The Love of God

There’s a post going around that I’ve seen a couple of times now. It says,

“To the woman who is pro-life,
You are loved beyond measure

To the woman who is pro-choice,
You are loved beyond measure.”

It continues on with “To the woman who _,
You are loved beyond measure.”

This post shares a partial truth, but not the whole truth. Imagine, for a moment, if it read,

“To the person who is against racism,
You are loved beyond measure

To the person who is racist,
You are loved beyond measure.”

Or

“To the person who is moral,
You are loved beyond measure

To the person who is immoral,
You are loved beyond measure.”

The partial truth remains the same, for each person IS loved beyond measure, by God. However, the post ignores the fact how much God hates our sins. His love for us never ignores the hideousness, injustice, and guilt of our sins. His love for us is never separated from the atoning work of Christ.

It is true, each of us is loved beyond measure, but it’s not true that God loves us “as we are,” in the strictest sense. No, but “God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4). Elsewhere, we’re told that God “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

The aforementioned post ignores the fact that while persons are loved beyond measure (this is true), but no one is redeemed and heaven bound based simply on this love. Indeed, it is vitally important that each of us knows we are so deeply loved by God; however, this love is meant to help us see the seriousness of our sins (we’re separated from God and hell bound), to direct our attention to Christ who bore the penalty of our sins, granting us the opportunity to repent (turn away from our sins) and to respond to this life-transforming love.

This love “beyond measure” is only of value if it is responded to. Otherwise, such love is merely wasted. God’s love is never meant to leave us unchanged or to feel warm fuzzies in the mire of our depravity. Rather, His love is always intended to bring us to Christ and to be conformed into His likeness (see Romans 8:29). To miss these truths is to miss the whole point of the value of God’s love. We’re loved because of God’s grace, not because we’re “lovable.” His love is meant nothing less than to drive us to repentance and find true life in Christ.

The SBC, Phinehas, and the Glory of God

It’s difficult to put into words everything surrounding the recent news about the Southern Baptist Convention and the Guidepost findings. It will sound strange, but I feel a mixture of sadness, anger, and a tinge of apathy. I feel sadness for all the victims of sexual abuse, both for being abused at all but then to be stonewalled, ignored, and/or bullied after the fact. I feel angry about ministers–some of whom I once admired and trusted–betrayed so many. Telling us little people how to live the Christian life, all the while dismissing some foundational issues of the Christian faith (namely, love, purity, and faithfulness). Furthermore, the way in which the behaviors have tarnished the reputation of God and so many wonderful men, women, and teenagers who truly do honor Christ. And as for apathy, some are concerned about the future of the SBC. Understand, there was a time when I was proud of this denomination (ask my wife). But over the years, repeatedly I saw church and national politics enter and muddy the, what should have been, pure waters. But I make no bones about it, the SBC is not what died for my sins or saved my soul. Only Jesus has done these. But over the last several years, a lot of sinful junk has crept in and divided this denomination from nearly all sides. Whatever happens to the SBC, even if it comes to ruins and is forgotten, Christianity will continue on, and so will Jesus Christ and His gospel.

One of the areas which Christians must not ignore is that of sexual purity. Yet, this very area is being neglected in many churches (as well as in other denominations), whether the liberal churches defending homosexuality and transgenderism (the Bible clearly condemns both, regardless of anyone’s opinions on the matters), or conservative churches with persons secretly watching pornography or getting involved in illicit conduct (and let us be clear, so-called “consensual” is not going to fly in the presence of God–especially when violating someone through manipulation and fear). Understand, I’m not speaking as one who is somehow above anyone else. We are created as sexual creatures. Nevertheless, like any other emotion or make-up of our beings, we are still responsible for what we do with these. Some will argue, “Well, God gave me these passions!” Well, He gave us the emotion of anger, too, but we are not given any authority to go out and injure persons verbally, psychologically, physically, etc. We are still responsible to reel these in.

