Get Rid of the Poop, Then be Cleansed

2 Chronicles 7:13-15 ESV

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.”

A Flying Cockroach

I am not going to go into the history of what is behind these words this time, but I feel the Lord is wanting me to just look at what this is saying with regard to the gospel of our salvation. For this contains large components of the gospel message.

So, I stopped there because I was feeling sleepy and thought I might lay down for a bit before I continued. So I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and to get ready for bed when I encountered a very large flying cockroach. We do get some of these occasionally, but we had not had any all winter and I was definitely enjoying not having them around. But then the cockroach disappeared from sight and then I didn’t feel comfortable about trying to go to sleep knowing a large flying cockroach was on the loose.

Well, as I have shared before, sometimes the Lord uses real life situations as parables in my life to illustrate a biblical truth or a specific message the Lord is wanting me to receive and/or to share. And “cockroach” is a term used to describe a person who is a liar, a deceiver, a manipulator, someone not trustworthy, someone who is an opportunist and egocentric. So it also represents someone who is spiritually unclean.

And when you think of a bathroom, it is a place where we flush away (get rid of) our refuse (waste, garbage, muck, filth, lewdness, immorality, i.e. sin). Symbolically it is a place where we cast off and put away from ourselves our sin. And then we have a sink and/or a shower which is the place where we wash and get clean, and so symbolically this represents us being cleansed by the blood of Christ and made pure and righteous in God’s sight.

So, symbolically speaking, the bathroom represents the gospel for it is the place where we rid our lives of sin and where we are cleansed and made new by the grace of God, by God’s Spirit. So if a “cockroach” is flying around in my bathroom that would mean a liar, a deceiver, and someone who is not trustworthy is flying (soaring, rising, increasing, is in the air) in the gospel message which is spreading and which is being aired all over the place.

Liars and Deceivers

Liars and Deceivers are everywhere. Some of them are preachers and teachers of the Scriptures. Some of them are politicians or people of prominence and great influence in society. Some of them are newscasters and talk show hosts and CEOs of corporations and heads of divisions of government. And some of them are fellow Christians (or professing Christians) and friends and neighbors and/or family members.

And some of these liars and deceivers and their lies and deceptions are taking off and they are being widely accepted and aired as part of the gospel. And primarily what is being aired the most and accepted the most is this gospel message which is telling people that they can just “believe” (not defined) in Jesus, have their sins forgiven, and now they are on their way to heaven regardless of how they live their lives from then and forward.

There is no flushing away of their sins and so there is no cleansing and being made new because we have to first die with Christ to sin if we are to be raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him. We have to first humble ourselves before the Lord and pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways and then God will forgive our sin. The Old Self must be put to death with Christ so that we are no longer enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness, by the grace of God, and in His power and strength.

All throughout the New Testament we are taught that we must repent (turn from our sins) and turn to God to follow him in his ways and in his truth. We must now walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. We must deny self and daily die to sin and follow Jesus in obedience. And we must no longer walk in darkness (sin) but we are to walk in the light as God is in the light and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn 1:5-9).

So, if you have people telling you that all you have to do is “believe” in Jesus, but they don’t tell you that belief means we die with Christ to sin and we live to him and to his righteousness, then they aren’t telling you the truth. They need to tell you that we must put off our old ways of living in sin and for self, and that we are now to be transformed of the Spirit of God and to be given new lives in Christ Jesus to be lived for the glory of God in walks of obedience to him. This is the essence of the gospel message.

We are not forgiven of our sins by a mere profession of faith in Christ. Jesus said that not everyone saying to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matt 7:21-23). And the Scriptures are real clear that if we live in deliberate and habitual sin that we will not inherit eternal life with God.

[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 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Wonderful Grace of Jesus

By Haldor Lillenas, 1918

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost;
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God’s dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven
For all eternity—
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All-sufficient grace for even me!
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
Oh, magnify the precious Name of Jesus,
Praise His Name!

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