The ultimate question the God-seeker must ask himself is: Why do I practice my religion? The answer to this question will reveal the reason why we go to church, read our Bibles, tithe, pray, etc. To be honest with God and ourselves, we who profess Him must ask ourselves if getting saved, living forever in paradise, etc. are among the reasons we do what we do “in His name” and “for His sake.” DO WE DO WHAT WE DO FOR HIM BECAUSE OF WHAT HE WILL DO FOR US?
Another question we must ask ourselves is: What part does my religion play in my daily life? Is the Lord first and foremost in my mind? Do we, as did King David, keep the Lord always before our face in righteousness (Ps. 17:15)? Do we cherish His Word as did the ancient prophets whom He calls “holy men of old?” men who spoke the Words He gave to them through the Holy Spirit, then recorded them for our instruction (2 Pet. 1:21/ 1 Cor. 10:11)? Or do we spend hours in front of a screen, then try to carve a few minutes of time out of our busy schedule to dedicate to Him? We are commanded to redeem what time we have in this life for Him (Eph. 5:16). Anyone who spends more time staring at a screen, book, magazine, etc. than they do studying His Word, praying, etc. is not being led by God’s Spirit and is therefore not His child. No amount of religiosity and churchivity can change this spiritual and Scriptural Law.
The Bible is God’s will, way and Truth (Jn. 17:17). Jesus of Nazareth was God’s walking, talking Word in human form. For this reason He is called “the Word” (Jn. 1:1-4,14/ Rev. 19:13). What part does God’s Word play in our daily lives? Do we obey His command found in Deuteronomy 11:18,19? Do we follow His command to “… lay up My Words in your heart and in your soul.” Do we teach His Words to our children? Do we obey His command to speak about His Words “… when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.” Jesus lived (“walked”) according to God’s Word, never deviating from it. We are told in 1 Jn. 2:6 that if we call ourselves by His name we must “walk as He walked.” Do we do that? Are our words, thoughts and deeds the result of being led by God through His Holy Spirit? Are we truly sons of God? Do we believe what He said about His sons in Romans 8:13,14. In verse 13 he explains what it means to be led by Him through His Spirit: “… if you, through the (Holy) Spirit, mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body (sins), you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they (and only they) are the sons of God.” First, notice how many of our sins must be put to death–ALL OF THEM. Next, notice who must remove those sins from our lives–“YOU,” meaning us. Do we do this? Do we maintain holy, Christ-level, Spirit-empowered control over what we think, say and do? The Lord tells us in this passage that it is OUR responsibility to harness our tongue, mind and body so that we speak, think and do only those things dictated by God through His Holy Spirit. Obedience to Him is how the Lord separates sheep from goats, wheat from tares, contenders from pretenders in His church where they will remain until Christ’s return. At that time He will separate them and cast the goats/tares/ pretenders into the Lake of Fire (Mat. 13:25-30).
Many in the church will claim to be children of God, then proudly profess that they sin repeatedly. One lay preacher told me that he sins “… thousands of times each day.” When I asked if he could go five minutes without sinning, another pillar of the church replied, “I don’t know.” An ex-missionary told me: “It’s just too much trouble to obey God.” All three would be quick to profess that they are “sinners saved by grace”–saved sinners, heaven-bound heathen, redeemed reprobates, rapture-ready rebels who need only to repent following their inevitable sins–the breaking of His Law (1 Jn. 3:4). And even if they do not repent, heaven still awaits. All is well; the die is cast; the fix is in. Why? Because the God they refuse to obey has supposedly saved them. No one with a room temperature I.Q. can look at these facts and doubt the power of Satan over professing Christendom.
Ironically, those who proudly profess that they sin and get away with it call themselves “sons of God.” Sons of God are those who are led by His Holy Spirit (Rom. 8: 13,14). GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT DOES NOT LEAD US TO SIN. The truth is, such people do not have God’s Spirt, without which one cannot be a child of God. L.J.