"Wherefore God also gave them up to
uncleanness through the lusts of their own
hearts, to dishonour their own bodies
between themselves: Who changed the truth
of God into a lie, and worshipped and served
the creature more than the Creator, who is
blessed for ever. Amen." Rom. 1:24-25
UPON READING the previous verses we
often picture the poor man in the jungle
worshiping nature while totally ignorant
of the God who created everything in the first
place. No doubt the verse is inclusive of such
people. However, this verse can also apply to
those that are being willingly ignorant.
God, "the non-answer" . . .
It is no secret that secular scientists, as a whole,
reject the God of the Bible. What may not be
obvious is the reason commonly given. Most
scientists consider God a "non-answer."
In other words, to most scientists, merely saying
that "God created it all" ultimately answers
nothing. God, they reason, is unyielding. He
cannot be studied; He is unfalsifiable.
They can't put God under a microscope and
subject Him to the rigors of reductionism; "God"
stops all further investigations like a brick wall
terminating a dead end street.
By contrast, nature yields. With its predictable
laws, nature is a never-ending feast for the
intellect. One can pridefully spend a lifetime
studying the natural realm and never run out of
questions to ask, or answers with which to
stroke one's intellectual ego.
Of course, the true born again Christian smiles at
the scientist's rationale. The Christian, having
been redeemed by a real and loving God, knows
that the focus should be on the Creator and not
just His creation--"the dead end wall" should
not be the end, but, rather, the object of inquiry.
The Lord Himself tells us so:
"Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man
glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man
glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in
his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this,
that he understandeth and knoweth me,
that I am the LORD which exercise loving-
kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the
earth: for in these things I delight, saith the
LORD." Jer. 9:23-24
Christians can be just as guilty!
Christian, we can just as easily misdirect our
focus if we approach God's Word with the
wrong goal in mind. Many of us treat the Bible
as nothing more than a collection of God's laws.
We will open it for the expressed purpose of
learning what we are supposed to do, and
Occasionally, we may come across a verse that
reveals something personable about God, but
does it grab us, enticing us to dig deeper for
more intimate descriptions of what our Saviour
is like? We rarely get "personal" with God's
Word. We rarely see the Bible as the source of
insight into God's personality. In a way, we, like
the scientist, will sometimes worship the law
more than the lawgiver.
The Pharisees' mistake serves as
an important lesson . . .
LET'S EXAMINE a certain encounter the
unsaved, religious Pharisees had with
Jesus Christ. We find it in Mark chapter
two: "And when the scribes and Pharisees saw
him eat with publicans and sinners, they said
unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and
drinketh with publicans and sinners? When
Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are
whole have no need of the physician, but they
that are sick: I came not to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance." Mark 2:16-17
Tucked within the Lord's reply we find an
attribute of God's personality: He gravitates
toward the needy. This is not hard to
comprehend, considering the Biblical correlation
between loving someone and meeting their
need. The Bible says: "But whoso hath this
world's good, and seeth his brother have
need, and shutteth up his bowels of
compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of
God in him?" 1 John 3:17
1 John 4:18 tells us that "God is love," and love
"seeketh not her own" (1 Cor. 13:5). Love looks
out for the welfare of others, as expressed in the
Father's love toward His children. Jesus said:
"For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have
need of all these things." Mat. 6:32
God is love, and God's love addresses the needs
of others, beginning with the greatest need of all
--salvation from a devil's Hell: "In this was
manifested the love of God toward us, because
that God sent his only begotten Son into the
world, that we might live through him." 1 John
The Apostle Paul understood this "need-
meeting" facet of God's love, when he told his
fellow Christians: "But my God shall SUPPLY
ALL YOUR NEED according to his riches in glory
by Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:1
Christian, God is in the need-meeting
business. That is why Jesus answered: "They
that are whole have no need of the physician,
but they that are sick:" Thus, we find an aspect
of God's character the Pharisees totally
overlooked. Do we readily overlook it also?
More than the lawgiver . . .
If there was one attribute of God the Pharisees
recognized, it must have been His holiness. They
assumed that a holy God would never defile
Himself by being in the presence of sinners.
However, did they also recognize God's love and
compassion toward the needy?
Did they know God is longsuffering and thus,
willing to forestall judgment in the name of
mercy and grace? Apparently not! The Pharisees
knew the law more than the lawgiver. They
knew Jesus had claimed to be God, so they
projected upon Him their ideal of how deity
should behave. They compared Christ's behavior
to an erroneously conceived persona, and
missed recognizing the real God now standing
Search the Scriptures . . .
At this point, some may argue that the
Pharisees, having only the Old Testament to go
by, could not have known about God's love,
much less God's inclination to reach out to the
needy lost sinner. Many feel the God of the Old
Testament was a God of wrath and judgment;
they assume "the God of love didn't come about
until the New Testament."
However, the Pharisees had no such excuse.
Jesus Christ told them on another occasion:
"And ye have not his word abiding in you: for
whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. SEARCH
THE SCRIPTURES; for in them ye think ye have
eternal life: and they are THEY WHICH TESTIFY
OF ME." John 5:38-39
Note again that He told them: "In them ye
think ye have eternal life:..." The Pharisees felt
the Scriptures led the way to eternal life; they
reasoned that following the law would bring
about their salvation. (They were fooling
themselves, of course. No one can follow the
law perfectly. Gal. 3:10; Rom. 8:3; Gal. 2:21;
James 2:11; Eph. 2:8,9)
And yet, while they knew the law, they didn't
know the lawgiver. As saved people, may we
not be remotely guilty of a similar crime!
The Pharisees failed to recognize that the
same law stating the requirements for eternal life
also described God Himself: "...they are they
which TESTIFY OF ME." The Old Testament
actually has a lot to say about God's love.
For example . . .
The Pharisees regarded the law as excluding,
almost condemning, the non-Jew. But if they
had searched the Scriptures, they would have
learned that the lawgiver extends His love
toward all who are in need: "He doth execute
the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and
LOVETH THE STRANGER, in giving him food and
raiment." Deut. 10:18--Old Testament!
If they had searched the Scriptures, the
Pharisees would have learned that the law-
giver's love was compassionate: "But he, being
FULL OF COMPASSION, forgave their iniquity,
and destroyed them not: yea, many a time
turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all
his wrath" (Psalm 78:38). They would have
learned of a love willing to forgive and save the
repentant sinner from Hell: "Behold, for peace I
had great bitterness: but THOU HAST IN
LOVE to my soul delivered it from the pit of
corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins
behind thy back....The LORD was READY
TO SAVE ME." Isaiah 38:17,20
Had they searched the Scriptures looking to(Hab. 1:13), His holiness was
know and understand the lawgiver Himself, they
would not have been surprised to see God in the
flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ, sitting among
sinners "ready to save" them.
The Pharisees would have seen God behaving
IN CHARACTER! For even though God is, "of
purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not
look on iniquity"
"overtaken" by His love of lost, hell-bound
sinners. "But God COMMENDETH [PROVED]
HIS LOVE toward us, in that, WHILE WE WERE
YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US." Rom. 5:8
How about you?
Christian, when you read the Bible, what do you
look for? There is nothing wrong with looking for
ways to serve; the Bible commands us to serve
God. But shouldn't you also seek to learn more
about the very One you so diligently try to serve?
The Bible commands us to learn about Him, to
understand Him, and know Him personally.
Service to God is much sweeter when you know
Him intimately. Trusting someone you know is
usually easier than trusting a stranger. There are
many other practical reasons for getting to know
the lawgiver as well as His laws, but do it
because He wants you to! In fact, knowing God
is a vital part of eternal life: "And this is life
eternal, that they might know thee the only true
God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9) Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because, "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S
WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." Romans 5:8-9
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." Romans 10:9
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