There are a few passages in the Bible I think the church needs to recapture and hold tightly to. First, consider what the apostle Paul says to one of the churches: “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as proper among saints,” (Ephesians 5:3, emphasis added). We’re not to let immorality or impurity of any kind to tarnish us.

Paul tells the young minister, Timothy, to treat older men “as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity (1 Timothy 5:1-2, emphasis added). If we, as followers of Christ, would truly learn to look at others in the body of Christ in a pure and respectful manner, we would be rid of so many problems of immorality and impropriety.

Finally, in regard to God’s specific will for all His people, we are told: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles [unbelievers] who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, emphases added).

I can give you verse after verse, from both the Old and New Testaments, concerning the seriousness God places on sexual purity and faithfulness. We, who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ, must recapture the high standard of sexual purity and morality.

I’m now going to shift gears and mention a godly man many are probably not even aware of. His name is Phinehas, and he is mentioned in the book of Numbers. To give the context, the people of Israel began entangling themselves with the people of Moab, their idolatry, and sexual immorality. The wrath of God was enflamed, and He had the chiefs of the people, who yoked themselves with Baal, taken out and hanged. Needless to say, there was a lot of grieving taking place. Nevertheless, an utter godless and defiant individual we are told of, in the sight of his family, of Moses, and of the weeping multitude, brought a Midianite woman to his quarters to have sex with her. This was no less than giving God and the grieving people the middle finger. Ah, but then comes the hero of the passage. Phinehas “rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them … the plague of the Israel was stopped” (Numbers 25:7-8).

Why do I mention this event? No, we are not called to impale persons. The reason I mention Phinehas is because here was a man who was in tune with what was going on around him (the judgment of God, the loss and grieving of the people, the sheer defiance and ungodliness of this man and woman, and the glory of God). What mattered to Phinehas was the glory of God, the peace of God, and God’s mercy for his people). Where are the Phinehas’ today? Where are the men and women who are not concerned about culture’s opinions, or even their own personal desires? Rather, their hearts are consumed with God being honored and magnified, and to be at peace with Him? Where are the men and women who truly understand so much of what we are seeing today–including the Guidepost reports–are expressions of the judgment of God?

Those who stand as pastors and teachers, those who claim to be called to be shepherds of God’s people (and let us be clear, these are God’s people–they don’t belong to any pastor or teacher), are representatives of God. This is not trivial. In fact, Jesus warns, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). This warning is just as much for SBC pastors with ”Dr.” in front of their names as it is for any of us. Oh church! Where are the men and women who are consumed with a passion for God’s glory? How have we become a people who seem more concerned with our little empires of crap rather than the sheep and little lambs of His pasture? How have we become more concerned about our reputations rather than God’s?

God have mercy on us and revive us. Oh God, please have mercy. Grant healing for those who have been wounded by those who were to nurture and protect them. Grant repentance throughout the church body. Please forgive us for dishonoring Your great name. Please bring healing and restoration. Not for us, but to Your name be all the glory. Amen.

That I May Discern Between Good and Evil

The New Testament says the events in the Old Testament serve as examples for people today. Therefore, we should be very cautious of modern preachers who dismiss and criticize the Old Testament, saying it’s been done away with because of Christ (who declares that He did “not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets … but to fulfill them” [Matthew 5:17]) and is now irrelevant.

One of the things we would be wise to consider is the tendency of the people of old to dismiss God’s instructions and trying to combine idolatrous practices with the worship of God. And when tragedy occurred, there was the impulse to trust in the wisdom of men rather than turning and inquiring of God.

Today, do we not see the same tendencies? In many churches, crazy things are happening. People are assuming it’s of God simply because it’s “miraculous,” despite the fact such manifestations are not recorded in the Scriptures as being from God (e.g., “gold dust,” convulsions, etc.). There has also been an increase in persons in churches promoting Eastern mysticism and New Age occultism, such as enneagrams, yoga, and goddess worship. We must not dismiss the fact that the New Testament explicitly warns us that the time will come when “some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1)

Also consider the ancient’s tendency to put their trust in the wisdom of men, instead of inquiring of the Lord, when tragedies and famines occurred. Isaiah writes, “The people did not turn to him who struck them, nor inquire of the LORD of hosts” (9:13). In other words, while the Lord was disciplining the people and trying to get their attention, the people only dug their heels and refused to repent of their wickedness. Come hell or high water, they would figure out a way to get out of their mess. This never played out well for them. This will never play out well for us either.

