evil vs good (finale)

February 28, 2017

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Psalm 73:15-26

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”

Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.

16 When I pondered to understand this,

It was troublesome in my sight

17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;

Then I perceived their end.

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;

You cast them down to destruction.

19 How they are destroyed in a moment!

They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!

20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused,

You will despise their form.

21 When my heart was embittered

And I was pierced within,

22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;

I was like a beast before You.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;

You have taken hold of my right hand.

24 With Your counsel You will guide me,

And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?

And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,

But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:1-26).

The turning point in Asaph’s relationship with God was brought about by a change in his perspective. The psalmist says his perspective changed when he “came into the sanctuary of God” (verse 17). I believe Asaph means by these words that he came into the tabernacle (the temple was later constructed by Solomon), and doing so changed his perspective.

How can going into the Tabernacle, the sanctuary of God, produce such a dramatic change in Asaph’s perspective? The tabernacle (and later the temple) were symbols that were an earthly picture of heaven. I get this from the writer to the Hebrews:

1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. 4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; 5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “SEE,” He says, “THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN” (Hebrews 8:1-5,).

The earthly tabernacle (and temple) were but copies of the heavenly reality. Thus, when Asaph (or anyone else qualified to do so) entered the tabernacle, he was immediately reminded of the heavenly realities not yet seen by man. From this heavenly perspective Asaph now views the temporary “success” of the wicked as just that, a very short-lived period of apparent blessing, to be followed by an eternity of judgment.

17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;

Then I perceived their end.

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;

You cast them down to destruction.

19 How they are destroyed in a moment!

They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!

20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused,

You will despise their form (Psalm 73:17-20).

27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;

You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You (Psalm 73:27).

An eternal perspective enables Asaph to see his spiritual condition, his present circumstances, and his future destiny clearly:

21 When my heart was embittered

And I was pierced within,

22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;

I was like a beast before You.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;

You have taken hold of my right hand.

4 With Your counsel You will guide me,

And afterward receive me to glory (Psalm 73:21-24).

Asaph’s envy of the wicked and his anger toward God was beastly: His earthly perspective failed to grasp spiritual and eternal realities. It was not God who was in the wrong; it was Asaph. The prosperity of the wicked did not turn them toward God; it turned them from God. Asaph’s suffering drew him closer to God. Not only was he assured of spending eternity in the presence of God; he was assured of God’s presence with him in the midst of his earthly adversities. His present distress made him more aware of the nearness of God.

Asaph’s problem boiled down to a proper definition of “good.” Initially, he thought that “good” meant material prosperity and a trouble-free life. Then, when his perspective changed, so did Asaph’s definition of “good” and “evil”:

27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;

You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.

28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;

I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,

That I may tell of all Your works (Psalm 73:28).

If “nearness to God” is our good, then whatever draws us to Him is good, and whatever draws us away from Him is not good. The prosperity of the wicked lures them away from God. The suffering of the righteous is intended to draw them into closer fellowship with God. When we look at life from a divine and eternal perspective, we can see that.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

 

evil vs good

February 26, 2017

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PSALM 73 WHY THE WICKED PROSPER AND THE RIGHTEOUS SUFFER; PART ONE

THIS POST WILL SEEM LONGER THAN IT IS BECAUSE OF ALL THE SCRIPTURE GIVEN.

PSALM 73

1 Surely God is good to Israel,

To those who are pure in heart!

2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,

My steps had almost slipped.

3 For I was envious of the arrogant

As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 For there are no pains in their death,

And their body is fat.

5 They are not in trouble as other men,

Nor are they plagued like mankind.

6 Therefore pride is their necklace;

The garment of violence covers them.

7 Their eye bulges from fatness;

The imaginations of their heart run riot.

8 They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;

They speak from on high.

9 They have set their mouth against the heavens,

And their tongue parades through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return to this place,

And waters of abundance are drunk by them.

11 They say, “How does God know?

And is there knowledge with the Most High?”

12 Behold, these are the wicked;

And always at ease, they have increased in wealth.

13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure

And washed my hands in innocence;

14 For I have been stricken all day long

And chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”

Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.

16 When I pondered to understand this,

It was troublesome in my sight

17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;

Then I perceived their end.

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;

You cast them down to destruction.

19 How they are destroyed in a moment!

They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!

20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused,

You will despise their form.

21 When my heart was embittered

And I was pierced within,

22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;

I was like a beast before You.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;

You have taken hold of my right hand.

24 With Your counsel You will guide me,

And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?

And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,

But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;

You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.

28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;

I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,

That I may tell of all Your works (Psalm 73:1-28, NAU).

Some may think of the psalmists and their words as “long ago and far away,” but it doesn’t take a great deal of effort to see the relevance of Psalm 73 to Christians today, and more specifically to American Christians in times like these. Let’s begin by taking a “bird’s eye” view of the entire Psalm, and then consider the message God has for us in these inspired words. Verse one is Asaph’s affirmation of faith in God’s goodness.  In a sense, it serves as both Asaph’s introduction and as his conclusion. It indicates where Asaph is headed in this psalm,1 and it is where Asaph will end up when all is said and done. From verses 2-14 Asaph confesses his sin (of envying the wicked) by describing how he viewed his circumstances from a merely human point of view. In verses 15-17 we see the point to which his observations led him – the temptation to give up his pursuit of God to live a sinful lifestyle that seemingly led to prosperity – and the turning point that set him straight in his thinking. In verses 18—26 Asaph is now able to view life through different eyes, and thus to articulate a divine perspective on the very things that had once troubled him. This led him to a greater love for God. Verses 27 and 28 summarize the outcome of his transformed thinking regarding living in a fallen world, where the wicked appear to be the winners and the righteous appear to be the losers.

