Friday, April 21, 2006

Scary Story -The Original

Exodus 20

3Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

God is not a god of "who he is to me" God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is a God of black and white. There IS a right and wrong. There ARE absolutes. You can deny it all day long, but in the end you will ALSO know the Truth. If you try to make Him out to be any other way, you have made yourself another god. If you want to make a god to suit yourself, you have made yourself an idol. You have sinned. The god of relativism is the most popular god today. Not Budda or Allah, but relativism. Put away the Ten Commandments. Get offended by them all you want. That doesn't make them any less than what they are.

7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

He is my God, He is all powerful, and He doesn't like you to speak of Him that way.

8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Hey! He did this one for you-to give you a break and to have some time with you. Why in the world would you NOT want to take a day off to rest?

12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

You know this one is way easier once you have kids of your own. Imagine how you would feel if your kids treated you the way you treat your parents.

13Thou shalt not kill. (1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.)

14Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.)

15Thou shalt not steal.

16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

You can put yourself on the recieving end of each of these and imagine why doing these things is wrong. When someone does it to you "it don't feel so good, does it?" (That's how I say it to my kids).

God is a God of grace and mercy, but that mercy came in the form of giving up his ONLY son to die a horrible death so we could live. But first and foremost, He is a God of Righteousness. Does a judge let a person off for an infraction of the law just because he has been good since the crime or because the crime was a small one? No, the crime has to be paid for. One way or another-whether it is a fine, or jail time. God is our judge and there is only one payment for crime in His court-death.

Am I trying to scare you? You betcha! That's a hot place you heading to and I don't want you to go there!!! You should be afraid of God! I love Him myself, but if I do wrong, I sure don't want to face Him. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 9:10) It's that fear that may just buy you a ticket out of hell. Think about this: If I weren't afraid of being burned, I might grab the hot stove, but because I know the hot stove is going to hurt me, I am afraid of it and won't touch it. Does that fear make the stove a big, bad monster that's going to get me? No, the stove cooks my food and boils my water. I just know not to get too close to it. Fear of being burned has made me wise!

If we do not accept God's gift as real and valid, we WILL die in our sin. Whether we believe it will happen or not. We have all sinned. It is impossible not to in this flesh. He knows that. So He made a way for us to live with Him in spite of that. Why is it so hard for people to accept that? They want to come to God by any other means that by the way He provided. Why would God have to provide a way if you could come to him just by being good? Why would God have to let His Son die, if He really wasn't going to hold us accountable for telling that lie when He commanded us not to in the first place? Why would tell us there is ONE way to Him-through His Son, Jesus-if there weren't sins that would keep us from Him to begin with.

It's so easy. All we have to do is ACCEPT that Jesus paid the price. Do you have to give up your sin? Yes! But not because I said so. It's called repentance. If you don't turn away from the bad things you are doing. Then you didn't REALLY accept the gift of a paid price. Stand before a judge with a paid fine and see if he would want you to go out and commit the crime all over again. No, he will probably tell you that if he sees you in his court again, he will throw the book at you.

Life won't be easier or more joyful if you accept Jesus. In fact we are promised hardship in life (John 15:20). Our hope is in the future. Not that there aren't blessings from God, the sun rises on evil AND good, and it rains on both the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45) Putting on a life preserver doesn't prevent the ship from sinking, but it sure does keep us afloat once the ship is on the ocean floor.

Not everyone can put his sin down immediately. Sometimes sin has such a grip on us that it is either a habit or an addiction. I can tell you from experience, it may take years, but you can stop. Without God, I do not believe it is possible, but with Him, ALL things are possible. (Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23, Mark 10:27, Mark 14:36)

I am not here to pass judgement on you. God didn't make me a judge. I'm just the bail guy letting you know that your fine has been paid. I had to have mine paid too! I didn't want anyone telling me that I was breaking the law any more than you do. But sin is sin whether we want to believe it or not. God is still alive and well, whether we want to believe it or not.

Sometimes we are caught up in our sin due to reasons beyond out control. Maybe it was a deep hurt, or we felt we had no choice. But we do have a choice to put an end to our wrong behavior. God pursues us relentlessly. Let your defenses and protests down for a moment and see if your heart doesn't tell you right and wrong. Do you really feel good about the life you are living?

I'd be happy to pray for you. There isn't much time. You are only one breath away from eternity. Don't waste it. Don't regret it.