“The fool has said in his heart, “ There is no God.” They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good. God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.”
Psalms 53:1-3 NKJV
“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.”
Psalms 19:1-3 NKJV
When I think back to the days before I said yes to Jesus, I can remember that I had many an excuse for not coming to the cross. I frequently used the actions of self-professed Christians I saw as reasons for not listening to them. I cited the hypocrisy of the people who I knew to be believers, as I felt that they needed to be perfect people. I looked for any moral lapses I could find, so I could say, “Ah ha! You’re no better than me.”
Once I came to know Jesus, I began to understand the war that goes on beneath the surface. In my first few years in the faith, Spirit battled flesh, as the Lord attacked well built strongholds. I had many bad attitudes that the Lord had to deal with. I learned that, though I was now forgiven, I would not be perfect in this life. Those of you who are watching us, those of you who have not yet believed, know that we are at war within ourselves.
Those of us who are forgiven, let us remember that we were once lost, and let us not forget that we are still in a fallen world, and still vulnerable to sin. I rejoice in my memory, and the Lord’s reminders that I was once reprobate, That memory helps me to empathize with those who are still trapped in Christless lives.
I used science as an excuse. I was one who grew up in the world system where the Theory of Evolution was consider fact. I did not question it, even though I also knew of the story of creation. When I became a believer, I struggled as I tried to reconcile godless science with my new found faith. Then there came a night when God convinced me as to the veracity of the bible. It all started with a ruler.
I looked at the ruler, and I knew what a foot was. With that I could extrapolate outward from what is known to what is unknown. Beyond what is empirical, one begins to guess. Human history is empirical, we know when we began to record the comings and goings of humans. We have nothing beyond that, and every effort is just a guess. Much of science is a group of people with like education and beliefs agreeing upon the same unverifiable guess, and deeming it fact.
When I was a young adult, I dabbled with many belief systems, most of which made allowances for the sins that I loved and wanted to hold on to. I created my own God, one that would let me do as I wished. In reality I worshipped myself.
I believed that there were many roads to heaven, and that just about everypone got in. I believed in hell, but I thought only the most evil would go there.
“As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;”
Romans 3:10 NKJV
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 3:23 NKJV
When I was a teacher, God saw fit to bring an associate named Jan, who knew the Lord. She persistently invited me to church. I remember that first service at what would become my local church. I remember the sermon, and the truths that told me that I was a sinner. That as a sinner, I was earning life wages in sin and was someday gonna be paid.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 NKJV
God was addressing all of my excuses as I sat there as I marveled at this man of God on the platform telling me of his struggles, of his imperfections, of his need for Jesus. I had grown up in churches where the pastors, and even their families were placed upon pedestals. God was shifting my paradigm, upending my system of beliefs. He was taking away the obstacles between me and salvation. Then I found out about HIs amazing grace.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 NKJV
I had thought that I had to clean myself up in order to come to God. It was probably the biggest excuse of all. I learned that God meets us where we are, that He comes to us, we do not have to rise to meet Him. Jesus in his earthly ministry ministered to sinners.
Brothers and sisters, let us be like Jesus and find people and love them where they are. Too often we are expecting them to sanctified and perfected right after they say some sinner prayer. All too often, they are daunted and fall away.
Let us remember the battles that were faught within us, how we slowly let go of the security of our sins for the seeming uncertainty of Christ. It is only when we learn to trust Jesus, that we change.
Let us not forget that sinners are going to sin. While the things that people do can repulse us, remember that we did the same things. We lied, we fornicated, we engaged in all matter of sexual immorality. We were people bound for hell.
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
I Corinthians 6:11 NKJV
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