December 01, 2017
I love that the Bible, and Bible writers under God's inspiration, are straightforward. Here's an illustration from the Apostle who Jesus loved, John.
The one who says, ""I have come to know Him,"" and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. (1 John 2:4-5)
Alllriiighty, then. A ""liar."" There you go. Straight up.
AN EPIDEMIC OF DISOBEDIENCE
... is raging in our land and, sadly, even in many churches. We are masters at rationalizing and redefining sin. We describe people who are in immorality as simple ""living together."" It sounds nice and harmless, even good. What’s wrong with “living” and doesn’t everyone want to “live together” with someone?
Perversions of the worst kind are labeled ""sexual misconduct."" Sounds fairly sterile. And, people who have had a lifetime of ""slips"" with no intention of repentance often loudly proclaim that they are Christians.
Anger and unforgiveness become, “He’s a little upset (you know he’s been under a lot of stress”). Polygamy is choices, rebellion is freedom, and gluttony is just a big appetite. And on and on. Nothing like a redefinition to pacify our conscience.
John has dealt in his first chapter of 1 John with the fact that everyone sins—even followers of Christ. But, here is the point of the whole book: If you know Christ, there is a foundational change. You cannot continue to live a life of rebellion against God. In fact, you don’t even want too. You may fall, but you will repent and return to Him in time.
I've often said to folks that if you put a true believer’s life on a graph, you would see constant highs and lows; periods of victory and failure. But, if you look across the course of their life through the years since they were born again, you would see the ""mean average"" trending upward, heading towards God. Followers of Christ follow Christ.
That is not because of their power, or goodness, but is a testimony to the fact that they are new creatures with Christ's Spirit living on the inside. And that changes everything.
Christians obey Christ's commandments. Not perfectly, but increasingly across the course of their lives. They have ""besetting sins"" they struggle with, some for a long time. But they love and long for Christ and are pursuing Him and a life of holiness because it's in their nature.
LET’S GET REAL
If you have no intention of really following Christ, don't fool yourself, which would be a tragic, eternal mistake. You probably are not a Christian. Hopefully, this straight up, no-nonsense understanding, and the prospect of spending eternity in one of two places, will awaken you to your need of Christ.
Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord (like a drowning man who recognizes his total inability to save Himself and cries out in desperation and faith) will be saved (Romans 10:13).
And that's the good, straight up news.
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