Posts Tagged ‘warning’

The Mighty One, God the Lord, Has spoken and called the earth From the rising of the sun to its going down. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; A fire shall devour before Him, And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, And to the earth, that He may judge His people… Psalm 50:1-4

Psalm 50 is a tutorial for the faithful, an adamant warning for the faith-less, and a prophetic representation of our Lord’s return all rolled into one. Jesus is coming back; His return is both eminent and imminent.

“Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” Let the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is Judge. Selah “Hear, O My people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you; I am God, your God!” Psalm 50:5-7

Here’s the truth: everyone is going to stand before Jesus; believers and nonbelievers alike. On that day, Christ’s divinity will be so incredibly apparent, these nonbelievers will become believers, but sadly it will be too late for them.

The psalm breaks down into two parts: what Jesus has to say to the saints (His followers) and what He has to say to the agnostic, atheist, doubter, heathen, pagan, unrepented skeptic. Let’s look at the good news first.

For the Believers

I will not rebuke you for your sacrifices Or your burnt offerings, Which are continually before Me. I will not take a bull from your house, Nor goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of goats? Psalm 50:8-13

God’s plainly saying that He doesn’t need our stuff. Parenthetically that begs the question, “So why do we give our tithe and offerings if God doesn’t need them?” The answer is that the giving is for our benefit, not His. Selah on that for a while.

The passage also points out that there is a difference between religious duty (which is not good) and religious privilege. In other words, giving is something we get to do, not have to do. I like the fact the Jesus says that He will not rebuke us if we’re giving for the wrong reasons, but rather tells us precisely what He does want.

Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Psalm 50-14-15

First, God wants our thankful praise.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15

Second, God wants us to keep the promises we make to Him (we aren’t required to make any vows whatsoever, but if we do, we better keep them).

When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. Deuteronomy 23:21

And finally, God wants us to communicate with and rely upon Him.

Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Isaiah 55:6

For the Nonbelievers

But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction And cast My words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, And have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, And your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silent; You thought that I was altogether like you; But I will rebuke you, And set them in order before your eyes. Psalm 50:16-21

It’s a bizarre, and some say cruel, scene. Before Jesus stand the atheists. They have died on earth and now to their amazement they stand not in the midst of hell, but before Jesus Christ. In His awesome and undeniable presence, they now believe. Out loud, and I could imagine hysterically, they confess all their sins and swear repentance and allegiance to Jesus, but it is too late. While it is very sad, it is not cruel; they knew the truth beforehand and rejected Him. God is truth and He is just–any exceptions would make Him an unjust liar.

To make matters worse, many of these doomed souls claimed to be followers of Christ while they were alive. Jesus points out their error; they took His name, but perverted what He taught and what He stood for. Man cannot profess Jesus to be anything other then what His word the Bible says He is. Many may call Jesus by His name, but if they change His character and attributes, they worship a false god.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Galatians 6:7-8

The Last Word

“Now consider this, you who forget God, Lest I tear you in pieces, And there be none to deliver: Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:22-13

There we have it, the solution! God has made the way to salvation and eternal happiness incredibly easy—He has provided One way through His Son Jesus Christ. While some see ‘One Way’ has restrictive, I see it as simplicity. We have been given the easiest of decisions to make; it is a ‘yes or no’ proposition. Rather then question His methodology; we should jump at the only opportunity we have to be with Him in Heaven.

What are your thoughts?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Revelation 3:1

A Tale of Two Cities

Jesus, through His revelation to John, addresses the church in Sardis; in much the same manner as He addressed the previous church in Thyatira. Many scholars agree that the church at Thyatira is representative of the Catholic Church at its beginnings and yes, to this present day. If that is the case, and I believe that it is, the church at Sardis (which means: remnant) embodies the church of the reformation, or the protestant age. And like the Catholic era, the protestant era is still with us.

In comparing the words of Jesus to both the Catholic Church (Thyatira) and the Protestant Church (Sardis), one particular item stands out–Jesus commends Thyatira on six (6) points before He rebukes and warns her, but with Sardis He has nothing positive and uplifting to say. I find that somewhat discomforting (although I am currently a non-denominational Christian), my Christian roots as it were, are Protestant.

So, What’s the Warning

When John records the words of our Lord, and used the phrase, ‘You have a name, ’ the idea there is that this church has allied herself with a ‘name’ or denomination, rather than with Christ (at the very least, Jesus is given a back seat to church doctrine). In the Greek, the word used for ‘word’ is in actuality the source for the word ‘denomination’. The problem with that is that (we) tend to associate our faith with the originator of said denomination (Luther, Calvin, etc), rather than the true head of the church, Jesus Christ. I believe this joke, which pokes fun at the Methodists, illustrates the point Jesus is making.

How Many Methodists Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb?

The answer…“Change the light bulb? You can’t change the light bulb! My great grandfather gave this church that light bulb! Now go back to your assigned pew.”

Hold Fast and Repent

The warning is for all of us; Catholic, Protestant, and non-denominationals alike—hold fast to Christ’s teaching and turn away from any teaching that deviates from God’s truth. The Apostle Paul gave us the very same warning in 1 Corinthians 6:9 (and it appears in several others places within the Bible as well. What is that word of warning?

Do not be deceived.

I further believe that Jesus first gave us this counsel in Luke 13:18-22 when He described something that had become way too big to be of much use to God.

Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”

Our Father in Heaven never intended His church to be embroiled with men, their movements, or the monuments we tend to erect to them. Surely God can and will use these men for His divine purposes, but never-ever should the focus be taken away from His Son. May those with ears hear.

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