God is indeed “separated from sinners,” and not just by distance but by nature. What I mean is this: everything that God is the natural man hates, and all that comes out of the heart of man, God by nature must despise. The Word of God teaches that in our natural human state we are all “alienated and hostile in our mind (towards God), doing evil deeds (Colossians 1:21).” You might be thinking “but I love God,” and yet if you are not a Christian you do not yet love the true God and this I hope to prove to you in love and for your good.
Isaiah 45:5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God.”
Tearing down the Idol
There is a “god” that I have noticed the people in our culture readily accept. It may be all together true that they even love, desire, and highly approve of this god. I will prove to you this false idea of god from scripture with high hopes that the true God may tear this idol down.
The culture’s god is a god who you can come to on own terms, who does not require repentance.
Psalm 24:3-4 “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not life up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.”
But the god of the culture sees no need of this; he does not require that a sinner be cleansed.
The culture’s god is a “come as you please” god.
He is a god that appreciates your coming in the midst of crises or disaster who you can easily forget about when life is peaceful again.
Psalm 78:34-37 “When he killed them, they sought him; they repented and sought God earnestly. They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer. But they flatter him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues. Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant.”
Jeremiah 2:27 “For they have turned their back to me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us!’”
The culture’s god is a god who requires nothing from you.
There is no cost to following him, no risk of losing anything, no self sacrifice, no striving to be holy. There is no denying yourself, laying down your life, no picking up your cross and being willing to die for him. And along with this there is no passion required.
In contrast, Luke 9:23 “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
The culture’s god is a god in your own image, a god who is all together like you.
Isaiah 47:10“You felt secure in your wickedness, you said, “No one sees me”; your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, I AM, and there is no one besides me.”
Psalm 50:21 “These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.”
The culture’s god is a god who meets all of your physical needs, and provides for all of your material desires (and this you presume you deserve and give little thanks).
Hosea 2:8 “And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.”
Verse 12 “And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewellery, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the Lord.”
We, in our natural state, love the gifts but not the giver. We worship our stuff but not our God. We spend our money on our own pleasures with no thought as to what the God who gave it desires.
The culture’s god is a god who tolerates sin.
You presume that because He is kind He must be very understanding of your sin. The Ten Commandments aren`t really commands, they are just a good way to live. God would not require you to obey them perfectly in order to enter Heaven. God must understand that there is a time and a place when lying is beneficial and stealing is necessary. And if your spouse neglects and mistreats you, well then surely god understands why you find yourself in this affair. This god of yours, he gets you. He jives well with your lifestyle.
Romans 2:4-5 “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is mean to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”
The culture’s god is a god who can be bribed.
In the minds of those who at least admit that God might exist, and might care somewhat about good and evil, there is a common belief that God can be bribed. Because this is the way that man naturally likes to think, many religious systems work this way.
Since man knows he has done wrong, religion operate as a way to make things right between man and God. The word “religion” is from the Latin “re-ligare” which literally means to “tie again.” Religion is originally meant to reconcile sinful man with an offended God who demands retribution of some form as payment for sins. Within man there is this craving and knowledge that we are not right. We could look at several examples of man’s attempts to redeem Himself in God’s eyes. Notice I said man’s attempts to redeem himself, and not God’s perfect plan to redeem fallen man by His own hand. God’s word states that salvation “depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy (Romans 9:16).”
Even among the masses who do not claim to be ‘religious’ there is commonly the idea that God can be bribed. This way of thinking goes something like this: “Sure, I might have done a few bad things in my life. I know that I’ve hurt people in the past and said things I shouldn’t. I used to steal and I used to lie, but I’ve done a lot of good things too. I’m a different person now. I’m honest, I help people, and I’m not judgemental of others. I know God will forgive me because I’ve made up for my mistakes.”
They are like a guilty criminal who murders and stands before the judge and says “but judge, I’ve sincerely apologized to the family, I’m involved in community service now, and I will do whatever good thing you ask of me if you will only let me go free from my punishment.” The latter is irrelevant to the first. They insult the judge’s sense of justice, and must pay for their crime. You might say “but God is a forgiving God.” Certainly He is, but contrary to the culture’s god, He does not forgive on the basis of our supposed good works. He is holy and His word says that He will “by no means clear the guilty (Nahum 1:3),” which we will come back to.
Finally, to emphasize again, The culture’s god is a god who accepts people from every religion or no religion into His Heaven. He is a god who promotes a wide entrance, and an easy path.
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
God’s describes the one who worships a false god as such: “He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand (Isaiah 44:20)?”’