How many times have we said that we couldn’t wait for 2020 to be behind us? And now it is behind us, and what has changed? Snow, ice, and horrible storms have already hit this country. News continues to depress us, and COVID-19 is still killing people and raising havoc. Depression, anxiety, and suicides are at an all-time high. Is there hope?
Circumstances will always dictate the pulse of a godless culture. For the Christian, circumstances are seen as distractions and do not take away our hope in God. They never cloud God’s vision or distract Him from accomplishing His plan because He has given us access, through His Son, to His wisdom and His peace that passes all understanding. It is available to all who seek after God. We all have a clear choice as to whom we will listen and follow in a culture that has lost its mind.
“Our worship is not a response to how Jesus makes us feel. Our worship is a response to Jesus’ worth regardless of how we feel.” Voddie Baucham
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1,2).
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Wide and easy ways lead to destruction. It is way too easy to follow the crowds, even in churches, which leads to destruction. So much of the teaching inside churches focuses on those things people want to hear that make them feel good and align with their own will and values. Christian leaders and pastors are hesitant to preach the gospel. When we believe, God calls us to die to our sinful selves and humbly follow God by loving and obeying Him as we love others by serving them.
Living in a godless culture where Satan is the Prince of this world, people do whatever they feel like doing and call it “good” when God calls it “evil.” Sin is dismissed as something that only Christian extremists embrace. Anything goes; sexual immorality, lying, stealing, and murder are justified by their own rules. Many who identify as “Christians” embrace the idea that it is OK to sin because God has forgiven them making them free to do whatever they choose. That is what happens when people do not embrace a solid biblical worldview.
If we are waiting for things to get better before we have a sense of God’s peace and joy, we are waiting in vain. If we think that a COVID-19 vaccine will cure all future illnesses, we are mistaken. If we believe that God is OK with “Christians” that are not following Christ and want to please only themselves, He is not. To disobey God and think that there are no consequences for sin is a fatal misunderstanding of God and His Word. The reality is that God is way more terrifying than we think. He is our righteous Judge and will punish sin in ways we cannot, as humans, begin to imagine.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
Moses encountered God. “Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God” (Exodus 3:6)
Isaiah saw God and shook with terror. “And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5)
Skeptical Peter learned of God’s power and love when God taught Peter a lesson in obedience. “And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:4-8).
Who are we to diminish Him? God is HOLY. He is not like you. Life is short, and after we die, we will all be under judgment by our righteous God. He is not interested in how often you attend church, how many verses you can memorize, nor how many Bible studies you attend. When a person believes that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, who died for your sins, he will be saved. The proof of salvation is how you live out your life. If you are God’s child and love Him, you will obey God to show Him your gratitude for what He has done for you.
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:26-31). When we choose the narrow way, no matter the circumstances, we will have peace and the hope of eternal life with Jesus where there is no more sadness, sickness, loneliness, or evil. As Holy and Righteous as our God is, He loves you more than His vengeance and judgment. The great I AM is calling all of us to come to Him, know Him, and believe. His gift to you is love, forgiveness, and hope, not only in 2021, but for eternity!