devotional

20OCT
2012

The Beggarly God

 

     By the methodologies and worldly theologies of many rock star leaders in churches today, Jesus has been reduced to a bare minimum. Christianity has been reduced to a set of truths necessary to get to heaven when you die, and not necessarily intimate discipleship under God. Altar calls by the thousands carelessly cast salvation at the feet of anyone with a minute to spare.

           I sometimes think of a foul movie I saw while still unsaved called Dogma. In it, the “church” was trying to paint a happier, friendlier Jesus that would help people accept Him again. Their numbers were down, see? It was a marketing ploy that they hoped would bring in new people to the church. They designed a statue that came out to look like this one here. This, through bad theology, is exactly the kind of Jesus that many are introduced to daily in our world. He is a beggarly Jesus that pleads for acceptance. He just wants to fit in. He is modeled as a god at the beck and call of the wicked. The Bible never presents Him this way, but many are happy to do so if it’ll fill the hall. He is portrayed sentimentally as a god of infinite love who is against nothing except strife, discrimination or sadness. As a consequence, it is hard for many minds to emerge from it even through the best of teaching.

     I was reading 1 Peter 3:12 tonight that says, “…The face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Doesn’t fit the statue image, does it? How can Jesus be against those He came to save? Reader, that’s a question that makes sense one way when you hate Him and another way when you love Him. He loves, but He’s also holy; that’s our problem. Our problem is that He is good. Some Christians would call it blasphemous if you said to them that God is against evil people, Psalm 7:11; Deuteronomy 32:41; Revelation 14:10-11; John 3:36, et al. Even if they were to read it in their Bibles they’d assure themselves that you’re just negative for saying such things. “You must have misinterpreted the phrase,” they’d say. After all, their pastor never talks that way. God is against those who do evil. He made a hell during creation week for sinners and fallen angels. God is against fornicators. Not fornication only. There is no fornication in hell, only fornicators. God is against homosexuals. Not homosexuality only. There is no homosexuality in hell, only homosexuals. God is against murderers, or pro-choicers. Not abortion only. There is no abortion in hell, only those who do it or approve of it. It’s hard for many to see God because of their false gods. It’s mostly Christians reading this who will wish I’d spent the majority of the time first talking about the grace, love and mercy of God. “Enough,” they say. Get to something “godly” already. I understand. I’m a product of our time too.

     Many are accustomed to making Jesus little more than a lost puppy outside in the cold just waiting to come in and live with anyone who’ll give Him the time of day. We’ve invented the perversion that teaches that salvation is so sure on God’s part that when you pray we can tell you you’re saved because you’ve, “Made a decision.” Instead of fruit as proof of God at work in a soul, we look to decisions. We’re telemarketers playing a numbers game and we pretend that God works that way. God does not call a thousand to get a hundred follow-ups to secure ten inquiries to save one. He has predestined His sheep from before Adam was made and we now work to bring them in for Him, Ephesians 1:4-6; Romans 8:29-30.

     The Jesus who pleads for the acceptance of the world does not exist. He’s a lie. Satan is quite content to have that Jesus and his puny faith presented. It is because of the grace of God that God accepts sinners.

     I’ll close with this thought. I’ll do so because it goes against the false Jesus so well, and I hate Satan. Some call it downright blasphemy if I say that there are some men that God does not want to save. Scripture teaches that there are some who God shows Himself so against that He works to bring eternal destruction upon them. These are some God does not want to save. These are real people at a real time. Perhaps we are in this boat today: “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness,” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12. If God wants these men saved it’s my contention that He would not be sending them strong delusions to damn them. I’m terrified of the finality of God’s judgment, yes. I’m also terrified to not remind those I can of such things from time to time. See also Romans 1:28.

     Jesus is the Savior of all mankind. He is rich in mercy. He demonstrated this on the cross. If you trust Him, follow Him. Learn of Him. Repent and keep repenting. Your sin has destroyed you. Christ died on the cross to forgive sinners like you. He lived, died and rose again to save liars, thieves, gossipers, drunks and sexually immoral people. The church is filled with former sinners like this, 1 Corinthians 6:11. We’re still sinners, but man are we not the same. We were changed by fear and love. Jesus is Savior. You must come to Him on His terms. Believe and you will be saved, Romans 10:9-13. This promise is for the rest of your life. 

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