Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Delicate Balance

 God is busy in my life helping me to focus on His beauty and not the mess of my life, and the mess of this world.  Through prayer, Bible study, Christian Fellowship, trials and tribulations, God is growing me spiritually, and working in the world to draw me to Him.  I can count on that. 

But understanding God’s viewpoint of grace,  justice, truth, and other issues is difficult at times. However, the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth as we trust in His teaching us.

Recently I almost bought in to the thought that David didn’t need God’s help to defeat Goliath.  He just needed the strength to make the choice to use his sling and not the armor others wanted him to use.  In an interview with John Stonestreet, Malcolm Gladwell revealed that this was his conclusion. This is actually Roman Catholic thinking.  It is grace redefined.  See this you tube by clicking here for more on grace.

In our Precepts Bible study class it was pointed out that social justice, or distributing wealth, see the definition here, does not bring people to Christ very often.  Billions are being spent to help end poverty, and diseases around the world.  The hope we have in Jesus is not emphasized for fear of governments,  rejection, or unbelief.  In the past , and currently, it is the Christians who go or stay to help others.  Now political progressives claim governments should be in charge of this work.   Here is a blog written by a missionary to Africa, who talks about a need for changed hearts rather than throwing more money at a problem. Click here. 

There is a delicate balance between Matthew 25:31- 46 and Romans 1: 18-32--between justice and truth:

Matthew 25:31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 
32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 
33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 
34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 
36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 
37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 
38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 
39'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 
40 "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' 
41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 
42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 
43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' 
44 "Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 
45 "Then He will answer them,’ Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 
46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Romans 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
 ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 
19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 
21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 
23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 
27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full
 of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to
31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 
32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

So scripture teaches us that we need to do Christ’s work in both justice and truth.  If we neglect helping others, or if we approve of those who practice immorality, and do not tell them the truth, we will be in danger of the wrath of God. It is a delicate balance.  But if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior there is no condemnation because Jesus has paid the price for our sin!

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