Bible Ballistics: Holiness!!! Volume 1 No. 18
Exodus 3:5-6 “And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.”
Holiness!!! Because of things that I have seen and heard lately, I feel compelled to talk about the “Holiness” of God. I’ve done a lot of soul-searching and wrestling with my own heart and conscience about the way things seem to be, as well as how we perceive and reflect God’s truth to the world, and I feel completely compelled to share my thoughts with you. I pray that you will receive them and judge the things that I share here today (as always) by the Word of God.
You might wonder, “Why do we need to deal with the “holiness” of God?” Of course every one knows that “God” is “Holy”. Right? Well, I hope to examine our view of God, His holiness and whether or not we reflect the true Holiness of God. Do we show His character and His words in our every day lives? Who or what are we really showing to the world?
Recent events have really burdened me to call us to account as to whether we are a TRUE reflection of the Holy God that we serve? What does the world think about God if their opinion is based on our behavior, our words, and our actions –the things that we say and do, especially in a public venue, especially in our churches!? I was in a “church” situation some time ago and was so overwhelmed by the things that I heard from the “pulpit” that I feel compelled to share some of the things that disturbed me and ask you to question for yourself if they disturb you.
I would like to relate some of the things which caused me such consternation. As kind and comforting things were being shared about an individual, things began to be said referring to “heaven”. Most of the comments had nothing to do with the “Biblical” description, the truth and hope of heaven, but more about making heaven sound like a perfect pasture on the back 40, where cowboys (or cowgirls or anyone) can continue to do what they’ve always done, but with no disturbances or interferences from difficulties. Heaven was described and portrayed as an opportunity to do as one pleases, as is done in this life. As if just adding Jesus’ name onto any activity, inappropriate behavior, or anything ‘fun’ makes it OK with GOD.
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4
Jokes and stories were shared that had to have “bleeps” (you know the use of blankety-blank…) as the language being recounted was inappropriate. Why mention such stories in church in the first place? Even more importantly why would one who claims to belong to Jesus want to use such language, or to imply approval of such behavior and the use of such language, thus implying God must also approve. After all none of us is “perfect”, all of us are a little ‘rough around the edges’. Not an excuse that I think God accepts!
Not one mention of wanting to see Jesus, who gave Himself for our salvation and the privilege to enter heaven. Not one mention of being in God’s presence. Not one mention of heaven being the place where we “worship a Holy God” and praise and thank Him for sending Jesus to save us through His death on the cross,
“....how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”. 1 Cor 15:3b
Yes, there was a call for people to “invite Jesus to be ‘boss’ of their lives” but no mention of repentance, faith or any allusion to the life-transforming power of Jesus—not one picture to the those listening, of what “God” has done, can do, and does in and through those who trust Jesus for salvation!
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new..” 2 Cor. 5:17
Yes we are all a work in progress but do we reflect that “Christ liveth in me….” (Gal. 2:20)?
Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I think people should be applauded for the good things they have done and accomplished in their lives. But when we claim the name of Jesus, shouldn’t that call us to be a reflection of His glory—of His Spirit at work in us.
Psalm 118:14 tells us “ The Lord is my strength and song, and HE has become MY SALVATION.” Implied here is the idea of realizing that it is no longer my life but Christ’s. Just as Paul says in Gal 2:20:
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I NOW live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
We are called to reflect Christ living in us—to let Him be seen in all we say and do. That is, or should be, our goal!
It seems that rather than calling others to the word of God and the truth of what God says about heaven, many would rather paint a picture of the ‘big roundup’ in the sky where no one will be bothered with any regard for God or His service again. Just a great continuation of our present activities with no annoyances, including God!. We are farm people and I love the agricultural life but when and where did we get the right to change heavenly things into earthly things? Jesus tells us in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9+ & Luke 11:2+) that we are to pray, “Hallowed by THY name, THY kingdom come, THY will be done, on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN” (NOT VICE VERSA). We are called to be “conformed to the image of HIS SON” (See Romans 8:28-29), when instead we, as a culture, seem to be “conforming God into our image”. What has happened to us?
Have we come so far from “Biblical” truth that we don’t even know what God’s word says? It seems that we have so “paraphrased, rationalized, corrected, improved and modernized” the Bible that we don’t know the difference between God’s Word/Words and our “opinion” of what God says? Why not rather proclaim God’s word “without apology” or “adjustment” to what He has said clearly and plainly. My heart grieves that we have come so far in this direction that no one even notices the error. In a large crowd of people who were laughing and accepting all that was being said, it appeared that we two (my husband and myself) were part of only a “few” not laughing at the things being said. I was grieved NOT amused.
Not to be taking scripture out of context myself, but I think there is a parallel we can apply in the passage in Revelation 22:18-19 that “If any man shall add unto these things……….if any man shall take away from the words of the book……” God promises judgment to those who would change “HIS” Word! I tremble to think that we are behaving so ignorantly of God’s Word and don’t realize that we are bringing ourselves, our churches and those who hear us, into judgment before a HOLY GOD because we aren’t willing to stand on the Word of God, and let it stand for itself!!!
Oh, how my heart longs to see our people-God’s people- once again become people of THE WORD. In the many of our past letters we have looked over and over again at God’s call on us.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”.
1 Corinthians 3:10-11 “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Only One Way–Jesus! Only One standard–the Word of God! In Matthew 24:35;Mark 13:31;Luke 21:33 all three gospels record what Jesus Himself said “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away”
My main obligation as a child of God is to bring Him glory, and when I am born again, His Spirit will control my life as I yield to Him, as Colossians 1:27 reminds us:
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
That is Christ IN me, IN you, if you have been born again by the Spirit of God! For as Jesus said in John 15:
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5
It’s all about Jesus, and that should be our total strength and purpose for living our lives in this world.
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Romans 11:36
May we all be willing to examine our “view” of God’s Holiness and Glory and may we be willing to give the world a true picture of our Sovereign God of all. As Paul said in Philippians 1:21 “For TO ME to live IS Christ and to die is gain.”
Am I standing on the word–
or the deceptions of the enemy?
Am I honoring the HOLY GOD that I claim to love and serve?
Am I speaking HIS Word or mine?
I can join the Psalmist and pray earnestly–
“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm 119:133
I felt truly burdened to share these things with you all, and I pray that God will use them to speak to your heart and mine! Have a blessed week in the Lord and please know I am always open to your comments.