The United States of America was once a light that shone in a dark place. The cross of Calvary was held high just as when Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-15). Unfortunately, we decided we no longer need God. In my opinion, we have become so arrogant; many of us think we are gods of our own destiny. Since we made that brilliant shift in our thinking, sin has overtaken us like an old hound dog overtaken with fleas. We have gone the way of Cain (Jude 1:11).
Put simply, the way of Cain is to depend on our works as opposed to the works of Jesus Christ. We (I use this term loosely) think it takes a village to raise our children, meaning that the state should raise our children while the parents hold a secondary role. That being the case, God is removed from the schools and replaced by the state. The state demands we teach the children (for example) that homosexuality is just another way of life and we are born into it. If the parents object, that’s too bad. Long story short, now that God is out, the blind are leading the blind (Matthew 15:14).
I am convinced that the liberal leaning politically correct antichrists actually believe they are righteous and pleasing to God. They believe that all of us who take the Bible literally are hateful and ignorant. They believe the Word of God (the Bible) is a living document to be interpreted only by the ultra-left wing liberals that have never met a sin they couldn’t embrace and arrogance they cannot hide.
Even in our churches, most are working at becoming holy super-saints via religious genuflecting meant to send a thrill up God’s leg (so to speak). Even though God clearly says He never changes (Hebrews 13:8), God has now reclassified all our “sins” to simply “another way of life He instilled within man” and is totally content to just love us into His kingdom. Forget any judgment for our disobedience. Father doesn’t always know best, unless he’s the Pope of course.
I hope you realize I am being very facetious with these remarks. God does not change. We all sin. God will judge all of us. We are not saved by God’s love. We are saved by His supreme sacrifice, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Our works will take us straight to hell if we depend on them to be saved. Salvation is in Jesus alone. If we do not rest our faith in Him alone, there is nothing for us but judgment via eternal fire.
Yet, man has always, and to this day, insists on going contrary to what a holy God demands.
Cain’s sacrifice to God was from the fruit of the ground. Abel’s sacrifice was the blood that God required. Most of mankind is still presenting to God the fruit of the ground and ignoring the blood of the cross.
Cain’s sacrifice of the fruit of the ground came from his own toil and sweat. Abel’s came from the lifeless body of the sacrifice signifying the one sacrifice yet to come, that of the Son of God upon the cross of Calvary. Cain came to God with his own works in hand. Abel came to God by faith.
I fail to understand how anyone cannot see how insulting it is to God when the bloody body of His only begotten Son is rejected for our measly little works?
Since Cain, mankind has been trying to clean up the outside in order to clean the inside (the heart). Going back to the churches I mentioned earlier, this practice is seen over and over in most churches of today. Jesus says we have it backwards.
“Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:18-23)
If the churches in this country would actually practice Mark 7:18-23 above, I don’t believe we would see the corruption that we have today in every venue of our society.
Jesus said to those of His day,
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:25)
From the pulpit to the pew, aren’t we doing exactly as the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day? Most go to church on Sunday morning with their own homemade spiritual remedies, and they return home no different than when they left. There is no repentance. Blatant sins still abound in the lives of the average church goer. God and His Word are not considered again until it is time to return to the local church service the next Sunday. In the meantime, throughout the week, the soul is filled with everything the world has to offer. The cup is clean on the outside, but the inside remains filthy. Why is that? It is because most are not submitting to God’s righteousness, but seeking to establish their own.
“Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” (Romans 10:3)
We keep trying to become ‘good little Christians’ by outward works, instead of accepting the righteousness of God.
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The apostle Paul says it so well.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” (Philippians 3:8-9)
We live in a day when many who are in the local churches are not even Christians, including the “leaders.” So Satan’s bunch is having a tremendous impact upon society. Those who truly know Jesus as Savior and Lord can grow as Christians, but it cannot be in the manner the world dictates. We must come to our God with humbleness of heart, a repentant attitude, and a commitment to follow the Lord Who never changes.
Most of the so-called church leaders of our day fit nicely into our Lord’s description of false religious leaders.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (Matthew 23:27-29)
What sane person would go to work in clean clothes but never bathe? Yet, we think we can stand before a holy God and He not smell the putrid stench of sin within our hearts.
As Christians we must keep the inside of the cup clean, and that comes by a daily follow-through of 1 John 1:9. Why? Is it to keep our salvation? No. It is to keep the fellowship open between our Father in Heaven and us.
For those who want eternal life in Jesus, it will never come by your trying to be a better person. It won’t happen. It can only be found in putting our total faith in Jesus Christ to save us and to keep us as He has promised.
To grow in Christ, each day must be lived by allowing Him to clean the inside of our cup, and He does so by our total obedience to Him. Then we will be clean indeed, inside and out.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html