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Friday, November 30, 2012

Condemning God

People often talk about the judgment of God. They speak of it as righteous if they understand righteousness. These are the people who have come to God for their righteousness. They are the ones who have recognized Him as God. They know who He is and that He cannot become unrighteous. They know that what He does comes from what He is.

Another picture of God emerges when you get outside of this group. They see God as evil if He will only take those who have believed in Jesus. They want to see God as taking everyone. They want to see "many paths" to heaven. They want to accept all doctrines of all faiths all the time.

The god who would do this is a very confused god. This god would not know which path is right. He or she would allow everyone to find a way which may or may not come from god. Anything is okay as long as the follower of this way believes it.

So, there is a condemnation for those believers who say that Jesus is the only path to God. The world calls these people narrow minded. They see these believers as radical fundamentalists. These believers are condemned.

Of course, this is exactly what Jesus said. He said He was the only way. The whole of the Bible points toward the sacrifice of Jesus for the propitiation of sins. The non-believers don't understand this because sin has already been removed from their personal dictionaries.

Therefore, the world wants to do whatever it wants and still have eternal life. God is condemned for having it otherwise.

The whole of the Bible is one of God being particular. Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb. He didn't call everyone who was in a tomb. Moses was chosen to lead God's people to the Promised Land. Paul was picked out in a caravan of others to be an Apostle. Jesus prayed all night and chose only twelve to be His disciples. Gideon was chosen to bring his people back to faith and overcome their enemies. Abram was chosen to the the father of God's people. Each of these people were chosen out of a group of others.

Shouldn't God have chosen everyone everytime if He is to be the egalitarian god the world wishes He was? Can you see the senselessness in this?

Condemning God keeps people away from the salvation He wants them to have. They are already set in their thinking. They believe they are no better than others. They are right but they take that to mean that they cannot receive anything others might not receive. (Maybe that's where the redistribution of wealth idea is coming from. Didn't we call that communism when it was done in other countries?) Thus, we have become a society which wants everyone to have everything.

All people have equal value to God. The same blood of Jesus was paid for each person for their salvation. There was no extra blood spilt for anyone. Yet, not all people will receive the same things from God because many will reject His gift.

And the amazing thing is that they condemn God even though it is they who have rejected Him.

So, I continue to tell people with all the love of God within me that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Some people call me narrow minded. Others condemn me for it. They don't realize that it isn't me that they are condemning.

And I understand God a little better. I hurt, not because of their condemning me, but because they reject the One who will bring them into a light that would change their lives forever and give them eternal life. They miss the fullness of His love. I want the best for them.

And so does God.

John 3:18-21 (ESV) 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”


Deb Willbefree said...

We little piles of dust want our control, don't we? All of the "If God were good, He'd save everyone" laments just boil down to willfulness disguised as a compassionate desire for equity.

By their own definition tho, God IS good. God has offered salvation to everyone.

It grieves me that those every ones don't understand that. With clenched fists, they stand demanding what has already been given--unwilling to open their hands to receive it.

Of course, opening their hands involves opening their hearts in surrender to the One who died to save them.

Which gets us back to your closing Scripture, doesn't it?

Deb said...

All roads lead to Rom - such a saying, many wish it applies to God and the Kingdom of Heaven.  From many, many years ago, when I was a teenager, in secondary school, I read in school history textbook about India, where a prince founded a religion called "din ilahi" (I think that was the spelling, I may have remembered the spelling wrongly). As far as I remember it, it said that all religions lead to the same God.  It was appealing to multi-religious countries like the one I was in.  It was then, many hundreds of years ago, said, that faith did not achieve that many followers that it would be sustainable.  Although, that faith or religion is not quoted by that name, in present time, the notion of all religions are leading to the same God is still commonly held by many. One of the reasons why such is somehow held by many people is because of many national preference, even propaganda, to want to foster national tolerance of multi-religious society in those countries. Because of the many national push, being under that kind of influence from young, even from the educational system, many people have conveniently used it to excuse themselves from giving much thought to whether or not, the religion they are born into, is the right faith, to connect to God. So, it is not surprising to learn that many people would view us, Christians, as being very narrow-minded, insisting that there is only one way to God, through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Of course such people are not really condemning God; they are "condemning" the Christians. They think that we, Christians, are wrong, not that God is insisting that there is only one way. "The Bible said so", is a phrase we,  Christians, commonly use and accept, but such non-believers do not hold the Bible as the Word of God. Actually, there is a text in Scripture that said, if indeed the Bible is not the Word of God, we would be the most pitiful people, to follow it, wholeheartedly!  Such non-believers, they don't believe,  but we believe the Bible is the Word of God.

As to the text quoted by Ps Prentis, the word, condemn, there in the text, has very specific meaning.  Else where it was said in Scripture that, Jesus said that He did not come to condemn; it was indeed so, for men were already condemned from The Fall, and stayed condemned until and unless they believe in the one and only way - salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  From The Fall, men was damned to Hell, and that is the meaning of the condemnation as used in the text.  And so, if one does not come into salvation, he is still damned to Hell or as said in the text, already condemned (or stand condemned).

Of course, I am not saying that there is not the category of non-believers who think and speak ill or evil of God. These are the mockers or even God-haters.

A couple of days ago, Ps Prentis put up an entry on "ashamed of the gospel"; although I did not comment on that entry, here I would like to say that one of the reasons many of us not share the gospel or avoid bringing up the good news, is that we think it divides, and we don't feel like doing that.  But the fact is that, it, the gospel, divides. The gospel splits people into two groups, those reconciled back to God, and those who are not; those no longer condemned, and those continued to be condemned; those on the highway of holiness, heading to Heaven, and those still on the route to Hell.  We can only be tactful in so many ways, but ultimately, the gospel still boils down to this great divide. I have to be not ashamed of the gospel, be prepared to be labelled narrow-minded, because the Bible said so - there is only one way.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions