May 4, 2017

It's not optional

Scripture commands that we love the Lord with all that is within us.

And also that we love the neighbor as we love ourselves.

When I assumed that I was saved, I did not do either of those commands.

I knew of them. They were in the back of my mind. But I wasn't doing them.

I couldn't obey them.

I was "saved" but I had not been born new.

I was a "Christian" but I did not have the new nature.

I had walked the aisle, and I had been baptized, and I could tell you the names of the books of the Bible, and I could even quote Bible verses that I had worked hard to memorize, and I went to church, and I attended Bible studies, and led Bible studies, and I taught S.S. classes, and I sang in the choir, and I prayed, and I even cast out demons, and I raised my hands in praise as I sang hymns.

But I did not love God with all my heart, nor my neighbor as myself.

I did a lot of religious things, but I had never repented.

I tried to repent, because I thought that to repent meant I had to turn from sin.

So I would sin, and try to stop, and sin, and try to stop, never really knowing how to define "sin" I would, nevertheless, try to stop doing it, but I did not know the meaning of "repent" and thus the horrible pattern of sin continued, and I was lost in my sin even while saying that I was saved.

Then I heard God telling me that I had hate in my heart.

And I argued with him. And I prayed, but I had no assurance that he heard me.

(Understand that while lost, we can hear God, but he cannot hear us. How else would anyone be saved? The sinner must hear the words of God to know of sin, and repent of it.)

Now, how can that be the case for a child of God that he would not hear them?

(Hint: I was not his child, even while thinking that I was, and yes, we can be deceived.)

When I, as a mere human, hear my child calling on me, and then I answer, and God says that he is more kind than a mere human, how is it that I had no assurance that he was hearing me?

I'd pray, and fret.

How does one fret when God hears them?

My child, when worried, would be settled when I, a mere human, would comfort them.

I had no comfort.

In desperate need to be heard, and comforted, I searched the Word.

This is what I found: If I regard iniquity in my heart, then Lord will not hear me (Psalm 66:18).

Did I cherish sin in my heart?

Is that why I had no assurance the God heard me?

Then I found what Jesus said about sin in John 3:19 about why we sin.

He says that it is because of love for it.

Ouch.

Not only did I sin, but I loved doing it, which of course, I had to argue that with God.

But to say that I do what I hate is stupid if I have the new nature, which I didn't have, and didn't know it, but if I had only reasoned I would have maybe figured that one out for myself, for how does something made brand new continue to live as they did prior to being made completely new?

Yes, I know what Romans 7 says about Paul, and him doing what he did not want to do, but please understand, from verse 1 of that chapter, that he was talking to people who knew, and loved the law.

If you know, and love the law, then you are still living under it, and you will sin.

You will be very religious, as were the Pharisees, who loved, and love the law.

God commands that we love him with all our hearts.

Many will say that they love Jesus, but again, God commands that we love HIM!

Jesus commands repentance. Jesus sets men free. Free from what I beg you to ask yourself.

I looked up the word repent in the Greek. It does NOT mean to turn from sin, but to agree with God concerning it. Agree that to dislike people (which is no where defined in Scripture) is hate, which is defined in Scripture, and hate, according to Jesus, is murder.

Agree with that.

That is repentance.

While still IN that sin of hate, agree with God about it, and then the miracle occurs.

If you want to go to heaven, then it's not optional to repent or not, and when you do, then you are given the new nature, and the Holy Spirit, and then the power is in you to do as commanded.

The love you will have for God and others will not be OF you. You will not boast. You will love.

It's not optional, if you want your prayers heard, and if you want divine peace, and heaven.

If you claim to be saved, then love is not optional, for it is commanded.

Do you love?

Not sometimes, but always, for that is the command.

Love, as God defines it, never ends. It does not stop and start. It never ends.

In a repentant heart, the love never ends.

How about you?

Whom do you hate?

God commands love.

Repent of your hate.

He will give you love that never ends, and you'll totally love him, and your neighbor as yourself.

You can claim that you sing, pray, teach the Bible, and cast out demons, but if you sin, then you are a worker of iniquity, and therefore should you die before you repent, then Jesus will say to you the words that you will not want to hear found in Matthew 7:21-23. Read them. Repent, and be saved.







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