Isaiah 2:19 “And people shall enter the caves of the rocks And the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, And from the splendor of His majesty, when He rises to terrify the earth.”
We often hear the fear of God taught as “reverential awe,” and for Christians I think I understand why. The redeemed no longer fear judgement because we abide in God and His perfect love has cast out all fear of punishment (1John 4:16-18). But the same cannot be said of all those who are without Christ, for all who have not called on His name have the wrath of God abiding on them (John 3:36). To tell an unbeliever that the definition of fearing God is to stand in awe is a weakened and partial truth.
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.”
Part 1: Combating Universalism and Relativistic Thinking
There are two belief systems on the up rise today that often go hand in hand, called Universalism and Relativism. A Universalist typically believes that each person can find their own way to God that is right for them. They would say that most religions are based on similar truths and values, and therefore each path leads a person to God. It might be a different rendition of God, but as long as the religion assents to a “higher power” of some kind, it is all the same thing to the Universalist. Exclusivists who would say that their religion is the “only way,” would likely be frowned upon by the Universalist who seeks to include everyone in their view of heaven.
Yet many who think this way are also Relativists, so it is not fitting that they should get very worked up about the exclusivist, since after all everyone’s truth is true for them. But regardless, I have come across these people and have found they can be quite distraught by the Absolutist. He is content with every kind of truth except for that which says that there is definite absolute truth, and that kind of discussion makes him feel unnerved. So to be clear: Relativists absolutely believe that whatever you believe to be true is good and true for you and that there is absolutely no absolute truth. What you believe is right for you, and what I believe is right for me.
Do you find yourself confused? I sure do. I cannot reason how to intelligibly write about a subject that defies basic logic. I suppose I could argue against this from a philosophical perspective, and that would be good. But instead, I am going to address this from scripture to explain to the reader why Christianity is indeed exclusive and to what extent. Continue reading
True Christianity is under attack. It is under attack in so-called churches and by so-called ministers of light; it is under attack by New York Times bestsellers, by the mainstream media, and the by popular philosophies that drive today’s thinking. The world hates the true Jesus Christ. There is for many of them a God in Heaven they love, who has made the exaltation of man His highest goal, but when faced with the true God of the Bible and His heart piercing Son Jesus Christ they will certainly cower.
Christianity doesn’t need rescuing. Through all ages God has faithfully preserved His word and a remnant of those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. I have no fear of God’s plans being thwarted by man’s cunning. I do however fear when I think of the millions of lost souls who are puffed up under these false teachers, and encouraged by worldly philosophies to renounce what the Bible clearly teaches. Continue reading
Does sin tire you out? I mean really? Do you know what it feels like to groan along with creation “as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23)? You go out in the world and everywhere is sin. It’s in your ears, it’s in your view; you aren’t looking for it but it is looking for you. Do you relate? I become so weary and tired of sin.
It’s not only out there, it’s within. And this I find to be even more tiresome. How much I relate to the apostle Paul who said “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing (Romans 8:18-19).” Your words tumble out of a tongue that seems set on fire by hell, your motives get skewed, your excuses get wimpy, and you say you want to make changes but a little laziness just seems to take over. Your desires are lacking, your passion is up and down, and your appetite for the Word of God is much weaker than it should be. You know the good you ought to do but do not do it and sin. It’s me. How I want to change. How I want to be more like Jesus Christ. Continue reading
Part 1: My Cause and My Defence
Matthew 7:16 “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
I have had a passion stirred within me this morning to write about a matter that has been grieving me for a long time. The matter is the movies that professing Christians watch that are corrupted by the bad fruit of blasphemy, adultery, crudeness, homosexuality, prostitution, grotesque violence, or any other imaginable sin. I am not assuming that there are people know who watch these things; I have heard professing Christians talk openly, and unashamedly about sin that is in the movies they watch. As I think about it my hands shake and I feel like breaking down in tears. I say this so that you will know that I am writing from the heart, and that I am truly concerned and grieved in the Holy Spirit.
In writing this I know that two labels will come into the minds of many readers regarding me. One, that I am a legalist. Two, that I am self righteous. Let me address this. Continue reading
God is an emotional God. His book is an emotional book. Yet it would seem to me that there are many professing followers of Jesus Christ who seem to lack emotional responses to Him, to His word, to each other, and to sin in themselves and in the world. Yet, I have also known those who can jump up and down in a worship service, and weep and wail whenever it seems appropriate, yet they live in unrepentant sin and have little understanding about the God of the Bible. Continue reading
Who has loved me more than Jesus, when He bore my sin away? As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed my transgressions from me. Oh what a Saviour! Mighty Redeemer is He! He took my shame and bore God’s wrath to set this captive free.
And now what friend do I have like Jesus, who at sun down watches over my sleep? He keeps account of my tossings; He puts my tears in His bottle, are they not all written down? Who knows my frame like the Lord does? He remembers that I am but dust. He does not keep His anger forever, or treat me as my sins deserve. What rest I have in Jesus! He who keeps me in the palm of His hand will never leave me or forsake me. If I am faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
I love You so my Jesus, who hears my every prayer, who treats me with compassion, who covers me with care. Even in the darkness His word is a lamp unto my feet and I know that He is working out His perfect will for me.
Who gives hope for the future like Jesus? The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, but blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.
Jesus Christ, my friend and Lord, I know that He is coming swiftly. Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay. He who has overcome death is coming, He who destroys the power of sin is coming, and He who has loved me from the foundations of the world- He is coming.
Psalm 73:4 “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.”
My greatest, and most overriding desire in all forms of trials I face, is no longer that they would be removed but rather that they would not be wasted. If God would be pleased to use suffering to make me more like my Lord Jesus Christ, and if He would refine me in the fiery trials in a way that would bring Him glory and draw men and woman, boys and girls to Him, then I will rejoice in my sufferings. I might trip and fall along the way, and find myself in doubt and sorrow, but this I know: by Christ’s power He will be certain to bring me back to a place where I can rejoice and thank Him, even for my pain. This I know, because He has done it for me time and time again and because His word assures me it is true.
I may sound bold, and strong to say this, but I can assure you I am the farthest thing from it. If you knew how fiercely I have fought in the past against temptation, and how close I have come to caving in to it and heeding the advice of Job’s wife “Curse God and die (Job 2:10),” then you would know that I am nothing but a weak and empty vessel, in desperate need of God. The only reason I can say such things as above is because of the slow and painful work God has done in me.
How pleased I am that God saw fit to bring trials into my life, when I thought that I was strong, and when I stood in shallow faith. What a gracious and awesome God I serve, that He would treat me like a daughter! I thank God that He would not withhold from me that which “for the moment…seems painful rather than pleasant, but later…yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). Continue reading
This is my world, but it is not my home. As if constantly walking against the rushing tide, or a fearsome rage of wind, onward I press one step at a time. Dare I not look back at all the crowds of people, who bustle about laughing, easily carried by the wind as if it was a thrill to be tossed to and fro; They are enemies of the cross of Christ, with minds set on the things of my world, and little do they seem to know their perilous state.
But may my eyes be fixed, steadfastly on the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Yes though it may be blurry in the distance, the rain beating wildly and gray in front of it and the devils pushing and prodding at all who walk this path; Yes, though it lies beyond a narrow gate and a restrictive road, may I fix my eyes securely on that prize!
May I not look back, lest I be found not fit for the kingdom of God, and in so looking back prove that my desires are for this world and not for Heaven with my Lord! Continue reading