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Friday, March 22, 2013

Suppressing the Truth of God

I struggle with people who try to explain everything in spiritual terms. They see a yellow cab and think God is telling them they should eat bananas. Thus, they have interpreted something as spiritual which may have no meaning at all.

On the other hand I also struggle with those who refuse to see the things of God. A member of my church has a sister who had been deemed brain dead for four days. The family was brought in to see her for the last time before the machines which were keeping her alive were turned off. The woman woke up a few hours later instead and told the hospital staff that she was hungry. The woman is alive today.

A few months later I told the story of the "Lazarus" woman to a neurologist giving a lecture on brain death. His response was that the hospital staff had not done a good enough job in determining the lack of brain activity. He could not understand anything as spiritual happening He, therefore, suppressed the "truth" of the situation. He would rather believe in the incompetence of his fellow doctors and the faultiness of the machine which measured the woman's brain waves than to say that there are things that cannot be explained without some spiritual influence. He will suppress the truth of the moment to fit within his own world view.

Paul wrote:

Romans 1:18 (ESV) 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

I guess I have never thought that unrighteousness is at the core of a failure to accept the truth. I have thought of people as blank tablets on which nothing has been written spiritually. But that is not true. They know that there are things which cannot be explained within their own world view but choose to put it aside rather than consider it. They see those who believe in God as superstitiously ignorant. They continue to reject the "truth" of the gospel by demonizing the believers into being narrow minded bigots who lack compassion and cause most of the world's problems. They cannot consider the truth of the gospel because it might destroy their present world view.

Yet, God's wrath is being revealed to them all the time but they do not know it. The wrath of God is depicted as earthquakes, fire from heaven, floods and all manners of mass destruction. That is not how Paul describes it.

Romans 1:24 (ESV) 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,

Romans 1:26 (ESV) 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;

Romans 1:28-32 (ESV) 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

It is clear that God's wrath on this earth is revealed from His disconnection with those who suppress the truth. He simply lets them go their own way. He does not hold them back from unrighteousness. He lets them do whatever they please. This wrath includes their own applause of those who join them in the practices of a debased mind. Their world will come unraveled and they will bring themselves to their own destruction. God simply has to leave them alone.

It result takes a physical resemblance. The faster a person falls the longer he falls. In other words the person falling seventy-five feet is going faster than the person who has only fallen thirty feet. So, the longer the fall; the faster the fall. Can you see that in our world today? Does it seem that those things which were considered evil are appearing good more often? Can you see that those things which were aberrant are accepted and promoted today?

The grace of God is upon believers. This grace does not allow us to go our own way. It does not allow us to be given up to the sinful passions which reside within us. We are no better than those who have been given up in our potential. We are simply better because of the grace of God which holds onto us. God has not given us over.

Unfortunately, this blog will be considered a message of hate. It isn't.. The world is looking for a god who helps but never demands a righteousness that does not fit into the way the world is. "No Judgement Ever" is the world's motto. The world will promote that no matter how long it takes.

However, do you see more or less love when you travel out into the world which is being "given over" more each day?  Do you see people without hope killing others before turning their weapons on themselves? Is this more common than it was in the past? Do you really think you can explain this away by the presence of guns? Was there always this mental instability or is there a greater reason behind it all?


Anonymous said...

During the whole gun debate, I had a simple thought: It is not the presence of guns in the home that is the problem; it is the absence of God.

And it is true. The more we shut God out of our society, the more violence and the lack of regard for others will increase.

The more our society denies Him, the more we will see how much His presence had once spared us.

Keep looking up, Pastor. Grace shall much more abound. Maranatha!


Anonymous said...

"I guess I have never thought that unrighteousness is at the core of a failure to accept the truth"

This saying in the entry caused me thinking.  Unrighteousness is failure to accept the truth.  What is truth or a truth? A truth is that which is true all the times.  Something that is true, this one time, is not a truth. Even when it is true on more than several occasions, it is still not a truth.  A truth is true all the time.  A physical law like the law of gravity is a truth.  The laws of God are truths.  A law remains until it is repealed, or if it is time sensitive, when the time covered is over.  The words of God are laws.  God is Wisdom and He is Holy, and so, everything that proceeds from the mouth of God is always right; it is law and it is truth.  Yes, there was the Mosaic laws, but laws of God is more than just the Mosaic laws, it is the whole of the Word.

When we do not accept a truth, God's truth, it simply means we do not agree with God.  When we are in agreement with God, we are being righteous.  When we are not (in agreement with God, we are being unrighteous.

