Friday, April 10, 2009
My Easter Blog Post (Kinda)
While reading Matthew’s account of Christ’s crucifixion in chapters 26-28 this morning a particular part seemed to jump off of the page at me. It was in Matt. 27:3-5, when Judas saw the consequences for what he had done to the Lord. His betrayal.
Judas had a worldly sorrow; this was after seeing Jesus bound before Pilate at His trial. Judas had planned this all out, perhaps thinking that Jesus would perform a miracle and escape from the Romans clutches. See Judas believed that Jesus was the Son of God, but He did not trust in that. Judas’ sorrow extended only to the point of his situation at that moment, he was sorry that Jesus was on trial, he was sorry that Jesus may die. Matt. 27:3 says that Judas “repented himself”, does that mean that he had an inwardly sorrow, a worldly sorrow, but not a God centered sorrow? Did Judas repent and then believe UPON the Son? Apparently not, as he then ran out and hung himself, committing yet another sin against God. Godly sorrow will not lead to self-destruction; it is yet just another form of self-centeredness, albeit an irreversible one.
How often these days do people have this fleeting type of sorrow? Much too often in my estimation. In my area people claim to be Christians, because of one particular moment in their life (most often childhood), they made a profession of faith, said a prayer, heard a powerful message and were temporarily sorry for there sins. The only problem, which is huge, is that they did not repent of their sins, they did not believe UPON the Son of God. They too threw down their silver, stormed out of the church and continued to kill themselves with their sinful lifestyle. Sin brings death and these poor souls that are deceived are slowly killing themselves, all the while thinking that they once “came to Christ”.
What they came to is a false assurance by a “pastor”, youth leader or other professing Christian. They were declared saved because they looked sorry, felt sorry and jumped through the hoops of saying a prayer and standing before the church with tears in their eyes (a sure sign of salvation?). So what’s missing there? Repentance and trust! These people are still lost; they return to their lifestyle without hesitation because they were declared saved and now live under the grace of God and are eternally secure because of the momentary sorrow they felt. But their hope is salvation from hell only, not their sinful lifestyle as well. They did not get the gospel presented to them of Christ’s atoning work on the cross for THEIR sins. They missed the part on sanctification and only heard “there are angels singing in heaven as this dear brother accepted Christ as his personal savior”. They were deemed saved by a slick preacher that’s only concern is bigger numbers, larger attendance or more offerings. My heart cries out to these deceived people, because I was one of them for much of my life.
So what is the resurrection story? It is the greatest “story” (for lack of better terms) in mans existence. That the God that created everything, paid the ultimate price for mankind’s sins on a Roman cross 2,000 years ago. He shed His precious blood for me, for you and for any that trust UPON Him. That KNOW that He is the Son, that KNOW that He shed His blood for their sins, that REPENT of those sins and turn to God for everything, that turn from their sinful life, that count themselves dead to this world and alive to Gods desires, the God they hated 2 minutes before is now everything to them, they see their sins as vile works and fall upon their knees in total trust in the God that can and will deliver them. They do not continue to put Christ on the cross as they continue to live life centered on themselves and the lusts of this world. The God that saved them would not allow it, He sanctifies! Praise Him for that. How much power do they think that God has? Do they not think that God, which spoke the universe into existence, cannot change their heart? Change their desires? Do they doubt God’s ability to do such things? Sadly many do think that way and continue to live in sin, in a self-justifying manner that excuses their sins, because God “loves them” and “accepts them” as they are. That is a true statement, but must be continued like this – “The God that loves me, that accepts me as I am - then justifies me by the blood of His sinless Son Jesus Christ, He will continue His perfect work in me and sanctify me through His grace and mercy and forgiveness as He changes me to become more like His Son every day. The sin I loved I will hate and the Lord of all I hated I will now love with all that I am and all that I ever will be.
Is that how you see God’s salvation of a sinner? Do you hold precious Christ and His blood? Do you forsake this world and turn to God daily for His Word, His Truth and His Righteousness? Or do you hold on to a fleeting prayer many years ago? Do you think your words saved you? That a momentary sorrow is what saved you? That a preacher or another person’s declaration saved you? That being baptized, saying penance or sitting in a pew every Sunday save you? That your parents are Christians, so that makes you one too? That the USA is considered (until recently) to be a Christian Nation, so that makes you a Christian?
Search your heart, examine your motives and your beliefs as to why you believe yourself to be a Christian, then seek Him in His Word and see if it lines up with Scripture. Nothing but the grace of God will save someone, not a prayer or profession. Where does your trust lie? In your own words or in God?