“Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” John 8:47 ESV
— Jesus —
When you hear the words of God, what is your response?
Are you confused? Do you rationalize; disregard; take them as anything but literal? Do you argue with God to make His words say what you want to hear, as the Pharisees argued with Jesus? Or do you hear and accept them for what they truly are?
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NASB
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me
Mark 7:1-13 NASB
“The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) The Pharisees and the scribes *asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them,
“Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’
“Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”
There are many in the Church today who not only endorse, but support such social issues as Abortion, Adultery, Homosexuality, Same-Sex Marriage, Sex Outside of Marriage, etc. They say that we all have the inherent right to choose how we will live our lives. If one wants to have an abortion, that’s their rightful choice. If one wants to be homosexual, that’s their right. After all, they were born that way right? Or maybe you’ve fallen out of love.. If so, there’s nothing wrong with parting ways with your spouse and finding someone new, who you truly love and who makes you happy. Aren’t all people endowed by their creator with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Well, the United States Declaration of Independence certainly says so, but the God of creation has issued no such statement. God calls these things what they are: sin.
What about free will? There is no question we were created with the ability to make choices. And having this ability, does logically impart the right to choose. Nevertheless, having this right does not excuse us for the choices we make; nor does it negate the consequences of our choices. Just as having the right to choose whether or not to have an affair does not prevent our spouse from consequently choosing to divorce us.
But this post is not about abortion, or sexuality, or extra-marital affairs. It is about God’s Word. And bottom line, if you call yourself a Christian and live your life -or build your belief system- on anything that is contrary to God’s Word, then you need to re-examine whether or not you are of God.
Am I judging? No.. the Word of God judges. We see above what the Word of God has to say, and there are many more scriptures like this.
There is a clear division forming in the Christian church today when it comes to loyalty and adherence to God’s Word versus acquiescence to man’s laws, traditions, sinful conduct, etc:
- Those who misrepresent God’s word by judging and condemning sinners who don’t yet know Christ.
- Those who pervert God’s word by joining sides with sinners who don’t know Christ, in the name of godly love and tolerance.
- And those who honor God’s word by lovingly reaching out with the gospel to sinners who don’t know Christ; while being careful to remain firm in His word when pressed to take a stand.
As deception continues to grow and pervade our world and churches, we must choose to which camp we will belong. I do not advocate taking a public stand alone over societal ills. It does no good to try to legislate or intimidate people into a standard of behavior if they don’t know Christ. It will not save them and it does nothing to tame the sinful nature.
We must look to examples such as Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach, Abednego (and the list goes on) when determining how we should live out our faith in what is rapidly becoming a godless world. These men did not publicly denounce or judge the societies in which they lived. They did, however, refuse to conform to the godless and idolatrous practices of those societies. They remained true to their God in all circumstances; firmly and decisively standing on His side, no matter the consequence. And in doing so, they were compelling witnesses to God’s holy standard and preeminence over all the earth.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.