Asaph2 is the psalmist here, and he confesses that at one point in time he was very unhappy with what he saw going on about him in Israel: the wicked appeared to be blessed, while the “righteous” seemed destined for suffering:

3 For I was envious of the arrogant

As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 For there are no pains in their death,

And their body is fat.

5 They are not in trouble as other men,

Nor are they plagued like mankind (Psalm 73:3-5).

Parenthetically, let me say that it is very difficult to see life clearly when seeking to do so through the tear-filled eyes of self-pity. Asaph overstates (all right, he exaggerates) the prosperity and ease of the wicked, and the suffering of the righteous as well. Nevertheless, his words accurately convey the way he once viewed life.

Asaph is right about one thing: from a merely human perspective, the wicked do seem to be succeeding in their sinful pursuits. Worse yet, they are emboldened by their apparent success. They flaunt their opulence, and they are more than willing to resort to violence. Through Asaph’s eyes, they take great pleasure in doing so. Indeed, they are inspired by their “success” to devise even more wicked schemes.

6 Therefore pride is their necklace;

The garment of violence covers them.

7 Their eye bulges from fatness;

The imaginations of their heart run riot (Psalm 73:6-7).

The success of the wicked makes them arrogant toward their fellow men; they even become arrogant toward God:

8 They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;

They speak from on high.

9 They have set their mouth against the heavens,

And their tongue parades through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return to this place,

And waters of abundance are drunk by them.

11 They say, “How does God know?

And is there knowledge with the Most High?” (Psalm 73:8-11)

Asaph notes that the wicked seem to have concluded either that God is ignorant of their sin, or (worse yet) that He is indifferent toward it.

Before I become too critical of Asaph here, it would be good to consider some of the reasons for his mental and spiritual torment. Asaph knew that God is righteous, that He hates sin, and that He punishes the wicked. He also believed that God had promised to bless the righteous. This assurance of God’s hatred of sin, judgment of the wicked, and blessing of the righteous is based upon God’s words in the giving of the Law of Moses:

15 “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 “But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20; see also Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28).

In Asaph’s mind, God seemed to be doing just the opposite. God appeared to be blessing the wicked, while at the same time He was punishing the righteous. God’s actions were perceived as inconsistent with His promises.

Looking back on his agony of soul, Asaph admits that his motivation and thinking were sinful:

1 Surely God is good to Israel,

To those who are pure in heart!

2 But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,

My steps had almost slipped.

3 For I was envious of the arrogant

As I saw the prosperity of the wicked (Psalm 73:1-3).

Asaph was envious of the wicked. Expressed in different words, Asaph had more affection for the gold (God’s material blessings) than he did for God. As I look at God’s commandments in the Law I see great emphasis on loving God, which motivates one to obey His commands. God is more emphatic about loving Him and thus obeying His commands than He is about the material benefits of obedience. Notice how a love for God should motivate our obedience to God, resulting in blessing, while turning from God (to other gods) leads to disobedience and judgment.

13 “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. 15 “He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. 16 “Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. 17 “Or the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you (Deuteronomy 11:13-17, emphasis mine).

I can understand why the psalmist would be perplexed. Didn’t God promise to bless His people for their obedience to His law, and to punish those who disobeyed? We should remember that Asaph had written these words in Psalm 50:

14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving

And pay your vows to the Most High;

15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;

I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

16 But to the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes

And to take My covenant in your mouth?

17 “For you hate discipline,

And you cast My words behind you.

18 “When you see a thief, you are pleased with him,

And you associate with adulterers.

19 “You let your mouth loose in evil

And your tongue frames deceit.

20 “You sit and speak against your brother;

You slander your own mother’s son.

21 “These things you have done and I kept silence;

You thought that I was just like you;

I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.

22 “Now consider this, you who forget God,

Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.

23 “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;

And to him who orders his way aright

I shall show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:14-23).

Asaph’s earlier words in Psalm 50 certainly seem to promise salvation and blessings to the righteous, and judgment to the wicked. No wonder that Asaph is perplexed by what he sees. It would appear that God is not playing by the rules or, worse yet, that He is unaware or unconcerned by what is going on. Asaph is troubled to the point of considering giving up on persevering in the face of adversity.

If Asaph’s first confession is that of his envy of the material prosperity of the wicked, his second confession is that he began to think of his faith and obedience as a useless waste of energy:

13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure

And washed my hands in innocence;

14 For I have been stricken all day long

And chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”

Behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children (Psalm 73:13-15).

This kind of thinking tempted Asaph to cast his faith aside and join the wicked in their evil pursuits (and thus to join them in their prosperity).

Part two tomorrow, Don’t throw in the towel.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SIMPLE SIX

February 25, 2017

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Many of God’s commands are framed as positive statements (e.g., “Love your neighbor”). But numerous commands also tell us what we should not do. A prime example is the 6 “do not’s” included in Paul’s instructions for Christian living in Ephesians 4.

 Here are 6 things Christians should not do:

  1. Do not lie (v. 25)—Soon after we begin to talk we learn to practice deceit; lying is one of the first vices of children. But when we become “born again” we must be mature, speak truthfully and renounce the devil, the father of lies.

  2. Do not let anger cause you to sin (vv. 26–27)—Scripture doesn’t forbid anger, but it requires that we put two checks on it. Paul is quoting the Septuagint version of Psalm 4:4 in the first check on anger: Don’t let anger cause you to sin in thought or action. If we do we allow the “devil a foothold.”

 The second check is to not let our anger fester and carry on for long periods of time. Paul’s words about not letting the sun go down while we’re angry is not to be taken too literally (if they were, people in Greenland, where day lasts above a quarter of a year, could be angry for a long time). What he intends is that we should seek a quick resolution to our anger.

  1. Do not steal (v. 28)—While we might not have to be told not to steal—because we don’t engage in overt theft—we might still need to avoid stealing indirectly, as in cheating others in our business dealings.

  2. Do not engage in unwholesome talk (v. 29)—As Christians, we must refuse to allow our speech to be obscene, vulgar or profane.

  3. Do not obstruct the Holy Spirit (v. 30)—The Spirit is grieved when we obstruct his work in helping us to obey God.

  4. Do not hold on to emotions that cause you to be unloving (v. 31)—When we hold on to these emotions they cause us to sin. We should, instead, be “kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (v. 32).

You’d think it was simple, yet in these just 6 things how’d your week go with this report card.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

real desire

February 24, 2017

(1) When we think of God’s will we need to nuance the discussion. The Bible speaks of God’s will in essentially two ways: what he desires and what he decrees. These two must not be confused.

(2) God desires that we should not sin: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thess 4:3); “live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God” (1 Pet 4:2); “understand what the will of the Lord is—namely, do not get drunk with wine but be filled by the Spirit” (Eph 5:17-18). And yet, we do sin. If this is all there is to God’s will, then he’s not very powerful.

(3) God has decreed all that has come to pass and all that will come to pass: He “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph 1:11); “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2); “For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your purpose predestined to occur” (Acts 4:27-28). Cf. also Isaiah 40, Romans 9-11. Yet, not all that God has decreed is good (at least not in the short run). If this is all there is to God’s will, then he must not be good himself.

(4) These two aspects of God’s will can be stated simply: God desires some things that he does not decree, and God decrees some things that he does not desire.

(5) Now, before we jump to any conclusions about the illogic of it all, we need to consider another attribute of God: simplicity. God is one (Deut 6:4); his attributes cannot be compartmentalized. There is no contradiction in him. He is eternal in his love, omniscient in his justice, good in his sovereignty, and sovereign in his goodness. He is not good one day, then sovereign the next.

Nothing catches him by surprise; not even a sparrow falls to the ground without his knowledge. We must not think of him as sitting on the throne, trying to keep track of all the activities on this old sphere, but every once in a rare while missing a catastrophe that somehow slips under his heavenly radar! God is not sitting there thinking, “I should have seen the signs! I should have known this was going to happen!” He knows all things that ever have happened, are happening, or will happen. He also knows all the ‘could haves’, ‘would haves’ and ‘should haves.’ All contingencies and realities are perfectly known to God and always have been. God doesn’t learn, precisely because he already knows all. And if he never has to look down the corridors of time to see what’s going to happen, this must mean that everything happens according to his purpose.

And yet, his purpose is ultimately to glorify himself. He does this especially through his creation, particularly humanity. Ultimately, all that God does is good—perfectly, eternally, infinitely good. One of the reasons we can’t see it—or refuse to see it—is that our horizon is temporal. In modern America, we tend to interpret God’s blessings in dollars and cents, in quality of life, in conveniences and comfort. We think that what we have come to value must be what God values. But listen to the remarkable words of the apostle Paul as he sits imprisoned in Rome: “For it has been granted to you not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him” (Phil 1:29,). Paul says that suffering for Christ is a gift! In Paul’s mind, what these Christian kids in Fort Worth just went through was a privilege. If we can’t see that then perhaps our values have gotten really messed up somewhere along the road. But we also can’t see that because we tend to view this life as all there really is. But the reality is that this life—whether it lasts for two days or ninety years—is not even a speck on eternity’s time line. As one of my professors, used to say, “There is an ‘until’.” What all this means is that the full goodness of God cannot possibly be known in this life.

(6) That there are no contradictions in God does not mean that there are no apparent contradictions in God. That is because what the infinite God does appears to finite creatures as impossible and contradictory. Perhaps an analogy might help. It is as though we lived in a two-dimensional world, looking out at a three-dimensional world. If in our realm of existence we saw a man walk toward us, since our only frame of reference was two dimensional we would swear that the man was growing at an incredible pace! But then, just as quickly, he shrinks when he walks away. We know that that is impossible, but we have no explanation for what we just witnessed. And frankly, we don’t have the capacity to understand what we just witnessed. But if we decide never to look past our shallow plane of existence because we can’t understand what we see, our lives are thereby impoverished by our stubbornness and ignorance.

(7) All of this leads to a final point: How do we deal with the tension between the goodness of God and the sovereignty of God? And this is the real question we are asking in the midst of tragedy. Our response is to trust. And to know that there is no contradiction in God, to actually take comfort in the fact that he is infinite and we are but puny little creatures who often sin by presuming that we can tell God how to do his job. As he says in Isaiah 55:8-9, “My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Or, as the apostle Paul put it, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has first given to God that God needs to repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen” (Rom 11:33-36,). This crescendo of praise from Paul’s pen was not conceived in an ivory tower setting. Paul magnified his God in response to his own profound grief over the unresponsiveness of the Jews to their Messiah (cf. Rom 9:1-3). His words are just as relevant and just as comforting today as they were then.

 

more food for thought

February 24, 2017

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HAVE YOU EVER ASKED, “WHY AM I GOING THROUGH THIS?”

It is often only through pain that we can see all the pieces of the puzzle, that we have the big picture of what life is all about laid out so clearly in front of us, that we can finally understand. But pain does not automatically do this: our response to pain does—and even then, not immediately. Atheists and saints are both often ‘born’ in the aftermath of a tragedy.

When we ask, “How could God let this happen?”, we are on to something. What we do and feel next is of utmost importance. Some people decide that it is blasphemous even to raise such a question in the first place, that to ask ‘Why?’ is itself sinful. I do not share that sentiment, for this reason: it is neither human nor biblical. The books of Job and the Psalms ask this question at least sixty times—almost regardless of which translation one reads—and a very large portion of these questions are on the lips of godly men as they wonder about God’s ways. It is no sin to ask why. Indeed, I think it may well be wrong not to ask that question! When your suffering, be sure that some friends will try to console you with this kind of  “how can you ask God why “attitude”. They comfort by quoting precious verses—especially Romans 8:28(“All things work together for good for those who love God…”)—and then they walked away. Scripture became for them a way to deny the grief, to deny the pain. They loved us at an arm’s distance.

To be sure, in the midst of suffering the human soul cries out for answers. But it cries out for more than that. It cries out for comfort, for love, for someone to share the burden of grief.

All of this is not to say there are no answers. But the answer that we seek is too often elusive; we never really know in this life— we cannot possibly know in this life—the details of the answer to our question. Now, to be sure, we sometimes do get a partial answer to the ‘Why?’

“How could God let this happen?” two things are presupposed about God: he is good and he is sovereign. And therein lies the crux of the problem. If we think about it a little while, we might even articulate it this way, “If God is good, isn’t he also powerful enough not to have let this happen?” Or, put another way, “If God is in control, isn’t he good enough not to have let this happen?” Either way, the goodness of God or the sovereignty of God seems to be on trial.

Perhaps you can see why atheists are born at a time like this: their image of God is shattered at the paradox of the situation. “God wasn’t there for me” becomes the mantra that leads to atheism or, in the least, to a marginalization of God in one’s thinking. The scary thing is that we are all atheists at heart when we sanitize and shrink-wrap the majesty and grandeur of God into manageable proportions.

So two questions; 1. How big is your God and 2. How much do you trust Him when everything is going wrong?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

true dat

February 23, 2017

All of God’s acts are consistent with all of His attributes. All that God does agrees with all that God is, and being and doing are one in Him. He cannot act out of character with Himself.

I think it might be demonstrated that almost every heresy that has afflicted the church through the years has arisen from believing about God things that are not true, or from over-emphasizing certain true things so as to obscure other things equally true. To magnify any attribute to the exclusion of another is to head straight for one of the dismal swamps of theology, and yet we are all constantly tempted to do just that.

For instance, the Bible teaches that God is love; some have interpreted this in such a way as virtually to deny that He is just, which the Bible also teaches. Others press the Biblical doctrine of God’s goodness so far that it is made to contradict His holiness. Or they make His compassion cancel out His truth. Still others understand the sovereignty of God in a way that destroys or at least greatly diminishes His goodness and love.

We can hold a correct view of truth only by daring to believe everything God has said about Himself. It is a grave responsibility that a man takes upon himself when he seeks to edit out of God’s self-revelation such features as he in his ignorance deems objectionable

And yet it is happening, it’s not just unbelievers distorting God, it’s charlatans and imposters that are fleecing the flock, preaching a false gospel for their own fame, fortune and a form of self-idolization.

Some preach that God is all love and there can’t be a hell, some preach racism and hate, others are just feel good spin doctors weaving a hype that few can find in the real world. So it’s up to the those that are faithful to the Word of God to not be liars and self-promoters.

So here’s an easy thing to do just google false preachers, or preacher’s with bad doctrine, you will be surprised who is on that list. So if you want to send a good chain letter send that list.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

God on High,or high on God

February 22, 2017

ON HIGH

The gradual disappearance of the idea and feeling of majesty from the Church is a sign and a portent. Our God has now become our servant to wait on our will. “The Lord is my shepherd” we say, instead of “The Lord is my shepherd,” and the difference is as wide as the world. Bob Dylan asks if we have God mainly as errand boy to serve our wandering desire. We say we love Him but we cheat on Him by loving the things of this world more. Look your credit card debt and tell me you haven’t thought “this” will make be happy.

The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshipping men.

The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. A whole new philosophy of the Christian life has resulted from this one basic error in our religious thinking.

The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of His Presence.

To most people God is an inference, not a reality. He is a deduction from evidence which they consider adequate, but He remains personally unknown to the individual. For millions of Christians God is no more real than He is to the non-Christian.

Over against all this cloudy vagueness stands the clear Scriptural doctrine that God can be known in personal experience. A loving Personality dominates the Bible.

But why do the very ransomed children of God know so little of that habitual conscious communion with God which the Scriptures seem to offer? The answer is our chronic unbelief. God and the spiritual world are real. But sin has so clouded the lenses of our hearts that we cannot see. The great unseen Reality is God.

As we begin to focus upon God the things of the spirit will take shape before our inner eyes. Obedience to the word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21–23). A new God-consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel the God who is our life and our all. God will become to us the great All, and His Presence the glory and wonder of our lives.

In Christ and by Christ, God effects complete self-disclosure, although He shows Himself not to reason but to faith and love. Faith is an organ of knowledge, and love an organ of experience. God came to us in the incarnation; in atonement He reconciled us to Himself, and by faith and love we enter and lay hold on Him.

Love and faith are at home in the mystery of the Godhead. Let reason kneel in reverence outside.

From a failure properly to understand God comes a world of unhappiness among good Christians even today. The Christian life is thought to be a glum, unrelieved cross-carrying under the eye of a stern Father who expects much and excuses nothing. The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure. He loves us for ourselves and values our love more than galaxies of new created worlds.

Unfortunately many Christians cannot get free from their perverted notions of God, and these notions poison their hearts and destroy their inward freedom. These friends serve God grimly, as the elder brother did, doing what is right without enthusiasm and without joy.

How good it would be if we could learn that God is easy to live with.

God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine age. The man who would know God must give time to Him.

If this was the 60’s again I would say, “get high on Jesus” we need to put God back on the throne in our church and our lives.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

OVER COMING FEAR

February 21, 2017

I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath—these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely—these are my native air.

A John Hopkins University doctor says, “We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non-worriers, but that is a fact.” But I, who am simple of mind, think I know; We are inwardly constructed in nerve and tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not for fear. God made us that way. To live by worry is to live against reality.

– Dr. E. Stanley Jones

FEAR. You know how that feeling hits you. The pit in your stomach. The pounding of your heart. The rush of your thoughts as you go from just the possibility of a job loss to starving and being homeless—all in a matter of seconds. Gripped by fear. And, as crazy as it sounds, we need to think of fear as a gift. What?! Hear me out.

Fear is a normal human emotion designed by God to alert us to danger so that we will take action against it. But, we know fear has a dark side as well. I heard someone say that women are a fear-driven, performance-oriented species. Just reading the daily news feed can panic us. Fear-driven. What does fear drive us to do? Usually nothing good, right?

Is it realistic to think we can live without fear? No! Our faithful God understands this about us. He doesn’t want us to stay there, disoriented and hopeless. He gives us the answer—Himself! This is the action He wants us to take.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” (PSALM 56:3-4)

Fear will happen. We can let fear take root in us so that we give way to panic and hysteria. Are you prone to that? When we are afraid, God wants us to trust Him and not give way to fear. Learning to do that is our walk from fear to faith.

Here are 4 consistent truths that we can embrace and apply to our lives today on our WALK FROM FEAR TO FAITH.

Truth #1: God Loves You

John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus, so you could believe in Him and receive eternal life. You are part of that world that God loves. And, once you accept His gift of eternal life through your faith in His Son, you get even more of God’s love for you.

Jesus said in John 16 that “For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” (John 16:27) He loves you!

Paul wrote in Romans 5 that God pours out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

“The love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

As a believer in Jesus, the Father Himself loves you. He pours out His love into your heart so you can experience that love. You can count on Truth #1 — God loves you.

Truth #2: God Knows What Is Going on in Your Life

Jesus knew that His followers were stressing about food, clothing and shelter. Those essentials for daily life. So He told them in Matthew 6, “…do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the [unbelievers] run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” (Matthew 6:31-32) 

In Psalm 139, David describes how God is everywhere and knows everything about him. And, that is true for you. God knows what is going on in your life. And in my life. If He doesn’t, then He isn’t really God. He knows your needs and how best to meet those needs. You can count on Truth #2 — God knows what is going on in your life.

Truth #3: God Can Do Something About It

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14)

That’s what the angel of the Lord asks Sarah in Genesis 18. Since the angel lives in heaven with God, he should know. So, is anything impossible for the Lord? The answer is, NO! Another angel declared the same thing to Mary in Luke 1. “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) 

Both of these statements are made to women. We need that assurance, don’t we? Our God is all-powerful. He is capable of doing anything He chooses to do that is in agreement with His character and His purposes. We can count on Truth #3 — God can do something about IT. Whatever IT is.

Truth #4: You Can Trust His Goodness in Whatever He Chooses to Do

This is the sticky part, isn’t it? Can I believe that God is always good? And, I can think of a zillion ways that He can be “good to me” that don’t include bad things

The Bible says that God is good, and what He does is good. (Psalm 119:68)

The day before my sister in law died of breast cancer, she softly spoke to me these words, “God is good.”  I finished her sentence with “all the time” because I had heard her say that repeatedly. She replied, “I don’t understand all of this.” Who does?

Here’s some wisdom from Proverbs, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” (Proverbs 3:5)

It’s a choice to trust God and bank on His goodness. So, here’s Truth #4 — You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do!

A Biblical Example of These Truths in Action

One of the best biblical examples of these four truths in action comes from John 11. Martha informed Jesus that her brother Lazarus was sick.

  • Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus (John 11:5).

  • Jesus knew what was going on in Martha’s life—Lazarus died (verses 6, 11, 14).

  • Jesus could do something about it—He had healed from a distance (John 4:50-53).

  • But, Jesus chose to do something different, even better than what anyone could imagine though it caused pain and suffering to those He loved and a lot of waiting, too (John 11:14-15).

After 4 days of being dead, Lazarus was brought back to life, and good things happened. God’s goodness showed up—Lazarus had his life restored, his sisters saw their now healthy brother returned to them, the disciples witnessed an amazing work of God, and many people now believed in Jesus who had not yet believed in Him. Martha could now say to herself with assurance, “God loves me. God knows what is going on in my life. God can do something about it. I can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do.” And so can you in any situation.

Your Walk from Fear to Faith

Dear friends, God may not choose to rescue you from everything that is threatening you. But, in any and all situations, you can embrace and apply these four truths. So, pick one thing that is causing you fear today. What are your choices for acting on that fear? Apply these 4 truths to your situation. Another step on your walk from fear to faith!

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Debbie Littlewing, her family has been hit hard by just so much

Pray for Paul k, a cancerous tumor in his right kidney

For Paul C, to find his way back

 

GET UP AND LIVE

February 20, 2017

 

OUR RESURRECTION

The Father looks upon every believer as if he were already in heaven, as far as his standing is concerned. This blessed truth is brought out in Ephesians 2:6, “And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” But as far as his earthly state is concerned while he is waiting the home-call, the believer is admonished thus: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Col. 3:5). So we see that the believer is said to be both in heaven and on the earth. “Standing and State” is the only explanation of this.

Much more of the Word is given to instructions for the believer’s state than to his standing. His standing is heavenly, eternal, and perfect. His state is earthly, temporary, and imperfect. The believer should be “zealous of good works,” not in order to get saved but because he is saved.

We hope maybe something about this Sundayservice will draw someone back again to next Sunday’s sermon. Come next Sunday there will be lots of disappointed pastors. But what about disappointed Christians, Christmas and Easter, maybe Mother’s Day because that’s what mom asked; ‘will you please come to church with me.’

So now here in Texas we have ‘cowboy churches’ with an emphasis on come as you are, jeans, shorts it doesn’t matter just show up. We have Sunday school classes or whatever they are called these days and we serve coffee and donuts and some churches even say come in your pajamas.

The problem is for many believers there is no zeal, believe it or not Christians are bored about God. Shocking theory but it is sadly true, there are churches that pay more to the worship leader who can do a power point praise service than the pastor. Heck the Lutheran’s will even let you raise your hands during worship, even though grandma Jones, the pillar of the church for 90 years faints when she sees such shocking behavior in her church.

What has deadened so many Christians, why has church become a habit and not a passion? Simple answer; carnality, we’ve placed God into a box and we only let him into our lives a couple of hours a week. Imagine that God on a leash, sermons only about how much He loves us, how blessed we are, how much we deserve. Wow if we got what we really deserve the churches would indeed be empty because there would be little piles of ashes everywhere (thank God for grace, heh).

And so God does what He does to the wandering Christian, he allows adversity into our lives; sadness, illness, distress, you get the point and just like the Jews of the old testament we run the wrong direction and seek remedies in other things.

How large is your prescription bill every month, how many times do you ‘sneak’ something, the food before dinner as you drive home because of stress. The pet sins, nothing to big you are still in control its only a little thing.

Lest we forget, our God is a jealous God.

One of my most frequent prayers for myself is Ezekiel 36: 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

I hope that between this Sundayand next Sunday, someone will pray this prayer.

God bless

Contact us at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SUNDAY MORING 02_19 LIAR LIAR

February 19, 2017

Four things that Satan did to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Look, if you will, in 3:1: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field [the word subtle means crafty and sly], more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

Spiritual flaw number one is to despise God’s goodness and to think negatively about God, to think negatively about God. That’s what the devil wants you to do. He wants you to think negatively about God. Satan came crawling his slimy, corroding path into the pages of history, and he said, “Did God say that you shall not eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden?” Now, what was that? It was an attempt to get Eve to doubt God’s goodness, God’s love, God’s amazing grace, He wanted Eve to think negatively about God. What it was was a slander of the character of God. It was Satan’s way of saying God is not good. God is some sort of a cosmic killjoy. God doesn’t want you to have all of this good fruit. Now, of course, that was a lie. God had not said that she could not eat of that fruit. As a matter of fact, just put in your margin Genesis 2:16: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden  thou mayest freely eat.”

“It’s there! It’s for you! Adam, Eve, I made it for you! Help yourself!” But what did Satan say? “O, hath God said ye shall not eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden?” The truth of the matter is there was only one tree that they were forbidden to take of. But what Satan was trying to do was to get Eve to think negatively about God. God is so straight-laced. God is so cruel that anytime He sees anyone having any pleasure, He just sort of moves in to break up the party. Everything good and pleasurable is a no-no. The truth of the matter is that God has said a resounding yes to your pleasure. God loves you. Don’t get the idea that being a Christian is some sort of a penalty that you pay in order to get to heaven. I would be a Christian is there were no heaven. There is. I would be a Christian if there were no hell, just to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.

Can you imagine what all God made for Adam and Eve? Can you imagine the glories, the splendor of Eden and what it must have been like? The most beautiful place you’ve ever seen would not even begin to compare with Eden. And God made it for Adam and Eve, and God said, “Help yourself.”

They tell a little story of Cain and Abel after Adam and Eve had been put out of the garden because of their sin. Cain and Abel came to a wall, climbed up that wall and looked over and saw Eden. Went back to Adam and said, “Daddy, we have just seen the most beautiful place in the world. Hey, hey, dad, you think we could ever live in a place like that?” Adam said, “We did once, boys, before your mother ate us out of house and home”. Well, it was a beautiful and a glorious place, and God made it, and God said to Adam and God said to Eve, “Help yourself.”

Do you know what the devil will do to many of you? He will put negative thoughts in your hearts concerning the goodness of our God. Listen to Psalm 37:4.

The Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desire of your heart.” Listen to Psalm 84:11: “The Lord thy God is a sun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory [now, listen to this]: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Isn’t that great? “… no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Listen to 1 Timothy 6:17. The Bible says, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches [but now, listen to this], but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” “… the living God, who has given to us richly all things to enjoy.” The dirty devil wants you to think negatively about God. Now, listen to me. God is good all of the time (amen). And anything that causes pain and suffering and moan and moan and groan and woe and heartache and tears is the fruit of sin. It is not because of God. God made a beautiful, wonderful paradise and He put man and woman in that paradise. And so, Satan’s spiritual flaw, number one, is to get you to doubt the goodness of God and to think negatively about God. And, friend, it’s a foolish thing if you think negatively about our great God, who has given us richly all things to enjoy. When I invite you to Jesus Christ, I’m not inviting you to a funeral; I’m inviting you to a feast (amen) to know the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Spiritual flaw number two is to deny God’s truthfulness and to think skeptically about God. Now, notice verses 2, 3: “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden [Eve knew better than that]: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” You know how I think he said it? I wasn’t there, but I, you know how I think he said it? (noise) “… Ye shall not surely die.” I mean, what he is doing here is denying God’s truthfulness. “How do you know that you’re going to surely die?” And what he did was to make a skeptic, to make a doubter about God’s truthfulness. You see, what he did, first of all, was to question God’s goodness, and now he is questioning God’s truthfulness. Now, I want to say this: anybody who causes a question mark concerning the Word of God, or anybody who denies the veracity and the truth of the Word of God is doing the work of the devil. I don’t care what university he teaches in, or what seminary he may teach in. I don’t, I care not how many degrees he has after his name. If he inculcates in the hearts and minds of anybody a doubt or a denial of the Word of God, that man is an emissary of Satan (amen). It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. “Yea, hath God said ye shall not eat? Oh, come on! You will not surely die. Oh, no. Why, your eyes will be open.”

You see, modern man today will do anything except believe the truth. We have so many substitutes for the truth. We have today, relativism. Hagel, the philosopher, began relativism, and relativism in our society, and so everything is relative. And our kids are going to school today being taught there are not absolutes. All truth is relative truth, and if that doesn’t go, then others.

And especially in some churches today, have been given to subjectivism. Not relativism, but subjectivism. They say, “Well, this is what I feel is truth. This is what I think. This is what it means to me. Well, what is true for me may not be true for you, but isn’t it wonderful that we all have our own truth.” And that’s, that’s subjectivism. Truth is what we experience.

And, and for others, the answer is not necessarily relativism or subjectivism, but rationalism. They somehow have the idea that all that is truth is what we call empirical truth, what they can put into the laboratory. If they can put God in a test tube, then they might believe in God. Puny man thinks that he can prove God through rationalism, and so he substitutes “Thus saith the mind of man,” for “Thus saith the Word of God.”

And another substitute for God’s truth is pragmatism, and this is the one that’s working in America today. In America today we don’t ask, “Is it true?” We want to know, “Does it work?” Does it work! And so, we’re not all that interested in pragmatism.

But, you know, the most damning assault on truth today is a word you may not have heard much, but if you’ve read or been in theology, you’ll hear this word, and it’s post-modernism. What on earth is post-modernism? You say, “Pastor, I’ve been longing all morning to hear something about post-modernism”. Post-modernism. These folks, they don’t believe there is a truth. They won’t argue about truth to you because it’s not even an issue with them. It’s just, there is no real truth, and so it’s a hodgepodge of all of these other things that I have talked about—rationalism and relativism and emotionalism and all of these things. But when they finally finish, they just simply say, “Nobody knows truth. There never has been truth. Never will be truth. We make up truth as we go along.” Now, that kind of thinking, which is one of Satan’s spiritual flaws, leads people with no rationale basis as to say what is right and what is wrong.

And that’s, we’re, we’re still thinking about the kids in the high schools these days. What has happened in America? Well, one thing: there’s a famine for the Word of God. There’s a famine for the Word of God. If you listened to

P-A-V-L-O-V, the Russian who worked with animals in what we call “conditioned response.” That is, he could, he would ring a bell and feed the dogs and the dogs would salivate after a while just at the ringing of a bell because they associated the ringing of a bell with food. But another thing Pavlov did was this, and I’d not heard this before. He would put a dog down and over here and put in front of the dog a perfect circle. And when the dog would see the perfect circle, he taught the dog to jump to the right. And if the dog would see the circle and jump to the right, the dog would be rewarded. And so the dog learned—circle = jump = food.

And then, after he got the dog trained this way, he put in front of the dog an oval. Not a circle, but an oval. And then, at the sign of the oval, he taught the dog to jump to the left. Jump to the left = oval = food. Circle—jump to the right = reward. And the dog was trained this way. And the dog had it down perfectly.

And then Pavlov began to do something. He began to take the circle and morph it just a little bit so it began to look like an oval. He took the oval and began to change it a little bit so it looked like a circle. And the dog was getting confused and still trying, as best he could, to get the reward and to do what was right. And, finally, Pavlov had a figure on the ground that the dog would not tell whether it was a circle or an oval, and the dog went mad.

Now, folks, that’s where our kids are today! They don’t know whether it’s a circle or an oval. They do not know that there is a fixed standard because that dirty devil has gotten people to think skeptically about God and cannot believe the fixed Word of God. Parents are having difficulty today raising children. Well, let me tell you how to raise them. “Child, it’s wrong to steal because God says so. It’s wrong to commit adultery because God says so. You’re to obey your parents because God says so. We’re to worship one because God says so.” But if the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do.

Now, here’s the third spiritual flaw. First of all, Satan wanted Eve to think negatively about God, to doubt the goodness of God. Secondly, he wanted Eve to think skeptically about God, and to doubt the truthfulness of God. Thirdly, third spiritual flaw was to defy God’s righteousness and to think carelessly about God. To think carelessly about God. Look in verse 4 again. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” That is, “Eve, you don’t have to worry about judgment. I mean, you can be cavalier about this thing. You don’t need to fear God. God is not all that righteous. Now, don’t worry about God’s laws.” Well, friend, God is righteous and God is holy. Not only is God good, but God is righteous. God will punish sin. God had forbidden them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And God said, “In the day that you eat thereof, you will die.” That was God’s holy law. And law without penalty is only advice. And God wasn’t giving advice. You see, it’s, it’s the devil’s gospel, the devil’s gospel that God will not punish sin, but God sent me here to tell you that God is a holy God—God is a righteous God—and God will punish sin. And whatever happened to hell? If you disobey God and refuse the gospel of Jesus Christ, you’re going to die and go to hell. You’re going to die and go to hell. There is a hell. You say, “Well, Pastor, today people don’t believe in hell anymore.” Well, that doesn’t change it at all. Jesus Christ had more to say about hell than any preacher in the Word of God. Jesus Christ, the loving Jesus, had more to say about hell than any other preacher in the Word of God.

