Summary: Our Sovereign LORD uses His word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to get us to stop and consider that the walk we claim to have with Him sometimes needs an honest diagnosis and correction.
The Scriptures are harmonious. That is, they are all woven together without discrepancy or contradiction in God's communication with His creation. He does not send "mixed messages", nor does He have to add or delete anything that has been presented in the Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21). Every prophecy mentioned in the Scriptures has been or will be fulfilled according to the directions and plans of the Sovereign LORD of all creation, who is also the Author and Provider of our salvation. Every warning He has given both humanity and nations about the consequences of their sins and wicked deeds has resulted in either repentance or ruin for themselves (Isaiah 1:18). No one has been spared from the judgment of the LORD when needed, and no one has been rejected by the LORD when their hearts were broken with sin and sought redemption, otherwise the Prodigal Son would have stayed in the dung and mud of the pigsty and would have later been found dead as well as damned.
The Scriptures show us that when we walk with the LORD, the narrow road on which we share the journey can get trying at times, but also rewarding. He does not leave us alone, nor is His attention diverted by something trivial that He goes off chasing like we often tend to do. When we are the LORD'S, He promises that He will not let us go, and that we do not have the power or ability to counteract or nullify that promise (John 10:28-30). He holds no grudge against us once we come before Him to ask His forgiveness, and does not bring it up against us when we fail (Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 43:25, 44:22, 55:7; 1 John 1:9). He promised that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and it is to Him that we can come and find the true rest our empty and burdened lives need so desperately (Matthew 11:28-30). This causes me to wonder why anyone in their right mind would choose to walk away from the best thing ever offered or promised to us by the one and true Lord God Almighty. Yet, because of our sins, blasphemies, pride, hatred, and unbelief, far too many people reject the ONLY way by which the LORD would have us to come to Him and the ONLY means by which we may have real peace, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ, like it or not (John 14:6; Acts 4:12, 20, 16:31; Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-18; 5:6-11; 1 Timothy 1:15, 2:5-7; 2 Timothy 3:1-8, 4:1-5; Hebrews 2:1-4, 6:4-6; 1 John 2:22, 4:1-3; Revelation 1:8,17-18).
What I want to do is to concentrate on one verse by which we can examine ourselves to see whether we are really following Jesus or not, and if we are, why we do not fully commit to His commands for our lives. Be honest. We tend to fall short in our walk with Him, and what the apostle Paul tells the church at Corinth was meant to help them, as well as us, in this area. The verse I want to examine is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17: " Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."(NKJV). Let us look at the first portion of this verse: "If anyone is in Christ". Here Paul addresses the main area of concern, not just for this church that had a multitude of problems, but is something we need to ask ourselves, especially as these days are getting more depraved and eternity looms for all of us: If you were to die today and are summoned to appear in front of the throne of God Almighty, and He asks you why you should be allowed to enter His heaven, how would you answer?
I hope that your answer will not be, "Well, I was a good person.", or, "I did the best I could.", or any kind of word that implies that you had it within yourself to atone for your sins, or that God is some "good old boy" who will overlook what you said and did and figure that you were not as bad as Osama Bin Laden, or Saddam Hussein, or everyone's favorite bad guy, Adolf Hitler. The Scriptures say that our attempts to be righteous before God in our own power is as effective as a bloody menstrual rag (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot in any way make ourselves right before God as we are all sinners, stained with evil, depravity, perversion, and reprobation (Psalm 14:1, 53:3, 130:3; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23; 1John 1:8, 5:19). We have no other place to go after we die other than hell for eternity as the punishment for our sins if God Himself had not decided to intervene on our behalf and provide us with the redemption we do not deserve.