Those of us who are in Christ sometimes think that today is much worse than in the past. We see polarizing messages from all forms of media. The news can be selected by which camp you live in. Government schools indoctrinate children. Social media treats you like a trained chicken tapping a lever for food pellet, or in this case, and endorphin boost. Movies, and music, cooperate with the government schools, and further pervert the minds of the youth against us, against God. They are being taught to reject God, and to treat the idea of being thankful to God as a reminder to an unjust, colonizing past. We know the lies. We want to make others see the truth, but unless God opens their eyes, and makes them able, they will continue to shake their fists, and grit their teeth, as they live raucous lives, and die angry, unfulfilled, and alone. Hell is a long time my friends.
I’m as guilty as the next person. I get angry when I see lies being extolled as the truth. I get angry when young minds are perverted, but do I give thanks? Do you thank God? After all, He provides for us all, even those who hate Him. All the world is stealing His air, robbing His larder, and squandering their days in selfish pursuits of fleshly pleasures. Now, for Christians we should be living in the Spirit. We should be denying the sinful desires of the flesh, but some are so weak that they are barely hanging on by the whites of their finger nails to a ledge of faith that can only confess, “I am yours Lord. Save me!” The world refuses to thank God.
“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.” Romans 1:21-23
Let’s not be like those enslaved to the sinful world system that is leading to eternal death. Let’s stand out, and contrast the world system of death, and dying. Let’s show the world what true life, and liberty look like in Christ. We should proclaim all the truths of God. We should let our behavior be consistent with belief in the truths of God. When the world says, “They are too old to be of any good. Let them be euthanized. It is better use of the environmental resources for them to die now.” Let us say, “Dear one, you have lived a life of labor, and love before the Lord. Let me now help you, and care for you, the way you lovingly cared for me as a child. Recount your life’s history to my children, so they might be wiser.”
Abortion, adultery, sexual perversion, idolatry in all of its forms, (planet/environment worship) veganism, (which can be animal worship) hatred in all of its forms, (sectarianism, bigotry based on skin color or nationality, (socially constructed and called racism used for division) political ideology, etc. are all part of the larger world view of death. This world view is founded on lies, and murder.
Satan murdered the human race by his lies, and demonstrated his hatred for God by the murder he worked. “1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-5”
Jesus said this to the Jews who were trusting in their descendance from Abraham, “39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:39-47
The world does what their father does. They hate, lie, and murder. They don’t see it that way. They can’t see it that way. When they look at the Church, they see in us, what they are. They accuse us of being, and doing what they themselves are guilty of. Worst of all, they accuse their Creator. He is odious to them. They have enmity with God.
“as it is written,
“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,
WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,”
“THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;
14 “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”;
15 “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
18 “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”” Romans 3:10-18
“14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16
“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4
What is the alternative to death and dying eternally? It is life, and living eternally. How are we to live knowing that we are surrounded by death, murder, perversion, and lies? We are to be truly alive in Christ. The stark contrast between the two realities is a testimony to God’s goodness, longsuffering, patience, mercy, and grace. We should respond with love, and with truth. We cannot love without being honest.
“We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:19-21
“6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 5:6-11
“9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
The Christian’s Walk
17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Be Imitators of God
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” Ephesians 4:9 – 5:21
The system of true life is of God. Those who have been translated from death to life now live for God’s glory, and that living is their greatest joy, and fulfillment. It is found in God. He is the truth, the life, and the way. He is the one true and living God. Jesus exampled the triune God to us. He lived a perfect, and sinless life. He is our spotless Passover lamb. We have learned to truly love because He has showed us love by way of the cross. There, our precious Savior did bleed, and die. He atoned for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day. He conquered sin and the grave. We should respond with a humbled heart, that repents of sin, and trusts not in its own works, but the justifying work of Jesus our God!
If you are in Christ, you can and should live peaceably with all men, as much as you are able, and demonstrate the love and truth of Jesus. He left us the mission of preaching His good news to all the world, and of making disciples of all men. Let us be about His business of bringing the elect in, and showing true love to the lost, dying, world. Be thankful for God’s plan. Be thankful for His work on the cross. Be thankful for your adoption, and all that entails.
If as a Christian you can find no reason to be thankful this year perhaps it is because you are focused too much on the problems of the world system, and not enough on the glorious Savior? If you are downcast, look up to Him! Fix your gaze on Him! Read His word! Think about the wonderful miracle He has worked in your new birth! Remember it! Remember His mercy, and love! Remember how you came to it! Thank God for all His provisions!