Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The seven most important questions you will ever ask...

Question 3. What is God like?
To a child, the sun may look like it’s just a bright not-too-big ball in the sky, but it’s actually a huge mass of burning hydrogen and helium that's 865,400 miles wide, and its volume is about 1,300,000 times that of the earth. If I believed that it was square, made of ice, and that it came out at night, my belief wouldn’t change the sun’s reality. It is what it is, despite my beliefs.

In the same way, it doesn’t matter what we believe about the nature of God. He is what He is, despite our beliefs. So if we are going to consider His attributes, we must let go of every preconceived and erroneous image we have, and look at what He reveals about Himself in His Word, the Bible.

We are told that God is a "spirit." That means He is invisible to the natural eye. We believe in many things that are invisible: atoms, radio waves, television waves, love, history, and the wind, just to name a few. The life that inhabits our body is unseen. When we die, that invisible life leaves the shell in which we live. God is the well-spring of that unseen life.

Perhaps the most important thing we should know about God, is that He is holy:

"For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite'" (Isaiah 57:15).

He is absolute moral perfect, and because of His moral perfection His very nature demands supreme justice. To put it in human terms, He is like a good judge who uncompromisingly upholds justice. He always does that which is right and just.

If a judge didn’t do what is right, if he turned a blind eye to serious crimes, he’s not a good judge. He is corrupt, and should therefore be brought to justice himself.

It is because God is good that He has set aside a Day in which He will judge the world in righteousness (Judgment Day). That will be the day when every murderer gets exactly what is coming to him. He will also punish thieves, liars, rapists, fornicators, adulterers, murderers, and blasphemers. Please stay with me now, because we are going to look at a biblical truth that changes everything.

Would you consider yourself to be a good person? Most of us do. So let’s have a quick court-martial and see if you are (as you maintain) a morally good person. You will be put on the stand and I will cross-examine you. All I ask of you is that you tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God. Can you manage that? Here goes.

How many lies have you told in your life? How you ever stolen anything? Have you ever used God’s name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). If you have lied, stolen, used God’s name in vain, or looked with lust, then you are a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart, and that’s only four of the Ten Commandments.

The dictionary says that a murderer is "a person who commits murder." But the Bible goes further. It says that if you hate someone, you are a murderer (see 1 John 3:15). Of course the person who has hated someone hasn’t physically committed murder, but in God’s eyes they have done the deed, because the intent is there and He therefore considers them guilty of murder (see Hebrews 4:12). That’s how high God’s moral standards are, and that will be the standard on Judgment Day (see Romans 2:12). Have you ever hated anyone?

The Tenth Commandment says "You shall not covet." To covet means "to have an inordinate or wrongful desire." Covetousness is a sin of the heart. We violate the Tenth Commandment simply by having an unlawful desire.

When Jesus spoke of the subject of lust (which is a form of covetousness) He spoke of it sexually, and said that when we lust we violate the Seventh Commandment, which says "You shall not commit adultery." The dictionary definition of adultery is "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse."

But Jesus said that when we lust after someone (when we covet them sexually), we commit adultery in the heart. Again, the person hasn’t physically committed adultery, but in God’s morally perfect eyes the desire is the same as the deed. The dictionary confines adultery to a married person. The Bible broadens it to include anyone who looks with lust, whether they are married or unmarried. If you have looked with lust, then you have committed adultery in your heart, and that’s the standard God will judge with on the Day of Judgment. If you’ve got red blood in your veins and a working conscience, you will know that you are in big trouble for transgressing that Commandment. So what are you going to do to try and "justify" yourself?

Here's what changes everything. Before you try to justify yourself, keep in mind that God is a perfect Judge. In His eyes you are a wicked criminal. You are guilty of violating His Law (the Ten Commandments). I can’t emphasize the importance of you grasping this--your understanding of the fact that you are a devious criminal will almost certainly determine your eternal destiny. Here is why. It is because we are wicked criminals in God’s eyes that any good works or self sacrifice on our part are in truth detestable attempts to bribe the Judge of the Universe. The Scriptures warn that the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. There is absolutely nothing we can do to justify ourselves in God’s sight.

How then do you plead? Innocent or guilty? You can’t say you are innocent, because you are not. You dare not point to your "good" works, because you haven’t any, and look what happens to the guilty on Judgment Day:

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, NKJV)

God’s wrath abides on you because of your sin (see John 3:36). The Bible says that you are an enemy of God in your mind because of wicked works. If you die in your sins and He gives you justice, you will damned in Hell (See Revelation 21:8). What should you do? You have only one option. It is to throw yourself on the mercy of the Judge. That brings us to the next question. To be continued tomorrow (God-willing).