Are we not seeing these tendencies of the sinful human heart being played out all around us, even in churches? We would do well to sincerely follow young King Solomon’s prayer request when his reign began. “I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in…. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9).

How has the church become so entangled with politics and thinking our leaders can get us out of the mess we’re in? How have Christians become so trusting of their hear that they disregard the warnings of the Scriptures? May we become a humble people who acknowledge our desperate need of God’s bestowing His wisdom and help. If we continue to trust in our own wisdom and experiences, this will not play out well for us. Many might curse my “negativity,” but what do the Scriptures say? Oh, that God would grant us an understanding, that we may discern between good and evil.

Lost in God’s Own House

There is a strange occurrence during the reign of Josiah, whom we are told was a good king who “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (2 Kings 22:2). It would be humorous were it not so tragic. It was on his heart to begin doing repairs to the temple. During this time Josiah had sent Shaphan to the temple to enquire about the money collected from the people, so the workers doing the repairs could get paid. When Shaphan was conversing with Hilkiah the high priest, the priest told him, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD” (vs. 8).

To many of us today, especially who live in the Western world, we take for granted we have printed Bibles in abundance and in various languages and translations. The people then did not have such luxury. The Scriptures were carefully, tediously hand-copied and were expensive. So, it is not surprising that most households did not have copies of the Scriptures. What is surprising, however, is the fact the Scriptures—God’s Word—should have had preeminence in God’s house; yet somehow, in the midst of all the activities and religious routines, the Word of God was lost.

Many churches today are experiencing something similar. Thankfully, we have copies of the Word of God; however, there is a crucial, vital doctrine that has been lost in many churches, although it is in plain sight if people will but take the time to look. What is this doctrine? Repentance.

I have heard it said, “Don’t give me doctrines, just give me Jesus!” While this sounds pious to some, it is quite foolish. One cannot have Jesus of the Scriptures apart from doctrine because doctrines are teachings and Jesus gave us His teachings.

 While not to be considered acceptable, the situation during Josiah’s time is, perhaps, more understandable. Maybe a person had placed the Scriptures in a place to keep them safe, then this person died or moved. Or maybe someone else had come across them and moved the Scriptures to another place without telling anyone. We are not told as to what happened for the Book of the Law being lost somewhere in the temple.

Today, we do not have a legitimate excuse for having lost the doctrine of repentance. Not only should this be a basic doctrine learned by those having gone to seminary (which includes most ministers), it is repeatedly taught in the Bible—in both the Old and New Testaments! Nevertheless, one will not hear this doctrine taught in many churches. You will not read about it in many of the books filling the bookshelves of Christian bookstores. In fact, many of the authors who fancy themselves as preachers and theologians scorn the doctrine, treating it as archaic and puritanical.

So, our sin of losing the doctrine of repentance today is greater than the sin of the people losing the Book of the Law during the time of the Jewish kings. For the sin today is not simply and mistakenly misplacing the doctrine. For it is not a losing or misplacing the doctrine at all. Rather, it is a willful, deliberate casting aside—rejecting—the teaching and commandments of God.

The church must recover this crucial doctrine, blow off the dust, and begin putting it into practice. The consequences are too severe for us to ignore!

~ from the book, The Lost Doctrine of the Bible: Missing in Plain Sight, by Geno Pyse, p. 13-17.

Return to the Blessing Giver

What a time in which we’re living. I’m tired of the constant lies coming from every direction, but I’m also weary of trying to proclaim truth.

We live in a time where vices are applauded and virtues are scorned. We claim to want peace, but our words are sharp as razors and we’re always ready for a fight. 

