Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To Believe

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved".

To believe. What is it to believe? Imagine a man living in a certain neighborhood and he says there is a trillion dollars buried in his backyard. That is an outrageous claim, and all his neighbors do not believe it. They watch him, but he does not dig. There are two possibilities concerning his level of belief in his outrageous claim. One, he does not believe it himself. Two, he is either lazy or eccentric and his lack of outward commitment (digging) to his claim perpetuates his neighbor's unbelief. There is a third possibility. Suppose this man starts digging. One day - two days - three, four, and on and on. Even if his neighbors still refuse to believe his claim, they now believe HE believes it.

Let us cull out one fact that we say we believe as followers of Jesus and His teachings. We say we believe that there is a place called "hell". This is an incredibly hard teaching to believe. Hell - a place where people go to spend eternity, FOREVER. Tormented in the "lake of fire", FOREVER. Think about it. If the Word of God had taught that hell was for ten billion years, and then you got another chance, that would be HORRIBLE. But God tells us that this unspeakable place of indescribable suffering is FOREVER. This is almost impossible to believe. Oh, we believe the Word teaches it, but do WE believe it? Like the man who doesn't dig in his yard, what does our behavior say about our outrageous claim? Stop and pause. Right this moment there are people spending their first moment in hell. They are not only experiencing complete and excruciating pain, they are realizing they are there FOREVER. They have lost everything, and they are now irretrievably separated from God Himself. It is over and there is nothing they can do. This teaching is IMPOSSIBLE to believe in the natural. Yes, we believe the Bible teaches it, and we wrap ourselves with our self-righteous orthodoxy, but do we believe it?

I have been convicted and exposed by God's precious Holy Spirit. I believe God's Word teaches it, but I do not fully and completely embrace that truth in my own life, as well as other teachings (prayer, the filling of the Holy Spirit, the power of His Word, total surrender,...). I am repenting of this sin, but how do I commit myself fully to not only this teaching, but all the teachings of God's Word? I can hear my flesh saying, "Calm down, you are going to lose your mind. You are so negative".

But God is my Shepherd, and I know His voice. This may not be for anyone but me, and I am far from special. But I cannot help but follow the Spirit's leading to step through the gate, into the courtyard, into the Holy Place, and finally into the Holy of Holies, God's Presence. You see, I am losing MY mind and seeking His! This journey will cost dearly, but like the merchant man who sold everything to buy one pearl of great price it is worth it. Press, press, press toward the mark. We live in a time in which there are enemies all around us. Liberal theology, emergent thinking, seeker approaches, and so many others that if we are not careful we will end up spending our precious God given gift of time searching out the surrounding hills while leaving the only One to whom we should be completely devoted to. He is infinite; He is unsearchable; He is our life; He is beyond words; He is high and lifted up; and He is Lord. Can you not hear His voice, of many waters, calling us right now? "Come and dine". Would you give the rest of your earthly life to spend ten minutes in His visible presence? After ten minutes praising and worshipping his actual visible presence we would discover that this present life is but a vapor while, in fact, He is our life.

Oh halleluiah, to know HIM, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings. He has offered His presence to us, let "diligently seek Him", and receive the reward He has promised - HIM!!! If you hear His voice, let's start digging, for there is treasure beyond our wildest dreams waiting to be discovered. Jesus Himself is at the end of the tunnel. Halleluiah!!!


Kim T said...

The voice of my flesh says, ""Calm down, you are going to lose your mind. It is too too much Who could ever grasp it all? Why don't you _________?" And ________ is a wholesome or good thing, but it distracts me from the overwhelming awe and majesty of GOD.

By HIS grace may I increasingly stand firm in the tension created between who I have been (in my thinking, reasoning, purposing, treasuring and feeling) and who HE is sanctifying me to be.

Sherry said...

Just remember how the Lord disciplines his sheep because he loves them. Hebrews 12:5-11

Mike Ratliff said...

Oh Lord, give your Remnant the vision of the eternal reality of You and the utter temporalness of this present life. Draw us close Lord, change us, grant us repentance and teach us all about Yourself. Praise you my King, My Lord, My Saviour. - Soli Deo Gloria!

Sherry said...

I have a question? Where does everyone find these books I see people quoting? The public library in my small town doesn't have any. There isn't any bookstores in this tiny town. Help!