Monday, March 09, 2009

Avoiding the Ultimate Issue

…God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance…
…But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself…
(Romans 2:4-5 – ESV)

God’s goodness is meant to lead us to address the ultimate issue. Paul says that the goodness of God has kept the wrath of God from them (and from you) for now, not forever. People presume on God’s goodness and think they can just play the game of their lives any old way they want to. Paul is telling us all no way. Jesus tells us to store up treasure in heaven but some are storing up wrath in hell.

So many want to just play around and pretend that if we ignore this issue, THE issue, that it will somehow go away. Paul was saying that we had better make sure of what we are doing, because the Jews thought they were fine because they weren’t as morally corrupt as others, but Paul says they were heaping up wrath to be revealed. The wrath of God is thereby separated into two different categories: (a) that wrath which is presently being revealed against sinners as we see in the first chapter of Romans, and (b) that coming wrath of God, which is yet to be revealed against sinners.

Presuming on God’s goodness is more than deadly. All through life and even at death’s door people want to ignore the issue and distract themselves and medicate themselves with their chosen poison. Adults grow up and want to blame someone else for their problems, and we hire people to lead us back into the past to heal our wounded heart. Christians ought to know better than this. They should know that sin is the problem, and that sorrow is a part of Christian life. It reminds us this world isn’t all there is and that we are to remain repentant.

Some people may see their sin but they don’t see the solution, and that is why they medicate, ignore, distract, avoid, deny, and do anything they can to escape the coming wrath, and the wrath against their conscience. They do this so long and so strong that their consciences are finally what the apostle Paul calls seared as with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2). Paul describes it as being past feeling (Ephesians 4:19). They will look to anything and everything but Him. They will even try “being good”. They are hard and cold and dead to God.

The truth is that this hardening has been going on since we were children. We think we can let our children “off the hook” of making them go to church, read the bible, and such, but we are only setting them up for ultimate failure. We think they will grow out of it but they won’t because we won’t. It is ironic that we know we are supposed to mature out of wanting nothing but fun; we teach children this when they are young, but wonder why they don’t follow it when they are old. It is because while we teach this we don’t live this, we continue to foster the idea of fun as the ultimate pursuit. We either train them in the Lord or they are trained by the world.

How many people have you known who are old in years but are still as self indulgent as a teenager? It is no wonder our children grow up the way they do. We have such a confused conception of joy, we think to have joy means the same thing as to have fun, and we have lost the value of doing things meaningful, significant, and truly fulfilling. We presume on God’s goodness, thinking we’re okay, and we teach our children, our spouses, each other, and ourselves this deception. We are learning to avoid the ultimate issue.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

12 comments:

Sista Cala said...

Age or length of time saved does not equate to maturity. God is looking for mature SAINTS. Time is too short for the people of God to still be in their pampers and drinking milk.

My heart has been stirred by your post. I want to do more than look like a saint, talk like a saint, smell like a saint; I want to be a saint, inside and out. I hear the Word of God in my soul; "when He comes, will He find faith?"

Even So... said...

Age or length of time saved does not equate to maturity

Amen, Sista, but it ought to anyway...if people were to stop bouncing back and forth between the old man and the new...too bad people want to ride on the rollercoaster of Christian infancy instead of pressing on and pressing in to Christ...

Paul said...

I'm picking up what your putting down, JD, (as the saying goes). With our hopes and prayers
currently focused on a child to raise up in the eyes of Christ, I could use all the "maturing" I can get in the context of your post.
In case I'm being too suddle... input is welcome. wink wink
I'm looking forward to Sunday, I understand that last weekend was a ripper.
Blessing...

jazzycat said...

JD,
Good points as usual. As you say, joy does not equal fun. True joy is a fruit of the Spirit as is peace. The world cannot provide these no matter how much wealth a person may have....
Wayne

Even So... said...

3-30-07

Dan said...

We are a selfish people who will do almost anything to satisfy our fleshly desires. Only God can change our desires and our perspective on what is "fun". We, in the flesh, cannot seek the things of God without Him pricking our conscience and causing us to seek after pleasing Him instead of ourselves. The problem seems to be that when we get pricked and we try to suppress the pricking instead of submitting to it. So we remain infant Christians until we are old enough to think about death and then all of the sudden it becomes important to us. "Us" being the key word.
If only I was as concerned about pleasing God as I am myself.

Even So... said...

Good word, Dan...

MrsEvenSo... said...

We either train them in the Lord or they are trained by the world.

So, keep in mind the amount of time spent on training your child(ren) in the Lord compared to the amount of time you don't (which would be the world) and then we wonder why they "turn out" the way they do. Hmmm.... this can also be said of ourselves in regards to how much time we spend pondering God's Word compared to reading, watching and listening to things that have nothing to do with godliness and wondering why on earth we don't seem to be growing spiritually. When we take the time to truly think about it the answer is obvious. The trouble is too often than not we suppress the idea of thinking about it at all.

MrsEvenSo... said...

How many people have you known who are old in years but are still as self indulgent as a teenager?

Way too many. If not for God's grace I would be one.

Even So... said...

Excellent thoughts, much truth...

JoyfullyHis said...

"We either train them in the Lord or they are trained by the world."

One of the most unsettling things about being an at-home mom is that I can't blame little things on daycare or sitters. All of those little habits, expressions and phrases are from me. Yikes! You wanna know how you really are? See it through your child's eyes and behavior. Then, BAM! Conviction.

Even So... said...

You said it...