Mountaintop Musings: the Cure
October 17, 2018
One of the greatest joys a minister of the Gospel has is to have those who sit under his teaching take the Word of God and apply it in their lives. It is satisfying when people actually read the Bible and learn what Jesus really was about. It is also something to read about how those who were opposed to him both as a teacher, and as Lord reacted to his message. Jesus was and is most concerned about the sin that separates us from his Father. This was the message Joseph heard from the Lord in a dream, “…thou shall call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21.
From the first pages of the Bible to the end, personal responsibility, accountability and ethics are woven in to the story of redemption. Adam and Eve misbehaved (sinned) and they were judged for it (Genesis chapter 3). King David sinned with Bathsheba and murdered her husband; God judged him and forgave him (2 Samuel chapters 11-12). One can find dozens of examples in both the Old Testament and New Testament where God holds people accountable for their sin. The greatest example is found on the Cross of Calvary where Jesus gave his life for the sins of the world (I John 2:2). That includes the sins of lying, adultery, pride, misrepresenting others, coveting, homosexuality, abortion, drunkenness, failing to do good when given the chance, laziness, rebelling against lawful authority, and the list goes on.
In God’s economy sin never gets a free pass. Jesus used strong language to confront the evil of his day. The scribes and Pharisees were his greatest human detractors and he always pointed out their hypocrisy. Like many today when that happens they did not like it. They had the truth and yet twisted it to fit their ideological system of self-righteousness and superiority. Jesus called them on it and you can read about that in Matthew chapters 21-23 and many other places.
Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 24 to be wary that they are not deceived by men; That many religious leaders would come and appear to speak for Him, but they are not His spokesmen. Even today we must heed those warnings. We have voices of religion, and voices of politics that would appear to be the answer to all our problems, but they are all illusions. The voice of religion that does not line up with the Bible is not Truth. The voice of political systems and politics that does not line up with the Bible is not Truth. I must say there is no political system in the world, nor has there ever been one that lines up perfectly with the Bible. The closest thing we have seen is Israel when under the leadership of Moses, Joshua, David and Solomon and yet it was not perfect by any stretch because men were involved in its operation.
The perfect system will be only when Jesus Christ sits on the seat of Authority during the millennial reign of Christ on earth. Then things will be operating as designed (Revelation chapter 20). However for those persons who are truly Born-again Christians (John 3:3, Romans 10: 9-10) we must be about our Father’s business today. That means taking care of orphans and widows; helping those who need help, loving those who hate us, in short obeying Jesus’ commands. It does not mean approving of people’s sin, and enabling them to continue to live in opposition to God’s ways. Sin has consequences and we all see that played out in our lives every day. Saul was told that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). The penalty for witchcraft was death, (Exodus 22:18) as that involves worshipping Satan and joining with demonic forces. Today we are not under the Mosaic Law, but the penalty for witchcraft and all rebellion and anarchy is still death (Romans 6:23).
The only cure for this mess we all are in…you guessed it: JESUS!
(Dave & Lisa Carroll are area missionaries with InFaith, America’s oldest Christian home mission agency. You can contact Dave at 406.459.8935 or [email protected])