Is Time Your Idol?

Galatians 1:1-10 ESV

“Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead — and all the brothers who are with me,

“To the churches of Galatia:

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Two Main Issues

In context, there were two main issues at work here in Galatia at that time in history. One was the Judaizers who were trying to convince Christians that they needed to be more like Jews and that they needed to add on to their salvation some of the Old Covenant ceremonial, liturgical, and dietary laws and restrictions, including circumcision. And the other more predominant issue, which we are being faced with today, was that they were using their freedom in Christ as an excuse to continue in deliberate and habitual sin.

So, whether what you are hearing and believing is a legalistic gospel which adds on to your salvation the works of the flesh not required by God, or whether the gospel you are hearing grants you the freedom to continue in deliberate and habitual sin without guilt and without repentance, both are wrong in the eyes of God and according to the Scriptures. For we are to neither add to nor take away from what the Scriptures are teaching regarding our salvation from sin and eternal life with God.

And, although legalism still exists in our day and time, it is now in the minority. And this includes present day Judaizers who are trying to convince Christians to be more like Jews and to participate in some of the Old Covenant laws and ceremonies to enhance their walks of faith in Jesus Christ. Those are still serious issues, and they are still wrong and dangerous to the life of the church, but they are not the predominant issue in the life of the church today. Feeling you are free to keep sinning is the main issue.

For, as Paul clearly stated here, Jesus Christ gave himself up for us on that cross to deliver us from the present evil age, not to give us carte blanche to continue in deliberate and habitual sin without conscience and remorse. For Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he died that we might now live for him and no longer for ourselves. And he shed his blood for us to buy us back for God (to redeem us) so we will now honor God with our lives.

[1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6:1-23]

Deserting Jesus Christ

And now we are getting at the heart of the issue. The Christians (or professing Christians only) were deserting Jesus Christ and his true grace and gospel message, and they were turning to a different one which is a distortion of the true gospel of Christ. And this is the predominant issue the church is being faced with today, at least here in America where I live. Many professers of faith in Jesus Christ are deserting Christ and his gospel to go after a different gospel which is a distortion of the true gospel of Christ.

So, what is the most predominant distortion of the true gospel that people in America are believing today? I believe it is what is widely accepted as the true gospel, which is that you can “believe” (not usually defined biblically) in Jesus one time in your life, then have all your sins forgiven (past, present, and future), and then have heaven secured for you for when you die, but regardless of how you live. For they consider that a done deal which cannot be taken away from you regardless of what you do from then on.

And so they make this “other gospel” their idol because their idol is their faithful servant who stays in its own lane and which does not interfere with their lives, for it never confronts them with their sins, and it never makes them feel guilty for deliberately and habitually sinning against the Lord and against other humans. But it consoles them in their sins, instead. So this “other gospel” is their treasure and their pride which they worship and bow down to, for it continues to give them false promises and false hope.

But this isn’t their only idol. Time is also their idol, for even though they know right from wrong, they continue to do wrong. And even though they know that we serve a holy God who gave his life up for us on that cross for our freedom from sin, they continue to sin deliberately and habitually. And even though they know that we are to love one another, they continue to treat others with hate by willfully sinning against them. So they are betting on God not punishing them for their sins, but they know better.

But time is not on their side, even though they think it is. So, even though time is their idol, their treasure, their pride, and they think that time will be their faithful servant to the end, time will eventually run out. And their departure from this earth will come. And one day they are going to have to stand before the Lord and to give an account for what they did with Jesus Christ and with his salvation. And many are going to hear Jesus say to those professing his name that he never knew them and that they who are workers of lawlessness are to depart from him (Matthew 7:21-23).

Servants of Jesus Christ

But as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, our aim is to please our Lord and not human flesh. We are not here on this earth to be man-pleasers, who do what pleases the flesh of humans, and who do not do what pleases God. And we are not here to serve ourselves and to do what pleases our own flesh instead of doing what pleases God, according to his Word and according to his Will for our lives. For we cannot please the flesh and please God, too. We either serve the flesh or we serve God. We cannot do both.

For Jesus Christ said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self-pleasure, we will die in our sins. We will not inherit eternal life with God. But if for the sake of Jesus Christ we die with him to sin and we live to him and to his righteousness, then we have the hope of eternal life (Luke 9:23-26).

Follow Him

An Original Work / February 21, 2013
Based off Luke 9:22-25

Jesus, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross.

Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself and follow.
He must take up his cross daily;
Die to sin and self each day.

Father, God above,
Loved us so: gave His Son.

If you want to save your old life;
Keep on sinning, follow your ways,
You will lose your life forever;
Hope of heaven gone away.

Spirit of our God
Gives us life in God’s Son.

Nonetheless, if you die to self;
Forsake your sin; follow Jesus,
You will live with God in heaven,
And forever praise His name!

2 thoughts on “Is Time Your Idol?

  1. Sue, this reminds me of the story of the devil teaching demons how to keep people from being saved. They asked, “should we tempt them to follow other gods?” “Should we tempt them to chase after wealth and fame?” “Should we lure them with sexual sin?”
    And the devil said, “No, just keep telling them they’ve got plenty of time.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very well stated. Now we do know that the devil does all those other things, and he has many tricks up his sleeves which he uses to try to keep people from trusting in the Lord Jesus with their lives, but yes, if they always feel that time is on their side, they may never trust in the Lord and then it will be too late one day. Very sad situation, indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

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