Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 08 Monopoly Mentality???
Most of us have played the game of Monopoly at one time or another, some of us more recently than others; and one thing that most everyone remembers about the Monopoly board is getting a “get out of jail free” card. I think many today have approached Jesus Christ The Lord in that way, and I’d like to take a few minutes to consider this attitude toward Jesus. It seems to be a most popular ‘gospel’ and attitude toward Jesus. Many today preach a message of “name it and claim it”—just use Jesus’ name as your own personal ‘heavenly slot machine’; then there are those who preach the ‘feel-good’ message that God only wants you to ‘feel good’ all the time. I love what C. S. Lewis said in “Mere Christianity”, “We want not so much a Father but a grandfather in heaven, a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, ‘What does it matter so long as they are contented’?”
How said that we are trying to bring God down to our standard rather than pursuing the holiness that is God! As Billy Graham once said to Phil Donahue, one of the early talk show hosts on television, “you’re trying to create God in your image” rather than realizing that we are made in God’s image but have fallen due to sin. And that is an idea that is flourishing today—make the gospel fit us rather than recognizing our sin, repenting and turning to Jesus Christ for salvation—we just want a “grandfather” in heaven, doling out gifts and treats to his ‘grandchildren’. We simply want a “get out of jail free” card, live how we want—do our own thing—but not have to pay for our sin; in fact, we don’t even want to bring sin into the equation! Sin is old-fashioned, and we don’t have to call anything sin these days—if it feels good to you, it’s ok, just do it. If it makes me ‘happy’ it will be pleasing to God. But God says something different!
“Woe unto them that draw iniquity
with cords of vanity,
as it were with a cart rope:
19 That say,
Let him make speed,
and hasten his work,
that we may see it:
and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel
that we may know it!
20 Woe unto them that call evil good,
and good evil;
that put darkness for light,
and light for darkness;
that put bitter for sweet,
and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe unto them
that are wise in their own eyes,
and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:18-21
Paul paints an amazing picture of man’s relationship to God, and SIN IS the issue. Sin is a disease which we are born with, a disease for which we all have a bill due, one we will either pay for ourselves– for our sin in hell– or we can accept Jesus’ payment of HIS own blood shed at Calvary for our sin by repentance and faith and have eternal life with HIM! It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test (and I believe it is coming soon!)!
“For when ye were the servants of sin,
ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things
whereof ye are now ashamed?
for the end of those things is death.
22 But now
being made free from sin,
and become servants to God,
ye have your fruit unto holiness,
and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ
our Lord.” Romans 6:20-23
Are you serving “sin” or God? Do you simply want a “get out of jail free” card, or have you “become servants to God”? Do you desire to live having “fruit unto holiness”, or living your own way, dabbling in the sin and walking in the darkness of this world? God says that you can choose to live in sin but notice the consequence: “For the wages of sin is death”! And according to Paul’s clear truth: you can choose to live in sin or choose to come to Jesus in repentance and faith to be justified (made right with God!)!
“For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace
through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:23-24
Paul also told the Romans what this looks like, I invite you to consider this with me—it is so imperative that we understand what Jesus has done for us and will do for those who come to HIM in repentance and faith!
“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace
wherein we stand,
and rejoice in hope
of the glory of God.
3 And not only so,
but we glory in tribulations also:
knowing that tribulation
4 And patience,
5 And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God
is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost
which is given
6 For when we were yet without strength,
in due time
Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man
will one die:
yet peradventure for a good man
some would even dare to die.
8 But God commendeth his love toward us,
in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
9 Much more then,
being now justified by his blood,
we shall be saved from wrath
10 For if, when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God
by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled,
we shall be saved
by his life.
11 And not only so,
but we also joy in God
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom we have now received
as by one man sin entered into the world,
and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men,
for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:1-12
If SIN IS the issue—JESUS IS the only cure! But when Jesus transforms a life—it is HIS work, and it shows.
“Being confident of this very thing,
that he which hath begun a good work
will perform it
until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6
Salvation is Jesus’ work of redemption, not man’s work of “self-righteousness”, or “good works”, or an “altered” standard! When we belong to Jesus, we become new creations of God.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God,
who hath reconciled us to himself
by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry
19 To wit, that God was in Christ,
reconciling the world
not imputing their trespasses
and hath committed unto us
the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then
we are ambassadors for Christ,
as though God did beseech you by us:
we pray you in Christ’s stead,
be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him
to be sin for us,
who knew no sin;
that we might be made
the righteousness of God
in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Jesus took on my sin, so that I could receive HIS righteousness, and HIS Spirit dwelling in me, which will be evident to one degree or another. What’s evident in your life? Jesus? Or a “get out of jail free card”? Jeremiah and Jesus both have something to say about our attitude toward God.
“…my people have forgotten me days without number…”. Jeremiah 2:32b
Let’s consider Jesus’ own commentary for those who only want to use His name rather than come to HIM in repentance and faith. As my mother used to say, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool GOD!” Who are you trying to fool? (See Matthew 16:24-25)
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings
and doeth them,
I will liken him unto a wise man,
built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended,
and the floods came,
and the winds blew,
and beat upon that house;
and it fell not:
for it was founded
upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings
and doeth them not,
shall be likened unto a foolishman,which
built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended,
and the floods came,
and the winds blew,
and beat upon that house;
and it fell:
and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:20-27
And in closing, some food for thought; a passage that is often disregarded, but it is truth, and we must consider it. I will simply call our attention to the qualifier: “such WERE some of you”…..”but ye are sanctified”. It doesn’t matter what sin we “had”; it matters what Spirit controls us NOW! For as Paul says in Romans 8:9b, “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”! I hope that you will ponder the words of scripture and measure with God’s judgment not man’s, “be not deceived”!
“Know ye not
that the unrighteous shall not inherit
the kingdom of God?
Be not deceived:
nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves,
shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you:
ye are washed,
ye are sanctified,
ye are justified
in the name of the Lord Jesus,
and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
And a final word from Jesus:
“Judge not according to the appearance,
but judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24
With a Proverb:
“There is a way
that seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof
are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:25
The choice is yours but choose wisely—there is a test! God’s WORD not mine!
Amen and Amen!!!