Before the rebuilding of the wall, Nehemiah says,

As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. (Nehemiah 1:4-7)

We know our country and world is in a mess. But is it simply from corrupt governments and politicians? Does it not spiral down to us as well? Have we not also acted corruptly? As a nation, even down to communities, churches, and homes, we’ve acted corruptly. We’ve exalted immorality, we’ve suppressed truth and applauded liars, we’re entertained by violence and trampled what’s holy and sacred.

As Americans, are we really above other nations? Do we deserve better? We’ve been so blessed, despite our pushing God’s statutes aside, watering down His Word, and constantly complaining and blame shifting.

Do we honestly not deserve what’s happening in our country? We’ve scorned the Source of blessings, then are surprised when curses come? 

I write this because it needs to be written. But I know it will go unread by the masses. By and large it will be unread and unheeded. Yet, I will say it again as I’ve been saying it for some time now, we need to truly pray and seek God’s face. We need to confess the sins of our nation as well as ours and our fathers’ houses. For we, too, have acted corruptly; Yes, even those of us who profess to be followers of Christ. My faith is weak concerning persons heeding my advice. Even so, let’s not be surprised if things go from bad to worse. Why expect blessings if we kick against the Giver and Source of blessings? But if we would turn to Him, confessing our own corrupt ways, who knows what God might do to restore our land?

If My People…

“If” is a small word, having only two letters, but “if” is anything but insignificant. “If” is a conditional word containing tremendous possibilities. If this happens, then this will be these will be the results. However, if this does not happen, then these will be the results. Whatever field we are talking about, whether natural, medical, psychological, mechanical, judicial, spiritual, etc., the results can be vastly different. The differences can be a matter of bad or good, infecting or healing, breaking or fixing, chaos or peace, judgment or mercy, destructive or calmness, death or life.

The Lord tells His people in the days of old,

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14

Did you notice the if/then condition? But the Lord doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say,

But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:19-20

By now, no doubt some will be saying, “But that’s the Old Testament,” or “But God was talking specifically to the Jewish nation.” However, let me sound this truth, God is unchanging, and His principles remain constant. Furthermore, let me ask you this, since this is from the Old Testament and God was talking to the Jewish nation, should we remain proud and stiffnecked, and not pray or seek His face because we are under grace? Where do you read this in the New Testament? Do you see this in Jesus’ teachings? Or in Romans, or the letters of Peter or John? Where exactly in the New Testament are we shown we can remain in our pride, hold onto our idols, where we don’t need to seek God’s face and pray?

While I have heard preachers and seminary professors state that this promise is specifically to the Jews of old, does this mean this passage has no promise or application to us? Do the prayers of God’s people today, who are in Christ, not count for anything? This passage in 2 Chronicles has much relevance to us today. Do you not believe God would do a might work of mercy and healing throughout our nation if we, the church, as a whole organism, humbled ourselves before Him, sincerely prayed and sought His face, and turned from our wicked ways? Do you really think He would ignore us since, after all, that promise was in the Old Testament to the Jewish nation?

Let me ask you further, do you think that we are not proud and do not need to turn from any wicked ways? Do you think we have not turned aside and forsaken His statues and commandments? And do you think we are not guilty of going out and serving other gods? We are far more guilty than you realize! Consider how churches put so much emphasis in people’s degrees and natural abilities, and the way prayer is often just a casual two-minute formality; and think how the common consumer mentality infects many churchgoers. “What does this church have to offer me?” is a question often asked. Not “does this church proclaim the truth? What can offer it?” Think about how many church leaders borrow from the trends, ideologies, and pragmatism of the world, instead of abiding by the principles laid out in God’s Word. Think about how many songs in worship settings emphasize the greatness of God, not because of who He is, but because of what He has done for us and how He makes us feel. Think of songs how we say He is welcomed in His own house! Do these not all reveal the pride in our hearts?

