2Chr 24:20 NKJV Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you.’”
This is what we have to look forward to if we choose not to follow the commandment of God! Think about this just for a little bit! God offers us the kingdom, the Garden of Eden, and instead of following His directions (commands), we just go our own way. Much like a person who literally bites the hands which feeds him! We are much more likely to be given over to our carnal desires and our own wicked ways because those are the choices that we have made, and hence, given over to our own choices. Therefore, those who say, “God will not condemn a person to eternal hell because I follow a God of love!” Guess what, people? I serve a God of love, too; however, He is a wrathful God who will not judge you based upon His wavering thoughts on morality, but on His steadfast word. He will cast you and I into the pit of hell because that is the road we chose to follow throughout our lives. In order to change such a judgement upon us, we must stand before Him with a repentant heart and truly change our ways in order change our direction. Though, in the short term we will feel like we are the winners, in the long term (eternally) we will prove to be the losers for NOT following God’s commandments!
When I write these blog posts and am judgement of others…it is not of the others I am chastising, but rather my own faults. As mentioned in other posts prior to this, the bible, the Psalmist, the Apostles, and the Christ are quite clear on the matter, “…there is no one who does good, not even one.” ~Psalm 14:3 It does not matter who you are, nor does it matter what position you possess (pastor, priest, CEO, etc.) we are all sinners and we can choose to sin and violate God’s laws and commandments at any time. What is telling about each of us is whether, or not, we come back to God with a repentant heart and a change of our actions. This is how King David found his way to be the man after God’s own heart…when he was wrong, he went back to God with a repentant heart and a change of mind. Although, much like the rest of us, he would fall away through sin again, and again. But he would always return back to God with a change of mind and heart. This is what defined David, and lifted him above all other men!
Paul was rather straight forward with his assertion where he, as a slave to sin, did what he did not want to do in the Book of Romans (7:14-20), which leads us to believe our slavery is both compulsory and by choice. We are in desperate need to have a strong will and focus, in order to truly change our hearts and minds. In other words, to be truly and sincerely repentant. It is only by focusing our attention on God and His word and aligning ourselves to His word that we can truly see when we are wrong that we can sincerely become repentant before His presence. Think about THAT for but a moment…
We are also warned in the epistle of James of the following:
“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.” ~James 2:8-11
So, keep in mind that even though you are not a Hitler, Stalin, or Mao Tse Tung…you can still go to hell. If you covet (the Tenth of the Ten Commandments) you are equally guilty as a murderer, or even a mass murderer as above noted individuals. When we sin, even just a little white lie to make someone feel better, we are separated from God until we repent and change our hearts.
“But YOUR iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.” (emphasis mine)~Isaiah 59:2
We have this tendency to compare ourselves to other men, instead of God’s Commands and His will for us, because it is much easier and it also suits our needs to be justified in our own eyes. As Christians we need to step away from the “feel good” attitudes and move toward God’s word by determining His purpose and will for our lives that He should be glorified in all we do. We, as the species of man, are constantly trying to glorify ourselves! Wrong move in the long run! I say this not just to impress upon you, as well as others, but also as a reminder to myself! I go into work daily thinking about what others are doing, then I have that still small voice just nagging at me. Reminding me that “Hey, you aren’t the perfect one, either!” We all need to remember that we are judged how we stack up against God’s commands to us, not a comparison to Hitler, Stalin, or Mao Tse Tung…just remember that, it may make things easier.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” ~Romans 12:14-19 NIV
None of us are perfect in any way, shape, or form! Keep that in mind, and yes that does include pastors, priests and ministers…after all, they are human and have the nature of man in them. The only difference is pastors, priests and ministers of God’s word are held to a much higher standard than you. This message is as much for you as it is for me.
May God Richly Bless You!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD