Thursday, April 20, 2017

WORD OF LIFE, PART 15: "TWO FACES NOT BETTER THAN ONE"

If there is one thing God hates, it is a two-faced, double-minded hypocrite. Jesus Himself reserved some of His harshest preaching against religious leaders who led double lives, not just in practicing sin constantly, but in their belief systems. One of the hardest sermons ever preached was against the priests and religious leaders of Jerusalem in Matthew Chapter 23.  Many will say that was then and this is now.

Well, the head of the Christian Church in Jerusalem, appointed by Christ Himself was Jesus’ own half-brother – James. Here is what he (James) says in James 1: 6-8 “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways"This admonishment is for believers NOW as well as then. So what about the future?

Like everything we do and believe, there must be a Scriptural basis. To emphasize  how serious God is about whom He lets into Heaven, He describes who will NOT be on His side in Revelation 3:15-16 (‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth), if they do not change their ways. Unfortunately most are destined to never repent and put their trust and faith in the Savior and will suffer the loss of rebels, on That Day. 
Psalm 119:113-120
Samekh.
113   I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Your law.
114   You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word.
115   Depart from me, evildoers, that I may observe the commandments of my God.
116   Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
117   Uphold me that I may be safe, that I may have regard for Your statutes continually.
118   You have rejected all those who wander from Your statutes, for their deceitfulness is useless.
119   You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies.
120   My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments.
This is what the Lord is talking about in Psalm 119:113 – divided loyalties. Unfortunately, too many who are called Christians try to walk in both the culture of the day, as tempting as flashy as it is, and the world of Christ. Oil and water do not  mix. The Oil of the Holy Spirit is as diametrically opposed to the vanishing vapor of fleeting pleasures of this world, even if those good things in life are not in and of themselves, sinful. However, if they take priority in daily life, while one’s walk of faith is limited to one hour on Sunday, well then, Houston we have several problems. These are problems which become almost impossible to fix, due to vanity, pride and sheer ignorance. For such as these, their reward is in the now, because eternal separation awaits them (verse 115).

A telling verse for those who kidding them is verse 118, which says "You have rejected all those who wander from Your statutes, for their deceitfulness is useless".  This is deadly serious stuff.  People go away into eternal separation not for the things they do but for what they believe. The Word of God – the Scriptures – is both easy to understand and EXTREMELY clear as to what those beliefs are and should be. 

One of the most educated men to ever live was Saul of Tarsus. He was not only a sophisticated Roman citizen, well-versed in the letters of the day (The Greek Classics like Aristotle, Socrates etc.) but he was the ace student of the most likeable and honorable of Jewish Rabbis in all history – Gamaliel, the grandson of modern Judaic thought – Hillel. Still, with all his academic and other props, the Apostle said one thing which should be the dividing line for each person who aspires to ascend into Heaven, when this fleeting life is over. 

Saul, now the Apostle Paul, after the Road to Damascus dramatic conversion, said the following from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 "And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God".

We know what Saving Faith is NOT. We know it is not one of double-mindedness which labors under the delusion of both trying to fool God and the deluded person. We know the ultimate end of this person, who has never known the True and Risen Christ (verses 115 and 118-120). What we do need to reinforce in ourselves daily and to share with anyone who will listen, because their eternity depends on it, is the following:

-  Examine yourself (and myself) daily not to see if we are saved, but to see if we’re more grounded in the Faith TODAY than we were yesterday

-  Love and I mean, really LOVE the Bible. Love not just what is written in it, but it’s dirty wrinkled pages and the feel of the special paper it is printed on which has that sweet swishing sound as you turn it’s well-read pages. Love the feel of the leather (real of fake) as you draw this Book of Life closer to your heart! Earlier in this psalm, we see the man of God say that the Words and Laws of God are like honey to the taste. Why can’t we be like this? This way of thinking brings delight to a loving God, Who delights in giving great favor to those who honor Him.

-  Don’t just love the Word, but do what it says. Even if it takes you out of your own selfish comfort zone. There is nothing in the world which anyone owns, which was not given to them by God. He owns everything….and not just the cattle on ten thousand hills. Still, modern day Christians are the most materialistic and self-righteous at the same time. They mouth the right words and even read the bible, but their Christian walk does not reflect their talk. Some even refuse to give back to the Lord and act like Cain who made basically, no worthy offering to the Lord. The Lord of the Universe does not need our money, our resources, our anything. What He needs, from those who say they belong to Him, is our OBEDIENCE. Otherwise we are just like the wicked, in Christian clothing.

-  Fear the Lord. Scripture tells us that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge. Well, we had better use this knowledge to have a healthy fear, reverence and awe-inspired respect for Him because what is coming down the pike against the wicked, the lost and those billions in other religions who rejected Jesus Christ as Savior is so terrifying that it should cause every Christian to bow down in gratitude every single day. Verse 119 of Psalm 119 is no joke, wish or curse. 

I recommend EVERYONE reads Isaiah Chapter 63 to flesh out what will be happening on earth, at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. On His promised return this time, He is not the Baby in the Bethlehem manger, but the perishing world will see Him as He really is. What they will see is the Vengeance of our God against all His remaining enemies and the armies of this one-world government, post- Rapture. When He cuts the eastern sky with His White Horse (Revelation 19:11-19) and the armies of Heaven, Psalm 119:119 will be just beginning. Do not be like one of those, left behind, who will face His Wrath! Do not be double-minded. Two faces are NOT better than one. CLICK HERE TO READ ISAIAH 63 AND THE HOLY SPIRIT TELLING US WHAT WILL HAPPEN POST REVELATION 19:11-19. 
Post a Comment