Repeatedly the Bible tells us to love one another, to consider others as being better than ourselves, to have the mindset of Christ who humbled Himself to be as a servant. But how many pastors are genuinely servant-leaders? How many of us are known to treat others as better than ourselves? How many church splits have occurred over trivial things? (More often it has to do with persons not getting their way than it does doctrinal issues). And we are told to learn contentment, to not fall into greed, and to not love money? Yet, how many preachers use preaching to obtain wealth—even at the expense of compromising truth? And God declares in Genesis, and Jesus echoes in the Gospels, that God created two genders, male and female, and has instituted the bond of sacred matrimony between one man and one woman. Yet, we have many in churches disregarding these statutes shamelessly. The Creator God, the Giver and Sustainer of life who many claim to worship, all the while condoning abortion. The Scriptures tell us,

Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. ~ Leviticus 20:2

Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. ~ Jeremiah 32:35

Do we honestly believe we have not turned aside? Do we seriously believe we have not forsaken God’s statues and commands?

Now, concerning idolatry, do we think this is simply the abomination of Old Testament religions? “You shall have no other gods … You shall not make for yourself a carved image … You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain” (Ex. 20:3-7). The unhealthy devotion many have for football, television, and the like, by all appearances, far surpasses devotion to God. In his book, Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer notes, “Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow; they are themselves idolatrous.” So many ideas about God in many of our mainline denominations veer away clear teachings of the Scriptures. Why? Usually because what God reveals about Himself goes against what persons want to believe and hold onto. Understand, persons can change God within their imaginations all they want and however they want, but God Himself is not changed in the least. Persons can hold to their imaginations about God and trust them as true, but this is all idolatrous.

One of the modern movements, despite having a history containing numerous scandals and apostasies, is not only popular with young people, but its music is used in many evangelical churches. Let’s be extremely careful, because our acceptance of it (instead of doing away with it) can taint our own worship. For though some of the songs do appear very worshipful and honoring to Jesus Christ, some of their concerts have celebrated goddess worship (it is rather blatant if you were to watch the live presentation on a Youtube video). Speaking of goddess worship, Maria Kneas, in her book, How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution, tells of an ecumenical Re-imagining Conference held in Minneapolis, in 1993. Hundreds of those who gathered were from numerous mainline denominations. While there, the people invoked the name of Sophia, the goddess of wisdom, and even calling her Creator. Apparently (but not surprisingly) the doctrines of Jesus’ incarnation and atonement (the very central teachings of the Christian faith) were openly rejected. This is idolatry in explicit form.

Lest anyone thinks I am only addressing liberal or “progressive” (falsely so-called) Christianity, those of us who consider ourselves conservative evangelicals are not off the hook. The truth be told, we have our own pet sins, of which we don’t really consider sin, let alone evil. But all sin is evil because all sin is rebellion against God and His character, regardless how we like to dress it or what perfume we try to douse it with. Consider the sin of heartless faith. Jesus, while commending the church of Ephesus for their strong stance against sin and holding to correct doctrine, strongly rebukes them for their lack of love for Him. Jesus says,

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. ~ Revelation 2:4-5

And what about the sin of unbelief? “God doesn’t do that anymore,” some will say. Or else we mask our unbelief with, “if it be Your will,” sometimes already holding the thought that He probably won’t do it anyway. But we are told,

And [Jesus] did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. ~ Matthew 13:58

While our prayers must fall in line with God’s will and purposes, what does Jesus command? Elsewhere He says,

Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. ~ Mark 11:24

What about the sin of partiality? Let’s face it, evangelicals are pros when it comes to saying we’re on a level playing field, and that no one is truly better than another. I’ve been a Christian for about thirty years, and I’m convinced that most Christians do not really believe this. If we did, then more people wouldn’t feel so isolated or rejected in evangelical churches. Although James blatantly calls our partiality sin (James 2:9), our churches, just like the world, contain the haves and the have nots, the popular and the unpopular, the sought after and the neglected.

In his book, Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges addresses quite a list of sins the Bible condemns, while the same are too often ignored or condoned in evangelical churches. Just to mention several: ungodliness (i.e., leaving God out of our thoughts or plans), anger, ingratitude, pride, impatience, judgmentalism, anxiety, worldliness, and gossip.

