Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Two Directions, But One Decision: Don't Burn Yourself!

From the time I was little, until I was almost 36, I wavered, and waffled, and floundered emotionally, morally, and spiritually, letting my ignorance, feelings, lusts, fears, and the pressures and philosophies of this world prejudice me in one direction or another. The bottom line was that I neglected God and His Word, the Bible. I will not blame anyone else for my neglect, because I am responsible for allowing myself to be inclined in those directions. I, simply, did not allow myself to trust or follow the Word of God and His Christ. Oh, I toyed with religions, philosophies, and religiosity, for decades, even the religions of atheism and evolutionism. But, I did not want any Real Authority, i.e. God, to have Supreme Authority over my life. I did not want there to be any Absolute Truth in life, either, for, deep down in my soul, I knew that I would, then, have to admit to myself that I really was accountable to God. Sometimes, I realized that I had made some serious errors, but, seldom did I really have godly sorrow over my sins. The difference being that, grieving over hurting Jesus Christ is godly sorrow, with the objective of not repeating the sin again, as opposed to being sorry or angry that one was caught sinning or somehow embarrassed by one's own sin.

My rejection of God and Truth, in those terms, allowed me to self-justify whatever I wanted to do, and to make myself believe that I was accountable to myself only. I completely rejected God's warnings about any eternal accountability. I rejected God's conviction that so often twinged my heart and spirit, as I kept on working myself closer and closer toward the brink of committing the 'unpardonable sin", which is a person's rejection of the Holy Spirit calling each of us to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. I had eagerly embraced relativism, evolutionism, modernism, and most things that allowed individuals to get away with whatever they wanted. I did whatever it required to get away with what I wanted to do, with few pangs of conscience. And, if I allowed others to get away with awful things, that would mean that I should, also, be able to get away with awful things. I did not want to admit that even my slightest infraction of the Law of God was responsible for the torture, abuse, and murder of Jesus Christ. I did not want to understand that each and every one of my sins had put Him on that cross, shedding His blood, which He so willingly gave to buy me back from my sin nature.  Romans 14:23, James 4:17, and John 5:17 all speak to this issue. 

The simple truth is that I wanted to exclude God and His absolutes, even though they are easily discoverable through His Bible, or by opening our eyes to the wonders and miracles that He creates around us every day. The Bible says that "by Him all things consist". That is a very present and ongoing concept, much like watching a movie or typing a letter on your computer screen, where the screen is refreshed continually and rapidly, bit by bit, line by line, giving us the big picture, if we are willing to sit down to view the material and interact with it.

The Holy Spirit moved the apostle Paul to say that even saved, or born again, people see, "through a glass, darkly", and I'm telling you, that, as an unsaved man, my mind was VERY darkened and prejudiced against the Will and Word of God. Yet, despite our natural human resistance to the wonders and truth of God, the Christ of God creates new things every day, even though we think that we are seeing the same old stuff. It is our natural, self-centered minds, hearts, and free will by which we choose to neglect or reject what is really happening to us and around us. When using computers, we often neglect to think of the means by which we are able to see and interact with the data that we enter and receive from them. So it is with most of us, with respect to our perceptions of, and interactions with, God... but He remembers that we are made of dust, and He still calls to us, having compassion on us, that we might seek Him and His will for our lives. It was by that very patience and mercy of God Almighty that the apostle Paul, I, and millions of others have learned to believe on and trust the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I got saved, mid-afternoon, March 15th, 1984, I realized, from having read God's Word, that my previous choices in life were mostly sinful, self-centered, and mostly God-less. I realized that I needed to admit what His Word says, that He is right all the time, AND that I am NOT. When I finally allowed His Light to come on in my head, heart, and spirit, I realized that it is my choices in life that demonstrate my sin nature; that I needed to admit to myself and God that He is right about my sin nature, and about my innate propensity to choose myself over Him and His ways; that I keep trying to be in control and run things my way. I finally realized that, though He had created me, I needed the Christ of God to dwell in me, and that I did NOT have His indwelling as some innate part of my human being, even though He had created me.

I thank God that He helped me pay attention to His Spirit, that I finally was able to realize my need to confess my sin to Him and to accept His Christ. I also learned that there is a payday that I, and all human souls, must face, IF we have not accepted the plan of salvation that God offers to us through our Lord Jesus Christ. Even Jesus spoke of the eternal consequences of rejecting that salvation. All too many religions are very willing to have you spend your precious time and money on them, tickling your ears and fantasies, by telling you that 'everyone' gets into heaven, or that you can work your way into God's favor, or that there is no payday or eternal torment. The truth of the matter is that God, His prophets, and His Christ have always clearly warned all souls of the consequences of our choices, especially our choice of whether to accept or reject His plan of salvation.  

Do not be deceived by anyone. Do not allow yourself to be distracted from your God-given mission of searching out His Truth for yourself. NO ONE else can provide for you or secure for you the salvation that God offers to you. Only YOU can search out and decide whether you want to be saved the way the God says you must be. In Matthew 16:26, we are judiciously and loving warned, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" No one else, not parent, nor priest, nor any other part of God's Creation can accomplish nor assist with your salvation than what has been accomplished in, and through, and by the singular Person of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

You and I, each, have an eternal soul that will live in Heaven with Jesus Christ, forever joyous, or in the lonely dark burning fires of Hell, forever in torment. God says that our eternal destination is our own personal choice, alone. Even Jesus Christ said that there is no other plan. He gives us all just this one life to make our decision, and by the end of this life, we will have exercised our free wills to elect which eternal destination we choose. Neither ignorance nor wishful thinking, on our part, shall stir God to change that plan, for Besides the Bible that He has given to us in print, and the Living Word that is Jesus Christ, God has written the story and the plan of salvation across all of Creation for us to see, take notice, and respond in timely fashion, before our earthly deaths. There is no Limbo, no postmortem indulgence-buyout plan, no Purgatory in which to work off one's sins, no multi-lifespan reincarnation option, no "Oops! I forgot...", or "I thought I'd have time to do it later...", or "...but, I'm a good person" clause. God holds us accountable here and now for every choice we make, including whether we choose Him and His salvation or not. Don't put off or reject the guaranteed salvation that God offers you ONLY through the self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?"

Remember who Jesus really is, and His command to each of us that we must be born of His Spirit, His way, or we shall not have nor be partakers of His eternal life in and with God
This is NOT about religion! This is NOT about being superior to anyone! This is NOT about politics or other worldly issues! This is ONLY about each person getting her life or his life squared away with God, by personal choice, for all eternity. This is about admitting to God that we are in need of His salvation and help. This is about switching sides in the war between God and the corruption of life by our sin; leaving behind our sinful ways and allowing God to work in us, as part of His family from now on

God's merciful point is to demonstrate to us, and to all the world, the love and righteousness of Christ Jesus, that eternal victory is already secure in Jesus Christ, and that it is yours and mine, IF, and ONLY IF, we exercise our opportunity to choose it AND receive it in this life, even at this very moment. Once we make our required personal choice to be on His side, then, no matter whatever else evil and the world seek to do to us, from then, until He takes us home to be with Him, forever, we are in His family

In Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah 49:8, and 2 Corinthians 6:2, God clearly calls us to a very personal discussion and reasoning with Him. Will YOU answer Him, and say, "Yes!", to His Spirit's call, while it is yet, today?

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