15. Sep, 2016

Living by the rules, 2

We are all sinners and have all gone astray. If William Wilberforce had said who are we to judge, how long would have slavery lasted? If Paul had not told the people they were sinners would we have the letters of the Bible? When Yeshua said repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand was he being judgmental or condemning? I suggest He was judging the action of the people so they would not fall under condemnation at the end of their lives.

“Neither do I condemn you”, He said to the lady caught in adultery but He did say “Go and sin no more.” [John 8:11] Yeshua did say, “I have not come to judge the world.” [John 12:47] This is where most people stop reading but if we read on into verse forty-eight, Yeshua continues; “My word will judge them on the Last Day.” Words He spoke clearly showed people were and are sinners, for example - “You have made my Father’s house into a house of thieves.” [Matthew 21:12-13] For this the people wanted to kill Him there and then.

There has been a move over the last thirty years within the Church, if a person brings up that we have sinned, they are shut them up with “You are being judgmental” I have heard Pastors stop in the middle of a sermon and proclaim, “I'm not being judgmental” as if to apologise for what he is about to say. Of course as soon as they make that statement of apology they lessen the importance of their message. If the Lord has put something on ones heart to speak, are we not telling God He is wrong if we apologise for the message we bring? Are we to listen to God or man? [Acts 5:29] 

Do we run around telling people that they are sinners? Of course not, first we have to examine our own hearts. However there are times we do have to speak out. If a Pastor does not speak out about the sin they may encounter within the Church, are they Pastors or just the leader of the fellowship?  Paul spoke out about sin and with such statements as: They are eternally condemned if they teach wrongly”. Several new printings have now replaced the words eternally condemned with a lesser version of, ‘be under God’s curse.’ I wonder in today’s Church would the letters of Paul ever be accepted as part of scripture? Because Paul also wrote, “Remove them out from among you for what they are doing”. [1 Corinthians 5:9-13]

Yeshua spoke to the people and told them to turn from their sin, [Mark 1:15] the First Testament condemns sin [Deuteronomy 24:15] the Father condemns sin.  [Exodus 33:20] We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God, [Romans 3:23] and the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin so we will repent. [1Timothy 4:1] Question, if sin is condemned what does that mean to the people who continue to sin because they state they are saved by grace?

All effects of sin have been done away with on the cross, so there is no condemnation for those in Messiah. [Romans 8:1] But surely this means we have to stop sinning as there is no further sacrifice; [Hebrews 10:26] it is finished the job of salvation is complete that's it there is nothing more the Lord can do. [John 19:30] He has paid the Bride Price, the highest price possible. There is nothing more that can save us. Does this mean we can continue to live as if we are in some protected bubble that anything we do in the future will be disregarded no matter what we do or say? Surely not as we have to stand in front of the judgment seat of God and be judged on the actions of our lives [Romans 14:10] and I would suggest this of our actions after we are saved. Yeshua particularly prayed for believers that they would remain in Him. [John 17:13-21]

The world is full of sin and the Church has to face up to the fact it is full of redeemed sinners and we slip up. This means the Pastors have to deal with any outward sin and not sweep it under the carpet, because this is why people go to Church, to be cleansed. If we fail to face up to this then the ways of the world could and have in many cases, taken over the Church. [2 Timothy 4:4]

Yeshua is returning and what will He find? People living as in the days of Noah, [Luke 17:26] or people living with the love of God? [1 Peter 2:16]  Will he find people trying to live in the knowledge of the truth of the Word and totally following in the footsteps of Yeshua? [Romans 15:5] Yes Yeshua is returning and is coming for those who have not placed their hand to the plough and looked back. [Luke 9:62] He is coming for those who once started on the narrow road [Matthew 7:14] and neither wandered to the left or the right. [Proverbs 4:27]

How arrogant I must be if I could think for one moment, that now I am saved, it does not matter what I do, because the Lord will look the other way. That is not the God I gave my heart to all those years ago. I gave my heart to a God who cares for me, loves me and wants me to live a life truly for Him. This means I am to live a life worthy of what the Lord did on the cross for me. That is to love Him, to know Him and to serve Him in this world so I can prepare to do these things in the next. The late Lance Lambert once said, “People want to rule with Yeshua in heaven but they can't even control their dogs in this world.” A bit hard you might say, but this life we have been given is not for our pleasure but we have it to have but one chance to please God.

We are here to please our Creator and please Him we should by living the life Yeshua created the day He died on the cross. Free from condemnation the day we stand before Him. Free from the things of this world because what Yeshua did lifted us above worldly things to bring us into God’s Kingdom, first on earth [Matthew 6:10] and when that day comes to be with Him in heaven. All we do and all we say, surely must be suitable for both worlds.

We are saved by grace but our lives must reflect that grace and always remember the pain, agony and humiliation, which our Lord suffered to extend that grace to every person on the planet, past present and in the future. He was beaten He bled and suffered like no other being that has ever lived. Can we really turn our backs on this suffering by saying it is OK if I sin I am saved by grace?

 

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away. And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence. Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief. If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied. By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:7-12