My intention is certainly not to belittle the church, the people of God. Yet, is it not true that so often we can look at the world, or even other churches, wanting to take the specks out of their eyes, while being completely oblivious of the logs and cedar beams in our own? We wonder why the world is caught within a downward spiral, but how can it not be when so much of the professing church is also caught within a downward spiral of its own? I ask you today, what would happen—even if it began with small pockets across our nation—if God’s people were to get serious about their faith and profession, turning to Him, confessing all that God calls sin (taking our warped and perverse notions out of the equation altogether), and were to forsake all our various wicked ways? One thing is for certain, we won’t know unless we actually come to the end of ourselves and turn wholeheartedly to God, through Jesus Christ His Son. But to do this we must acknowledge all the logs in our eyes, filth in our minds, the flames of hell from our lips, and the stinking sewage sitting stagnantly in our hearts, and ask God to burn the logs and beams, to cleanse and sanitize our minds, to pour His living waters on our tongues, and empty and refine our hearts of all the sewage.

If God’s people who are called by His name would humble themselves, and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways, then what would happen? Let’s begin asking God to do such a work within us (as only He can do), and maybe we will see our nation and world mended in a way either has experienced in a long time.

Let Us Reason Together 

Our world, our nations, and our communities are becoming increasingly confounded and divided. Politicians continue giving empty promises with ulterior motives, and every side seems to be slow to listen but quick to anger and speak. 

Washington, Hollywood, the United Nations, universities, and the like often criticize Christianity, some even going so far to say Christians are the problem. But this seems highly unlikely, considering godless people have the most influence in our schools,world affairs, media, and pop culture. The more our nations and communities scorn Christ and indulge in vices and behaviors that break down the family and community structures, the chaotic our world becomes. This is not to be blamed on Christianity. The teachings of Christ clearly discern between right and wrong, but we are living in a time reflecting the days of Isaiah:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! ~ Isaiah 5:20

Understand, this blame shifting is nothing new. The godly have always  been accused of “cramping” other’s styles, then blamed further when godless living faces consequences. In fact, Augustine’s, City of God, is largely a response to those of the day who blamed Christianity for Rome’s fall (of course people’s decadence and rulers’ corruption couldn’t have had a part).

Nevertheless, despite the world’s (and many churches) growing scorn, hostility, and unbelief of the Bible and the God it represents, God is not indifferent or callous towards people. While He has every right to tell us, “You made your bed, now lay in it,” He does not have this attitude.  He is not aloof to our increasing guilt, shame, anxiety, or fear. Rather, what does He say?

When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~ Isaiah 1:15-20

No doubt Jesus says of the nations today as He did of Jerusalem:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate.” ~ Matthew 23:37-38

Some time ago I came across an event being promoted called, “Give Christianity the Middle Finger,” and elsewhere saw pictures of some young girls at a protest rally, holding placards which read, “We’re going to hell and proud of it.” While I won’t deny that some who profess Christ are blowhards, but what offense has God committed? Despite the behaviors of people, God remains consistent with His character and nature. And He tells us,

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? ~ Micah 6:8

Yet, our world applauds and defends injustice, delights in strife, arguing, and division, and walks proudly without God or thoughts of Him. Indeed, God is not the problem, but we are. If we would yield to Him and His ways, so many problems would seem to take care of themselves. People would look after one another and care for one another. Still, God invites us to “come, and reason together.” It is our sins that are as scarlet and staining, not His. But He can wash us and heal us. But we must first be willing to reason. Can we do this?

This article is not simply intended for the “godless,” but is just as much for modern churchgoers. Many churches and their leaders are running in various directions other than the direction Christ directs us. This is just as evil as anyone else’s resistance (Jer. 2:13).

Let us be reasonable and approach the Lord with humility. Whether we want to acknowledge the truth or not, the further we get away from Christ the more dark and turbulent our world becomes. And we only have ourselves to blame.