Tuesday, September 20, 2016

No Middle of the Road

Galatians 1:6-7 - I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

The sermon Sunday was called Enemies of the Cross. This can refer to a couple things. There are some clergymen who, like the scripture above says, pervert the Gospel. They preach half a message...that of the grace, mercy and love of God without mentioning that He is also a God who will one day judge. (We can avoid that judgment by receiving Christ.)

Some of these men might suggest that saying a "sinner's prayer" is all one needs to do to be saved and granted eternal life. They don't take it a step further and mention that you need to turn away from sin. Oh, heavens, don't talk about sin! You'll lose members of your church. They might tell you being a better person and doing good works is all that is needed. This is an enemy of the cross. They do not tell the whole truth. 

I'm going to take a different route based on words our pastor used. But let me share a handful of his words: If you don't serve God, you serve the devil. There is no middle ground. There's no gray area. It's all or nothing.

It's like a rock vs. sand. A rock is stable. You can stand on it. You will sink in sand. You can stand firmly on the Words of God but you have to believe them first, then obey His commands. Stand firm in Christ. Without that firm foundation of Christ you will fall, sink. Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock...But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand... (Matthew 7:24,26)

You either have Jesus or you do not. You believe and have faith with all your heart or you only believe with your mind and your faith is in something or someone else. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. (1John 5:20)

You are either a friend of Jesus or you are His enemy. Enemy may seem like a strong word, but it's not my word. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4)  An adulterer here means one who is faithless toward God or ungodly. The world represents those who do not live a life for Christ.

You either believe the truth of God's Word or you believe lies. No in between. No picking and choosing what we want to believe. We might fail due to misunderstanding of the Word. But to say it's nonsense and think that some things don't apply today is a lie the enemy wants us to hang on to. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. (John 8:45)

We either believe that it is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved or we believe our works will save us. The first part is accurate, not the second. Jesus did all that was needed when He died on the Cross. To think we can add to that is pride. We think we are good enough in our own abilities and do these works in our own determination. Won't work. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)  Grace and faith in Jesus only. 

The Bible tells us things that seem strange. It tells us we are to die now to receive life. The world thinks if they don't know if they are going to heaven, they might as well enjoy life today. (I used to think hell was life on earth...and then when I died came heaven!) The thing is...we can know if we are going to heaven today...if we believe, follow and trust in Christ. We give in to Him (which is not some horrible thing) and learn His truths, live them out, have His Spirit in us and be lead by Him. It's not torture! If we die now, we will have eternal life later. If we do not, we will not. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)  Believing in our heart, not in our mind.

We either have life now in Christ or we live our everyday lives in death. When we receive Christ we receive life. If we do not we are living in sin. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)...  (Ephesians 2:4-5)

We either live in victory in Christ or we are living in defeat. The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1Corinthians 15:56-57)

So, it's either Jesus or the devil. Black or white...no gray area. It's a hard word and one which I was rebellious about more than half my life. Then I received Christ, His Spirit filled me and I began to know Him and learn more about Him through reading and studying His Word. That Word brought life to me. That Word being Jesus and also His written Word. Submit to Him, acknowledge Him and He will teach you. He wants to. Doesn't matter where you are in life, your age, social status, nothing. He is there for all people who want to believe and know Him. 

Romans 10:8-11 - But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

No comments:

Post a Comment