When God first created Man, He created him righteous.  How did he became unrighteous? He, Adam, took leave from agreement with God! Instead of continuing to agree with God, he agreed with his helpmate, Eve, to agree with the Serpent. Unrighteousness cometh from failure of accepting the truth. And then, unrighteousness makes it difficult for us to accept other divine truths.  But why? Because divine truths are of the holy God. The fallen man is estranged from the Holy God; unless he is reconciled back to the holy God, accepting divine truths will be more than often, difficult.  Unrighteousness has weakened the spirit of Man, the unregenerate man will be too weak to understand spiritual things or truths.  Scripture said spiritual things are spiritually discerned.  The weakened spirit of a fallen man must be quickened by the Spirit of God.  Scripture said that the second Adam, Jesus, is that quickening Spirit. A fallen man must first come into salvation, be quickened of his spirit.

It is a choice, a choice to turn from unrighteousness to return to embrace the righteousness and holiness of a holy God.  To enter into salvation is a choice, a personal choice, that each of us has to make for ourselves.  When one does not want to turn from unrighteousness, he/she is headed towards deeper into unrighteousness.  We may read it as God giving them over to deeper unrighteousness; but it does not mean that God is actively pushing the person into deeper unrighteousness.  The way to read such a statement is that God, though able to intervene, may not intervene, respecting, generally the individual's volition. The responsibility is still the individual's. One of the reasons for prayers is precisely this - that God can intervene in response to your prayers (although, He can intervene, regardless, for He is sovereign).


Anonymous said...

Cont. From above

What if you are already a Christian ( i.e. you have already entered into salvation; you have the imputed righteousness of Christ Jesus); does It mean that you will have no problem accepting truths? No, I do not think it is so. There is now a growing community of the overly grace believers, believing what their leaders ditched out, as believers can never be unrighteous at all, and therefore, should not practice 1 John 1:9 - to confess to God and ask for His forgiveness.  Increasingly, believers in this category are buying into interpreting passages in Scripture (taught by their leaders), where such calls for repentance, confession, and asking for forgiveness, and seeking God's righteousness, as written only for the unbelievers, and were not intended for the believers! Now, if you are in such a community, and you find it difficult to accept a truth, I reckon, you would either a) engage in self-delusion, and tell yourself that you accepted that truth, or b) wonder why you are the odd one out; how come no one was saying they have difficulty! (but of course, it is not so, that there aren't others, just that no one wants to admit it!)

I am NOT saying there is no difference between the believers and the non-believers.  When we are believers, and we honestly try to live out the life prescribed by the Word, walking or living out an increasingly more righteous life (frequency), we will be less often, be of the same struggle as the non-believers to accept divine truths.  Active righteousness is progressive; the more you actively live out the righteousness prescribed by the Word, the less will be the frequency you struggle to agree with God or accept His Word or His truths (of course, from time to time, each may struggle with a truth or truths, particularly difficult for himself).

The point is that a) there is still a tendency for believers to relive the old ways, with the unrighteousness and all, and we are to resist that: and b) if we numb our conscience whenever we fail to agree with God, and that (failure to agree with God)  is sin, we will slip further and further into unrighteousness, and our discernment (and judgment) will suffer.  My advice is not to listen to preachers who stress, telling the Devil off, insisting to the Devil that you are righteous when you sin, instead of addressing your sin with God, confessing and asking for His forgiveness.  It is only after you done 1 John 1:9, that you can tell the Devil off, if he, the Devil, still condemns you.  It is not you tell the Devil off when you haven't gotten right with God.

Cont. From above

Anonymous said...

Cont. From above

One can spiral into deeper and deeper unrighteousness, if he keeps ignoring the need to come before God with a humble and contrite heart, asking for His forgiveness and cleansing.  It is sad, that many are not realizing this, and worst still, some, their leaders, teach and approve it (like some of the overly grace preachers) just as it is said in the text, Rom 1:32, which Ps Prentis has included in his entry. Such leaders, through their own unrighteousness, have suppressed the truth.  Unrighteousness begets more unrighteousness. Lies needs more lies to cover up; go down that path, truth will have no place; very sad, very sad, indeed.  On the other hand, righteousness begets more righteousness. Truth is plain and does not need packaging, it does require a lie to hold it up!

Unrighteousness and failure to accept truths, are in a vicious cycle, feeding on each other, making each other spiraling into impossibility.  If you are not yet in the light, you need to get into the light (get reconciled back to God who is light - enter into salvation), and if you are already of the light, stay in the light, and if you have strayed away from the light, turn and get back into the light (get help,  if you have difficulty). Light epitomizes holiness and righteousness.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions - Lord, I know I have to be humble and be careful not to go against your leaders. Help me to guard my heart and mind, so that I do not cross the lines that you forbid.  You know, Lord, my motive is above board, so that we can be careful not to let wolves in sheep skin have their field days.