21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. — Romans 1:21 NLT Romans 1:18-23 NLT
The Bible tells us in several places that only a fool says there is no God. If a person truly believes there is no God, then his mind will naturally be filled with all kinds of foolish arguments against the existence of God. Even the demons believe and know that God exists (James 2:19 NLT). They are not deceived about His existence, but it is their job to deceive others and they do that job well. We, as humans, cannot imagine the totality of what the Triune God is like. satan doesn’t have to imagine, he has been in heaven and in the presence of God. He is the father of lies and liars and as such, he has no qualms about deceiving people. He tells us little lies and half-truths about God and if we choose to believe those little lies, he has a foot in the door to lead us into total deception and darkness. His game is half-truths and compromise. Once he has gotten us to compromise our beliefs, he uses that guilt to take us farther and farther into his world of darkness. If we continue on the path with him, we will get to the point that we no longer acknowledge that Light exists and our minds will be forever darkened and confused. The truth never changes but our perception of truth can change. The truth is very simple. The Triune God was, He is and He always will be I AM. God is love and He sent His Son into the world to redeem the fallen world because He is love. The “why did He choose to do it that way?” part is not so simple.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Jesus had given up all His glory when He left heaven to become our Redeemer. That mission was soon to be completed. He had not lost a single soul that the Father had given Him. (Yes, Judas was lost, but he obviously was never a true believer) Now, Jesus is asking His Father to bring Him back home to be returned to that glory. He will have accomplished everything that they had planned before the earth was formed. He, once again, tells us the way to eternal life is to know Himself and His Father, the only true God. Now, it is our turn to bring glory to the Father by living the same lifestyle that Jesus lived. 35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.—Matt. 9:35, 36 (NLT)
As we go, we should always be telling the Good News about the Kingdom, but there are those that Jesus puts in our path that He wants us to talk to about Him. Our lifestyle and actions should be such that people notice a difference between us and the world. If we allow the Holy Spirit that abides in us to do His work through us then we will produce the fruits of the Spirit and that will draw people to Jesus.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
10 So this is what the Lord says to his people:“You love to wander far from me and do not restrain yourselves. Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people. Now I will remember all your wickedness and will punish you for your sins.”
Just as God told the Israelites back then, He is saying the same thing to us today. We have wandered far away from God and His precepts and we refuse to return. God is not slack concerning His promises of blessing nor His promises of discipline. God is not confused but our political leaders are very confused. They are like the blind leading the blind. Every day we get farther and farther away from God and we have no remorse for our actions. God will not be mocked, we will reap what we have sown. Let us pray for our nation, pray fervently and continually until our leaders return to the God of our Fathers. Pray that God will raise up Godly men and women to lead this nation in paths of righteousness.
24 So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “Give glory to God by telling the truth, because we know Jesus is a sinner.” 25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” 26 “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?” 27″Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” 28 Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don’t know anything about him.”—John 9:24-29 (NLT)
Isn’t it strange how confused we get when we don’t know the truth? In verse 24, the Pharisees say “….we know Jesus is a sinner”, then in verse 29, they admit that they know nothing about Jesus. They don’t know the truth, yet they have just instructed this man to “give glory to God by telling the truth.” The man says that he doesn’t know whether or not Jesus is a sinner but he does know for sure that he was blind and now he can see. That was the truth.
When someone attacks our prejudices or a belief that we are not really sure is correct, we very often become angry. This is why the Pharisees were so angry. They stood to lose a lot if the people accepted the truth about Jesus. This could cost them their position and their livelihood. Still today, people become angry at the mention of the name of Jesus. A relationship with anyone requires that we be accountable. In today’s society, people do not want to be held accountable for their beliefs or their actions. It isn’t any fun to face our faults and realize that we need a change in our lives. But that is exactly what we need to do and that is what happens when we meet Jesus. He knows all about us and when we are confronted with the “real” us, sometimes it isn’t very pretty. 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.—Hebrews 4:12, 13 (NLT)
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” 29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.–John 6:28-29 (NLT)
In its simplest form, the “work” that Jesus came to do was to save the world. He could have done that by going straight to the cross, dying and being resurrected. But there were many things that God wanted Him to do while He was here. This work included miracles to draw people to God. It also included living a sinless life as an example for us to follow. Just as the work that Jesus did included more than death and resurrection, “the only work God wants from you” is to “believe the One He has sent” includes more than just believing. But believing is the first step and if you don’t believe and receive the Holy Spirit, you will not be able to do the rest of the work. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”—Matthew 9:36-38 (NLT)
17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.–Eph. 4:17-24 (NLT)
Paul is telling us not to live like ignorant and unconverted people do. They have not been regenerated and their minds are full of darkness. They do not walk in the light of the truth of the Gospel. Why? Because they have refused to heed the call of God’s Spirit and have refused to be obedient, so their hearts and minds are closed to any move by the Spirit. Therefore, they live only to satisfy the lusts of the flesh and they participate in all kinds of sinful activity. But we know better. Why? Because we have heard and accepted the Truth. So, we walk according to God’s Spirit. That means that we stop our sinful ways that were corrupted by lust and deception. We are now a new creature and we are guided by the Spirit of God. The real “us” that is carried around in these tents of flesh is being made into God’s image. We look forward to the day when we shall see Jesus. At that time, we will be totally converted into His image. “What a wonderful change in my heart has been wrought’ I’ve been washed by the blood of the Lamb.” Hallelujah and Amen!