more indicative of lack of response, and lack of participation, and lack of involvement in what is happening in the classroom, usually because one is not really “here” to begin with, but “here” is more of an outward show (display) of something that isn’t really there in reality.

They may have been “here” in the audience, listening to the gospel being presented, and they may have made some decision to believe in Jesus, but it didn’t get beyond “here.” It never went to “Here I am, Lord, I will go wherever you send me, and I’ll do whatever you command. I am yours!”

For, they looked at their sin problem, and they looked at what would be required of them to have that sin problem resolved, and they didn’t like what they saw, and so they rejected it, and so they continued in their sins, and they never surrendered their all to Jesus.

False Attempts of the Flesh

Some of them, though, will make attempts of the flesh to resolve their own sin issues, but flesh doesn’t conquer flesh. Flesh is at war with the Spirit. We can’t be free of our sin in our own flesh, based on our own human efforts. Only through full surrender to Jesus Christ can we be free from sin’s grip on our lives. And surrender means God is now owner-master of our lives.

Many who are in this boat, though, will still refuse to surrender everything to Jesus, and they will still be convinced that they are saved from their sins, and that they are going to heaven when they die, and that Jesus is their Lord, and that God is listening to their prayers, even though they refuse to surrender to their lives to Jesus and to walk in obedience to his commands.

For, they have convinced themselves that God won’t judge them, and that they will not go to hell, and so they minimize and explain away their sinful practices, and they mock the Scriptures which teach them that they must turn from their sins and that if they make sin their practice, they will die.

They just dismiss those Scriptures and refuse to acknowledge them. And they live in their fantasy world where they create for themselves their own god in their own image who is in relationship with them and in fellowship with them even though they are living in willful, habitual, and deliberate defiance against him and in habitual sin against others.

They won’t see beyond themselves, either, to see the impact their continued sinful lifestyles are having on others, such as on spouse, children, grandchildren, neighbors, friends, other family members, and “church” family members, too. For, they live for themselves to please themselves regardless of who gets hurt in the process. And all so that they can continue to hold on to their addiction.

And this is because they don’t really take God seriously. They don’t believe that he will send them to hell. So, they continue to follow their own sinful desires because they have always been able to do that and yet profess faith in Jesus Christ and then be able to put on a show of righteousness. So, they have a false sense of security that they will be able to continue to do so and that nothing bad will happen to them.

God is God

But here’s the thing. God is God. He will do what he says he will do. Don’t expect him to excuse your willful rebellion against him and excuse you deliberately and habitually sinning against him. Don’t think he is going to give you a pass just because you put your hand up to say you are “present.”

The Scriptures teach that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, according to our flesh, that we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God. Paul taught this consistently, but the “cheap grace gospel” followers refuse to see that. But God does not lie. Please believe that!

God is very patient with us because he is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But his patience will not last forever. If he has spoken to you over and over again, and over and over again you have refused him, and you have sinned deliberately against him, and if this is your habit, your go to, your practice, you will not inherit eternal life.

The Scriptures are quite clear. We must leave our lifestyles of sin behind us, and we must walk in obedience to our Lord if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God. But this is not a one-time decision we make and then we are good to go. We must walk in the light and according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, or we will die in our sins.

So, please, if you do not believe this, read the Scriptures I am referencing below. If you do believe this intellectually, but you have not gotten past “present” to actively participating in God’s plan of redemption for you, then please read these Scriptures and let God speak to your heart, and then please obey him, for God will do as he said.

Don’t just say, “Here.” Say, “Here I am, Lord. I will go, Lord, where you lead me, and I will do and I will say what you command. I am yours. You are my master, so I surrender my life to your will for my life.”

And then do what you just said you would do, but in the power of God’s Spirit, as you yield your life to the Holy Spirit’s control. And he will give you all that you need to do his will. For, Jesus died to free you from your slavery to sin so that you can now walk in his righteousness, in his power.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2]

Here I Am, Lord

By Daniel L. Schutte

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them –
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night
I will go, Lord
If You lead me
I will hold Your people in my heart

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