Friday, February 21, 2014

But you can take it or leave it



“You have cancer.” “I want a divorce.” “Your position has been terminated.” “Your electricity has been shut off until you make a payment on your bill.” “You have not been accepted into our program.” “I’m sorry, there has been an accident…”Sometimes we come face to face with complicated matters that we simply are not expecting. Life can turn us upside down in a moment’s notice and leave us gasping for breath, grasping for strength, and searching for answers.

Have you been there? Are you or is someone you know is there now? Keep reminding and try to recollect....

The Bible tells us that God will never leave us nor forsake us. But this does not mean that bad things won’t happen. And it also does not mean that we will never experience pain, disappointment, or devastation. It means that no matter what we face, God – Emmanuel – is always with us and His peace is always available… whether He chooses to deliver us from the trial, through the trial, or in the trial.
                 
Yes indeed, as offensive as it may be to you, it is reasonable for God to put people to death for ANY sin, any time, any where. God determines when each of us will die, and where. Some today, some tomorrow. None are spared from this. He chooses to delay the punishment for some but all will soon face the reality of death for their sin, however small. That is not an opinion but a fact. That it is God's prerogative is obvious by the simple fact that you cannot avoid the inevitability of your own death. Even if you were very moral all your life it woefully falls short of God's holiness and will end in death (because it is so offensive), apart form Christ.

That we are all enslaved to sin resulting in death is the very condition we all willingly and actively participate in as rebels against God. All of us. If you have not figured it out yet, God puts human beings to death every day this world goes on. He could have wiped us all out at any time and He would have been right and just in doing so... but instead of wiping us all out He actually bore the punishment for sin upon himself so we would not ultimately have to. This teaching about death is not something hidden away in some back corner of the Bible. This is the main message. Humans are in trouble. Christ is your only hope. So you are not exposing anything new that will shock us when you bring up what seems shocking to you. Death is offensive? Yes indeed... because sin is so much more offensive. Christians all know this all too well.

Of course, you have freedom of conscience as long as you live. You can choose to reject Christ now. It is a free country you live in. We are not going to, nor can we force you to believe... We are simply declaring the truth about your situation because we care and hope you take hold of Christ to escape the wrath to come. But you can take it or leave it.

Also .....

I am daily amazed at the implosion of just about every aspect of both American and global life. The decline of morals, the persecution of the Christian religion (higher now than ever in history), declining economy, craven entertainment, unscrupulous personal and governmental finances, rising lack of conscience, the emergence of technologies, church tares over-running the pews, extreme weather, geo-political collapses (Kiev anyone?), natural disasters, all occurring at once and so constantly, and with ever increasing extremity, all serve to show me and perhaps you too that truly the end is near.

The simple truth is that if we try and do something to cause ourselves to suffer in order to make ourselves right with God, we are insulting God and the very work of Christ on the cross by attempting to please God by our works.  This must be avoided at all costs.  Let me restate this yet again.  Penance is sinful when it is aimed at making ourselves right with God.  The only way we can be right with God is by throwing ourselves at the cross and asking forgiveness from the Lord Himself.

Do you have sins of which you need to repent?  Are there some old habits, some new sins, some people you're not reconciled with, or something else that is contrary to God's word that you have not turned from?  If so, then confess it to God and repent.  Don't try and please God through your efforts to make up for a sin against Him.  Please God by completely and totally relying on Jesus -- and turning from your sins.  You need to know that God is there to forgive you and to love you.  He is good and kind and patient with you.  "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" (Rom. 2:4, NASB).  Remember repentance is a holy command of God.  It is something He can give to you (2 Tim. 2:5) through the grace of His Son Jesus.  Seek God's holiness and turn from that which is unholy.

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju

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