Articles for October 2016

Is God too kind to be Just? Proverbs 29:1

Brett Kays, Minister of a Christian Church in Southeast Michigan, told about a radio report of a problem in an Oregon middle school where a number of girls who had started using lipstick would go into the girl’s bathroom to apply it. After they put it on, they would then press their lips up against the mirrors leaving dozens of lip prints.

Finally the principle decided it was time to take action. She called the girls to the bathroom and met them there along with the custodian. She explained that the lip prints were causing the major problems for the custodian, who had to clean the mirrors every day. To demonstrate just how difficult it was, she asked the custodian to clean one of the mirrors. He took out a long-handled brush, dipped it into the toilet, and scrubbed the mirrors clean. Apparently, the problem of “mirror kissing” subsided soon after.

Certainly there are more destructive activities than this going on in our schools today. Many times we don’t realize the ramifications that our actions cause. Many times we don’t really want to know, and many times we don’t particularly care. “Girls just wanna have fun!”, right? Sometimes our desires to do what we want to do, when we want to do it, requires a bit of anesthesia. We tell ourselves that those things we want to do in life have no consequences. There’s no retribution, no cost for our choices. Live and let live we say.

People can be stubborn creatures. We want what we want, and if there are obstacles in the way that might deter our actions, we set out to find a way to circumvent those obstacles.

A.W. Tozer says, “God spares us because he is good, but He could not be good if He were not “just”. God’s justice stands against the sinner in utter severity.

The hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a “deadly opiate” for the consciences of millions. It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all pleasant forms of iniquity while death draws nearer and the command to repent goes unregarded.”

An “opiate” is a sedative. The dictionary describes it as “anything that causes dullness or inaction or that soothes the feelings.” An opiate masks reality, induces sleep where there was none before. It dulls the nerves so as not to feel the pain when the reality of trauma is introduced. The reality is that when we do certain things to our bodies, nerve endings alert us, in the form of pain, that something is wrong. We don’t like pain. Our brain tells us, ‘If you don’t like the pain, don’t do that again!’ Pain is the consequence of traumatic actions to the body. But if we feel strongly enough about doing those things, about averting the consequence while still being able to do the pain inducing act, we take an “opiate”, a pain killer, that numbs us to the pain.

What do we do about the actions in life that we know are not the right thing to do – things that have consequences, things that gnaw at our conscience and keep reminding us over, and over, and over, that we should not be doing that… like a nagging toothache?

We often council ourselves on things that we know we shouldn’t or mustn’t do so as to rationalize, telling ourselves that it’s really okay to do. We know that God is loving, God is compassionate, God is goodness, God is merciful. I believe in Jesus, His son. A God like that is too kind to punish me for sinful acts that I might do from time to time, right?

Proverbs 29:1 A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed – without remedy.

Sin is attractive. It’s seductive. It tells you how much fun you’re missing out on, and there’s no cost. It will offer all the rationalization that you need to make it okay to do. Sin will even provide you with scripture – out of context of course, but it’s still scripture. And that makes it okay. Sin will offer you the anesthetic you need to let you do what you know you must not do, without the pain of a searing conscience. And when it’s something, a selfish desire, that we want to be able to do so badly, we push that conscience voice to the recesses of our mind and we stubbornly forge ahead.

That’s why we call it a “deadly opiate”. Sin always comes with a consequence. You can dull your senses into believing it’s all okay. ‘God loves me too much to punish me.’ And God is loving, compassionate, and good, but God is also just.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.

In Christ, Rick