Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Daily Message: It's All or None ~ Hebrews 4:12

Yesterday, I saw someone post that she disagreed with parts of the Bible on one of the social media outlets. In explaining her beliefs, she described a God who doesn't judge, who loves everyone, and who will condemn no one to Hell. Others quickly joined in to deny parts of the Bible mean what they say, because of translation errors or cultural differences.

I didn't comment, because the discussion made it obvious their minds were closed on the subject. Specifically, people who disagree were told to sever social media ties with this poster. So, I held my tongue (or fingers in this case). I often remain connected via social media with people whom I disagree with, or whose lifestyle appears less than wholesome, in the hopes that I can sway them with what I post. Sometimes I don't know if that's the best thing to do, but it's what I feel led to do. Then today, in my sequential study of Paul's letters, I came upon the focal verse of this message that seems to speak directly to the issue at hand.

In his second letter to Timothy, Paul wrote that "all scripture is God-breathed," meaning the words came straight from the mouth of God himself. In Proverbs 30, we're told that "every word of God is flawless." So the decision to pick and choose parts of the Bible we like, or agree with, and discard the parts we don't want to respect, is to deny these verses, to deny the Bible is actually God's Word. And if we're able to pick and choose which parts we want to accept, who's to say which of us chooses right?

The simple fact is, God left us His Word, the Holy Bible, as an instruction manual for dealing with life on this earth.
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." ~ Hebrews 4:12

If we believe the scriptures, if we believe God left us His Word so that we can know and follow His will, it's an all or nothing deal. To cut part of it out because we disagree is, at best, willful disobedience. At worst, it is the denial of God's authority over us. We simply cannot obey God and disregard the teachings in the Bible that we find disagreeable.

The very desire to edit God's Holy Word is evidence of its applicability to life today. Our sinful nature gives life to a lust for earthly pleasures. Our culture today flees from pointing out anti-Biblical behavior, not out of love for our fellow man, but in the hope that others will do likewise and refuse to point to our own sin. It's a very selfish nature, one that seeks the pleasures of this earth, that convinces us to ignore the parts of the Bible we don't like.

But God gave us His instruction manual, every word, every page, every paragraph. For thousands of years, His Word has survived. The Holy Bible remains the best selling book of all time, published around the world. Nations that based their societal values on Biblical teaching have thrived since the Roman Empire, and those same nations have floundered when their culture left the proverbial narrow way.

I thank God that He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for our sins, so that we need not pay the price we deserve for our sins and our failures. But I believe we must acknowledge our sins and repent in order to receive the gift of salvation. God does love each and every one of us, and He wants us all to come to Him. But He gave us the choice to accept His gift, and it's up to us. I've written many times that I first thought being saved meant I could behave any way I wanted, without consequence. It took me a long time to realize that truly believing in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as our Savior will change you.

Being saved isn't an excuse to sin, and certainly not an excuse to deny God's authority to define sin. It's motivation to not sin, and it's conviction when we do sin. It creates in us a desire to please God, not a spirit of defiance like a teenage child. We will fail. We will sin...All of us. We're not good enough to avoid every temptation. That's why Jesus Christ came to save us. We could never be good enough to deserve to get to Heaven. But when you study the Bible with an open heart and an open mind, it will provide all the instructions for living out this life on Earth.

We won't always like the instructions we're given. In fact, sometimes following those instructions will bring persecutors to your doorstep. We'll all, at times, wish God would have set things up a little differently. But we'll NEVER have the authority to challenge right and wrong as He defines it. He is the Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Creator of All Things, and He has absolute power and an absolute right to write the rules on how we're supposed to live...all of them.

To deny the Truth is to deny the authority of God. I'm not judging anyone's salvation. Only two know if any one person is saved, the person himself and the Lord God. But I'm led to study and to tell others what I learn. And God's Word tells me that we can't pick an choose to follow only the parts of the Bible we agree with. It's an all or none thing. If you believe the Bible is the Word of God, you believe it all. If you don't, then you deny the Truth of every word, every paragraph, every page, every chapter, and every book.

It's all or none.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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