By Russ Earl
Throughout history we see repeatedly that man can be and often is, a slow learner. We sometimes take a long time to grasp what the answer is, I am not talking about a math problem.
Man, sometimes must try things, experience things. This is not the best course of action. Though this is often what takes place before he decides, if he ever does, that some experiences are not just overrated, they are sinful and damnable actions.
When faced with sin, man often plunges deeper into the mire of wickedness, before finally surfacing to consider the option of ending any sinful action. Man, sometimes will not consider such until he realizes an action not just as being sinful, but the consequences of it. Man, may see the reality of hell awaiting him because of his actions, or he may not.
Man, will only learn when he accepts the darkness of sin. When we talk about sin being “dark” we mean it’s seriousness, its consequences and the evil actions that define sin. Sin is dark for several reasons.
First, it is dark because it is rooted in evil. Anything that separates man from God is evil and sin certainly separates man from God (Isa 59:2). Second, it is dark because sin does not exist in the light. Throughout the Bible those who are in the light is those working righteousness, not so for those committing sin (Jn 3:20). Third, sin is dark because that’s one of the ways the Bible describes it. (1 Jn 1:6).
Sin is dark because no one can live in sin and walk in the light at the same time. One has to first leave the light, that is walk away from God. “From those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness;” Pro 2:13. Man must realize that the battle is real. It’s not something that is imaginary. Sin and its temptations are right before us. Even our own government tempts us to sin by making laws that easily allow us to do so. We must realize the battle against sin is all around us from the world and from Satan himself. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Eph 6:12
This battle against the darkness that is sin is one that must be won if a person expects to see heaven.
When a person obeys the gospel, they put on the armor of God and begin waging the war against darkness. Against sin, wickedness, evil and all those who support and promote damnable acts. Unlike some systems of belief, the Christian doesn’t fight with physical objects but with the word of God and the truth found within its pages.
Today, let us realize, finally the seriousness of sin. We must realize that with darkness in our lives we can never be pleasing to God. Friend, not one person will enter Heaven unless they are pleasing to God. The darkness of sin and its consequences rest entirely on our shoulders. However, through obedience to the gospel we encounter the blood of Christ. His blood removes our sin and lifts the damnable shade of darkness that has hung over our lives until now. Today, is the day to act. Now is the time for you to climb out of the mire of sin and wickedness. When we obey the Gospel, Christ will lift us up out of the mire much like He lifted Peter from the water during the storm (Mt 14:30-31). Sin is serious, sin is dark, sin is evil. Today, through obedience allow God to bring you out of sin and darkness and into the Kingdom. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,” Col 1:13.
God has revealed Himself in so many ways. It is truly sad that men often overlook or take for granted this beautiful revelation. He is revealed in His created universe, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1; Psalm 97:6). Add to that; He has clearly revealed Himself in His word, the revelation given by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). This revelation when studied and applied will produce faith in men (Hebrews 11:1-3; Romans 10:17). Thus, we can know who God is and what He expects from His creation. John, by inspiration, stated that eternal life and knowing God are joined together (1 John 5:13). James gives an insight into the character of God. To recognize and honor these attributes demonstrates our respect for Him. In James 1:12-17 we see at least three things that all men need to realize.
1. GOD IS A GIVER (James 1:17, also vs. 5).
The literal translation of verse 5 is, “let man ask of a giving God.” This would contrast the true and living God with the “dead gods” which could give nothing! God’s nature is to be loving, giving and forgiving. He gave Christ for our salvation (John 3:16), the gospel which reveals His plan of salvation (Romans 1:16), the peace which “passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), and the hope which is sure and steadfast (Colossians 1:5, 23, 27). Truly God has “given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
2. GOD IS UNCHANGING (James 1:17).
Man needs security and stability for successful living. It is comforting to know that God is unchanging. His love for us does not change (Romans 8:38-39), His justice does not change (Romans 2:1, 11), and His demands upon mankind are unchanging. He has always required that men believe in Him (Hebrews 11:6ff), and that they obey all of His commandments (Hebrews 10:26-31 and Hebrews 11). This unchanging nature helps us to know of our relationship with Him.
3. GOD CREATED MAN FOR HIS PURPOSE (James 1:17).
Man’s whole duty is summarized in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Man’s purpose is to keep His commandments. It may not be popular, but it nevertheless is God’s purpose for us. We are told to “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name” (Psalm 86:11).
Do you realize that your view of God will affect how you treat others?
The Nazis. Adolf Hitler viewed God as non-existent. He accepted the theory of evolution which holds the idea of survival of the fittest. His armies killed millions of innocent men, women and children whom they deemed weak and inferior. He believed that not only could they do this, but in view of the evolutionary theory, they should do this. If his parents had taught him the Bible perhaps this dark period of history (1935-1945) could have been avoided.
The cannibal. In third world countries, tribes who live in remote areas can sometimes be cannibalistic or be dangerously hostile to outsiders. Even in our country a serial killer named Jeffery Dahmer cooked and ate some of his victims. Why would people act this way—kill and eat their victims? Simple—they have no understanding of God nor that man is made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27). Like Adolf Hitler, they do not understand that life is sacred. People who know the God of the Bible do not kill and eat strangers.
The abortionist. The further America moves away from the concept of God and minds are conditioned by the theory of evolution the more insensitive our citizens become to human life. Take note of the staggering numbers of abortions in America. Over fifty million babies have been killed in abortion clinics across our land since 1973 and the end is not yet in sight. It is a fact that the most dangerous place for Americans to live is not in Iraq or Afghanistan, but it is the unborn living in the mother’s womb. People who know their Bibles will respect and safe-guard human lives in the womb.
The Ku Klux Klan. If man does not have a correct view of God, the lives of others are in constant danger. Take the Ku Klux Klan for an example. They claim to believe in God and some claim to be Christians. However, their ruthless shootings, bombings, hangings, burnings and drownings of people of color are well documented. At one time they would tar and feather anyone who spoke out against them. They view God as white and couldn’t be any other nationality than a red-neck American from the south. The right understanding of the word of God would put hate groups out of existence because it says that all men are the offspring of God (Acts 17:28).
People who believe that their ancient ancestors were monkeys will usually act accordingly.
Students of the New Testament will behave in a completely different way. Love, compassion, concern, help for the helpless, food for the hungry, assistance for the widow and fatherless, good to all will be seen of them.
How do you view God?
Click HERE to learn more about our blog writers.