A Scary Truth
A Scary Truth
Christianity is serious business. There is to be no fooling around, hypocrisy, lying, cheating, sexual misconduct, covetousness, or anything else that defies love.
Being Christian means that I honestly stand in awe and love of the LORD, who has loved me (Yes, me.) and saved me through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Being Christian means sincerely bowing in humble worship, acknowledging my helpless and hopeless condition, AND ACCEPTING God’s gracious gift of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life in heaven — as bought and paid for by Jesus.
Now what’s so scary about that?
There are many who attend church regularly, work zealously on committees, do all sorts of good works, etc., but deep inside they feel they’re a pretty good “Joe” or “Josephine” and that they don’t need to humble themselves before the LORD by accepting THAT gift of full salvation. They don’t need a blood payment for their sins.
With inner disdain, Joe mutters, “I’m not an unworthy sinner or a wretched, utterly destitute critter that has to accept an absolute freebie. I’m better than that. I don’t have to feel that ashamed of my sins. I do enough good things to more than make up for whatever bad I’ve done.”
So, Joe and Josephine do believe in God. That’s why they pray, go to church, and take part in activities. But, they’re often inwardly upset because God doesn’t answer their prayers as they would like. They question God’s love. Often church is a drag, especially that confession and liturgy part. All that church work is a real drain, but a person’s got to keep up appearances. They feel they are working their way to heaven.
And here is the scary part.
In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says,
“Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'”
James 2:19 adds another detail to Jesus’ eye-opening truth by stating,
“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe and shudder.”
All the demons know God is real. They’ve seen God’s heavenly glory. Their knowledge makes them shudder with revulsion. They’re afraid of the LORD. But, that doesn’t make them bow down in worship, obedience, and love. They dread their inevitable condemnation while continuing to plunge ahead in all their evil and hatred. Their pride in being allowed to defy God eggs them on to greater hatred and defiance of all that is holy. They simply don’t want the LORD to be their King and God.
Jesus said only those who do the will of the Father will be able to enter heaven. What is the Father’s will?
In John 6:29 Jesus says,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
That’s it. Honestly believe that God loves us so much that He accepts the bloody sacrifice of Jesus as the full payment for all our sins.
We need to follow God’s advice in Isaiah 1:18,
“‘Come now, and let us reason together’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.'”
Look at the putrid ugliness of sin. Never dismiss sinful thoughts or ways. It’s vital to realize the grossness of our sins. If we don’t, we won’t feel the need for a Savior. Realize we are helpless to change. Recognize that all things are possible with God. Reason with the LORD about His free plan. Accept God’s gift with humble love.
In accepting God’s gift, our hearts will change and we will love God who first loved us. Then we will understand 1 John 5:3-5,
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are NOT burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world — and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
Acceptance of free salvation enables joyful worship and service to the LORD and grants us eternal life. God knows everyone who has accepted His gift. Have you?