"For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." --2 Timothy 4:3
I am a Believer in Christ and His word is my compass as to how to navigate living in this world. I am His bond-servant and He has brought me such joy and freedom I can't put it into words. Jesus said "In this world we are going to have troubles!" I know deep in my heart that this world is not my home and that one day I will be free from the devastation sin has built around me. But today I am sad...not because the world is a sinful place but because those of us who have been set free from the grip of the world are compromising HIS Word in all areas of our lives. I am sad about what we are calling right and wrong and where this will lead us. Growing up (even in California) there was a great sense of right and wrong and it was obvious...we all knew. Today, however, our kids are confused. We have leaders who support "freedom from morality" and the results are pain, anger, jealousy, hatred and the list goes on.
I believe the words of George Santayana when he said, "If we do not remember the past, we are doomed to repeat it!" Today, I am reading the Old Testament...for even though I am part of the New Covenant for salvation, the lessons learned from the past are relevant. I am drawn to the story of Abraham and his nephew Lot. Briefly, God had promised them land but they needed to separate because their families and flocks were too big to live together. Lot chose the best land because it pleased his eye! Then, and this is where I shudder, "He pitched his tent toward Sodom!" Sodom was an immoral city where anything went...a city with absolutely NO restraint. Sodom was a pagan city...and it was doing what pagan cities do...but Lot was a part of the family of Abraham and were Yahweh fearing people...yet Lot pitched his tent TOWARD Sodom. This simply meant, he wanted to watch...to see what was going on...and even though at the start, Lot lived a distance from this evil place we soon find that he lived inside the city gates. When God's messengers came to warn Lot of impending doom, Lot was forced to offer his virgin daughters to the men of Sodom who came to his door to rape the new men. How far he had come from just pitching his tent. Would Lot say he had found freedom??? I think not. You can read the whole story in Genesis 18:20-19:29.
The lesson is simple. God has called believers to live a life of holiness. There are statutes He has given...not to punish...but to protect us. God's law are always for our good not our harm. He made us and knows what is best for us. The one thing we seemed to have forgotten in all of this is God's greatest enemy...satan who wants to destroy everything God loves and cherishes. He wants to take what is beautiful and pervert it and call that freedom. God's laws are the "sound doctrine" Paul was speaking about and satan has said they are old-fashioned. God's laws bring freedom but satan says they are to take away our fun. Satan is at our door screaming the words he first used in the garden with Eve, "Did God really say???" He has caused us to doubt God's love and protection and instead follow our desires which have led us to the place we are today. As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that workin' for ya?"
Are we peaceful within our souls as believers??
James 4 says,
"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely. But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and HE will lift you up.
We don't get to make the rules, fellow believers. We can't allow what we think is right to usurp the Word of God. When we do, in essence we are saying we know more than God and that in a word is PRIDE! That in a word is what got Lucifer kicked out of heaven.
Yes, I am sad. I am praying for the Bride of Christ, the church to stand firm for her Bridegroom. It is not popular but it is right. We will be persecuted and hated and our earthly rights are going to be limited...oh but the glory that awaits us for those who stand firm.
Be ye holy, as I am holy says the LORD. I Peter 1:16