“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”
Yesterday, for some reason, God put on my heart Isaiah 33:22, “The Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.” That led into an examination of our free will which, for everyone, chooses anything but the true and living God. Because God’s standard is perfection, his judgment of our behavior is condemning. We ended yesterday pondering why. If humankind was so corrupt that he sent a flood to wipe out everything and it ended up the same anyway, that all mankind will end up in the lake of fire, if God knows all things, why would he do it? I mean, let’s be honest, hell will be no picnic. Every single human will end up there. Why would God bother with such an experiment?
That’s a fair question, and one that often gets matters of religion tossed into the garbage can by many. It just doesn’t seem to make sense; it doesn’t seem rational. Others will say that there is a god but describe him using presuppositions that suit their particular image of god. In other words, they do exactly what Romans 1:23 accuses them of: “and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” You will know this when people say, “Well, I think God is…..” That’s an opinion and is Romans 1:23. For them, God is a thought developed in their mind with attributes they desire.
But don’t we all do that? Yes, we do. However, we don’t have to go about this without a framework of reference. We have a book, the bible, that goes into great detail to describe God and his creation. However, most will dismiss it all or in part for any number of reasons. The plain fact is that the bible is exactly the opposite of what they claim. The problem is that they don’t like what it says. So, they pick and choose, accept and ignore, and so forth to suit their needs. All this is in some effort to legitimize sin. Many of today’s churches are justifying all sorts of sexual sin by doing just that.
There is no good reason to disregard even parts of the bible, and we will all be held accountable for our behavior regarding it. There is more evidence to the trustworthiness of the bible than one needs, with more being added all the time. That’s a topic for another day. Yet, most won’t accept it. A couple verses come to mind:
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Those who are born-again have had their eyes opened and are able to discern the gospel. God himself will teach us.
John 6:45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me –
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Nehemiah 9:20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst.
1 John 2:26-27 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you receive from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie – just as it has taught you, abide in him.
Certainly, we see lots of abuse and sometimes blatant fraud regarding people who claim to be speaking God’s word and don’t. Sure, there can be truth with the lies. Satan, himself, is an expert at twisting scripture to his wicked, evil ways. Those of us who are genuine believers are able to spot a false teacher.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Believers don’t know everything, nor do we have all the answers. However, we, too, must give account for our actions. If we have the ability to understand yet don’t bother learning, we, too, will fall into error and do the devil’s work. Furthermore, we are wise to learn from teachers, but we will also be held accountable to make sure that what we learn is true. We may hear unknown lies, but we have no excuse to remain deceived. Furthermore, one must be very careful when teaching – for we are warned.
James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
Folks, the bible is full of answers. It is our responsibility – and privilege – to study and discern. We have no need or excuse to be ignorant. Yes, it takes time, lots of time, with your nose in the bible. But, tell me, is that such a bad thing?
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
I haven’t forgotten about the question we started with. We’ll get to that tomorrow. We had some groundwork to cover first.
Father, please let me relate truth. If I stray from it, please correct me quickly. I desire nothing but truth. If I should teach anything contrary, let it be quickly forgotten by those who read it. I pray that believers will test my words. I also pray that those who don’t believe will be pierced in their hearts so that they might become born again. Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers