WHAT IF GOD TURNED AWAY FROM US?
INTRODUCTION: I CANNOT HELP BUT SEE A PROGRESSION IN OUR SOCIETY WHERE WE ARE MOVING AT AN EVER GREATER PACE AWAY FROM THE BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES WE WERE FOUNDED ON AND THE GOD OF OUR FOUNDERS. RECENT DECISION IN OUR GOVERNMENT AND COURTS HAVE ONLY PROVIDED EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF OUR NATIONAL SLIDE INTO AN ABYSS OF CARNALITY AND SPIRITUAL SHALLOWNESS.
IN CONTRAST TO THIS, THE SCRIPTURE DECLARES THAT GOD IS LONGSUFFERING AND PATIENT TOWARDS US.
Psalm 86:15 (NIV) 15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
HOSEA IN CHAPTER NINE EXPLORES THE QUESTION AND IN THIS CASE, THE ACTION OF GOD IN REGARD TO THE ACTIONS OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL. GOD DECLARES IN VERSE 12 THAT HE WILL TURN AWAY FROM THEM.
WHAT WOULD BE THE OUTCOME IF GOD WERE TO TURN AWAY FROM US?
1. WE WOULD LOSE OUR BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE.
a. TENDENCY OF OUR WORLD TO THINK THAT EVERYTHING WOULD BE ALRIGHT IF GOD WOULD SIMPLY GO AWAY.
b. FORGET THE SCRIPTURE THAT TELLS US THAT THERE IS JOY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD – PSALM 16:11. NO PRESENCE OF GOD, THEN NO JOY OR BLESSING
c. WITHOUT THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN OUR LIVES WE WOULD QUICKLY REVERT BACK TO OUR OLD NATURE.
i. PAUL WARNED THE GALATIANS REGARDING THOSE WHO WOULD MOVE THEM FROM GRACE TO THE LAW.
ii. PETER WARNS US THAT WE WOULD BE RIPE TO FOLLOW FALSE TEACHERS WHO WOULD LEAD US AWAY FROM GOD.
iii. PAUL IN ROMANS TELLS US THAT THE DENIAL OF GOD PRODUCES HARDHEARTEDNESS AND RESULTS IN JUDGMENT AND CONDEMNATION.
2. OUR BLESSINGS WOULD GO WITH HIM
a. WE HAVE A TENDENCY TO THINK OF BLESSINGS MECHANICALLY – 2 Peter 3:4 (NIV) 4 They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."
b. WE FORGET THAT BLESSINGS ARE A RESULT OF HIS FAVOR, AND NOT OUR RIGHTS
c. WE CARRY A FALSE IMPRESSION AND CONFUSE GOD’S PATIENCE FOR OUR BENEFIT.
3. THE WORD OF GOD WOULD BE IGNORED
a. IT TOOK ONLY A FEW DAYS FOR THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL TO REVERT TO UNGODLY WAYS WITH THE ABSENCE OF MOSES.
b. HOW MUCH QUICKER WOULD WE REVERT WITH THE LOSS OF GOD’S PROTECTION FROM EVIL AND RESTRAINT OF THE DEVIL.
c. THOSE WHO WOULD CRY OUT FOR GOD WOULD BE CONSIDERED FOOLS, AND SUBJECT TO OUR HOSTILITY AND NOT OUR HONOR AND ATTENTION.
4. WE WOULD CHANGE OUR ALLEGIANCE
a. EVEN NOW, IT TAKES VERY LITTLE TO GET US TO CURSE GOD.
b. HOW MUCH THE MORE WERE GOD TO WITHDRAW AND ALLOW US TO OUR OWN DESIGNS.
Romans 1:18-24 (NIV)
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,
19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
5. WE WOULD RECEIVE WHAT WE SHOULD
a. GOD CHOSES TO GIVE US BOTH GRACE AND MERCY
b. GOD CHOSES TO GIVE US WHAT WE DO NOT DESERVE
c. GOD CHOSES TO NOT GIVE US WHAT WE DO DESERVE
· THE WORLD HAS NO CHOICE – THEY CAN ONLY FOLLOW THEIR NATURE
· THE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST HAS A CHOICE. HE CAN SUBMIT HIMSELF TO GOD IN ALL THINGS
· THE ONLY HOPE FOR OUR WORLD IS THE COMMITTED FOLLOWER OF CHRIST!
· IF THE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST WILL NOT DO WHAT HE IS COMMANDED BY GOD TO DO, WE CAN NEVER EXPECT THE WORLD TO CHANGE.
· GOD CALLS US THE CHURCH OF LAODECIA IN TH EBOOK OF REVELATION. THE CHURCH WHO REFUSED TO GET OFF THE FENCE, CONTENT TO MAINTAIN BALANCE ON THE FENCE AND NOT ROCK THE BOAT.
· JESUS ROCKED THE BOAT
· JESUS EXPECTS US TO ROCK THE BOAT
· A WISE YOUNG MAN SAID RECENTLY:
We live in an age of easy believism. “Christians” are now people who were at youth camp or in church, raised their hand, came down to the front, and prayed a simple prayer. Christianity is now more about a decision more than discipleship. We see this with how modern Christianity is - “Come to Jesus, and He will make your life better. Come to Jesus and get your best life now. Come to Jesus and get ___ [you fill in the blank].” Today Jesus is a means to an end, where the real object of worship is ourselves.
That’s not what I see in the Scripture, however. I see people like Paul and Silas who were willing to go to prison, even lose their lives for the Gospel. I see our Savior, Jesus Christ, who was not only broke but homeless. Jesus never promised us, nor His disciples that having a relationship with him would be easy. For example, in Revelation 21:4, the Bible says “4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." But what people miss is that if Jesus will wipe away our tears when we come to the kingdom - we are crying all the way there!
This life is not meant to be easy. There are hurts, pains, sin and the like. The bible puts it best in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” In light of all this, I pray we meet the real Jesus, the one who never said we would have it easy, but said He would be there through it all. I pray the church would stop serving herself and really worship, love, adore, serve, study, and preach Jesus! When this happens, the world changes. –Amen
We are coming to communion and I would ask that we seriously take a moment or two and ask ourselves where we stand in the spiritual battle before us. Are we fence sitters, hoping that god would simply leave us alone so that we can make it through this day, this week, this life. Or are we committed followers of Christ, ready to fight the good fight, pay the cost, and put it all on the line for Him.