Abraham Lincoln, who was wise in old fashion kinda homey ways, said to a little boy one time, said, “Son, I want to ask you a question. If a dog has four legs and you call his tail a leg, then how many legs would he have?” The little boy said, “He’s have 5.” And Abe said, “No, he’ll only have four. No matter what you call his call, it’s still a tail. You can call his tail a leg if you want to, but he only has four legs.” And no matter what people say about hell, they do not take away God’s truth concerning the punishment of sin.

Now, Satan knows that man fears death. Satan knows that. And so he says to Eve, “You will not surely die.” And, by the way, I said, you know, this is not new or old. It’s, it’s up to date. It’s all New Age religion. Everything that I have given you, everything, is all New Age religion.

How do the New Agers deal with this idea, “You shall not, you will not surely die?” Well, it’s re-incarnation. What is re-incarnation? Well, you just, you just keep going around and around. You get recycled. You get as many chances at perfection as you need. And in re-incarnation there’s no judgment. There’s no personal God. And you know who the high priestess of this New Age religion is? Do you remember Shirley MacLaine, an actress of sorts. She said, listen to this, and I quote her, “We can eliminate all fear of death.” And she said she had discovered that once she was a princess in Atlantis, and then she was an Inca in Peru, and then one time she was a child raised by elephants. That’s in her past lives that she’s had. And, you know, Shirley MacLaine said, “It’s like show business. You keep doing it until you get it right.” And so there are a lot of kids today who, while they cannot be taught biblical truth, eastern mysticism and New Ageism has come in like gangbusters into the church and they believe that. The idea is that we have something called karma. And if your karma is good, next time you go through, you keep on going up and you get higher and higher and higher. But if your karma is bad, you’re degraded in the next life.  And so, it just all depends. So, you just keep going through and through. And that’s the reason many of them are vegetarians, because they believe that animals and humans are all interrelated, and so when you go to McDonalds, you might be eating your grandmother. And so, they believe this—that that cow has been re-incarnated from something else, re-incownated , and so this is what they believe. I believe re-incarnation is putting the milk back in the can, but you won’t get that till after the service.

Satan, Satan does not want people to believe that there is a death, and a holy and a righteous God, and a judgment to face, and so they, you come up with these silly ideas, like re-incarnation. People don’t like the idea of judgment, and they’re glad to listen to this third spiritual flaw that you can deny the righteousness of God and think carelessly about God.

Do you know one of the worst things people say about preachers today? He’s a hell-fire preacher, hell, fire, and damnation preacher, like you don’t want to go there to hear him. I want to say again—you would not have wanted to hear Jesus. I have an idea, I have a suspicion, it’s almost a conviction, if the Supreme Court of the United States of America could vote on it, they would outlaw hell and cruel and unusual punishment. They would say, “Well, that’s certainly an un-American thing. You cannot have eternal punishment.”

You see, this is a lie out of hell. The devil wants you to think negatively about God. The devil wants you to think skeptically about God. The devil wants you to think casually and lightly about God.

Fourth spiritual flaw is this: that Satan debases God’s greatest and he wants you to think suspiciously about God. He wants you to think suspiciously about God. Now, notice how clever he was. Look in verse 5: “For God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, ha, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Now, you know what he’s saying here? “Look, you can’t trust God. Ha, Eve, you’re a babe in the woods. Your eyes are not even open. You don’t know what’s right. You don’t know what’s wrong. You don’t know what’s good. You don’t know what’s bad. All you have is His word for it. That’s all you have, is His word for it. You’ve never experienced it. How do you know it’s bad? How do you know? After all, Eve, experience is the best teacher.” Have you ever heard that? Experience is the best teacher. So we get the idea today that in order to find out whether something is good or bad, we have to experience with it. That’s the reason why so many young people have their lives that are wrecked and ruined and are sucked down in the swirling sewers of sin because of experimentation. They say, “Well, I want to experiment a little bit with drugs. I want to experiment a little with eastern meditation. I want to experience, experiment a little bit with pre-marital sex. I want to experiment a little bit with sexual perversion.” “I mean, just try it, Eve. You might like it. Hey, Eve, if it’s good, then you can do it some more. If it’s bad, you don’t have to do it anymore. But, Eve, your eyes are not even open. Why, listen, if you’ll do it, then your eyes will be open. You’ll be like He is. You will know the difference between good and bad. You see, He’s got a monopoly on being God. Ha, He’s trying to head you off at the pass. He doesn’t want you to have fulfillment. He doesn’t want you to be liberated. He wants to keep you under His thumb. Eve, experience is the best teacher, not somebody’s word.” Let me tell you something, folks, when it comes to sin, experience is a very poor teacher. And those who know the least about sin are those who are the deepest into it, did you know that?

The Bible speaks of the deceitfulness of sin, the deceitfulness of sin. And those who know the very least about sin are those who have been blinded and they’re into sin, and they come to the place where they get a reprobate mind. They cannot tell up from down, good for bad. They put bitter for sweet, sweet for bitter, light for darkness, darkness for light, good for evil, and evil for good because they try to make themselves the sum, the substance, the total decider of what is good and bad. And, folks, I’m going to tell you, the world is full of that today. These kids who are ruining their lives through experimentation.

WHAT LIES HAVE YOU BELIEVED? ONLY THE WORD OF GOD CAN CHASE THOSE LIES OUT OF YOUR LIFE

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM